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Improving Codemasters Image

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https://twitter.com/justbiglee/status/571682846915608576

This subject was brought up by @justbiglee today, and I thought I would add some thoughts that can't just be tweeted about (no within 100+ characters anyhow).  It has been said that Codemasters has had an image problem as of late, and I agree to some extent.  Here is why:

Bad press/leaks 
First there was the leak from Eurogamer that Codemasters has financial (problems) weather true or not, I think there is enough evidence laying around the internet to find they are in a low spot financially for the past couple of years.  Eurogamer mentioned a few other points about release dates and weather or not there will be a Early Access program launched for mid February, again we don't know what is true or not here, but many are speculating (see DiRTYGossip thread)

Next, more recently was the F1 screenshot leaks.  This was a little brighter 'news' that we actually got to see some progress for the F1 series.

Here in lies the problem, Codemasters has not addressed either of these.  They have dismissed much of the news and out right ignored it. This seems like it sours the community, consumers/gamers, and probably the employees in a lot of ways.  For us here in the community, we see it as Codemasters is not OPEN (or transparent?) enough, and maybe misleading us.  We get more info from leaked photos and financial issues than from Codemasters speaking forthright about the state of the game.  Please note, I would never think or ask of a company to share financial issues with anyone outside the walls of the company, it would not be good business to share this kind of info.  

However a developer comes to a point that a decision has to be made: Do you tell the world what your doing and give details, possibly letting competitors know this so they can add it to their game?  OR Do you keep everything internal and then surprise the world with.. a new iPhone.. I mean new F1/DiRT title, therefore surprising the competition with something that they cannot catch up with for a while.

I mentioned the iPhone for a reason, Apple has been criticized for the same.  Not so much about their hardware, but their software.  We always expect the next iPhone/iPad/etc to come out once a year, and details get leaked from China all the time.  What is the difference?  Well we know a timeframe, we know it is predictable, and we can count on it.  This is similar to the F1/DiRT franchise, its no secret that new games are being produced and the next one is noted for the future  (or, I hope!) So why not allow some info to be released?

COMUNICATION, COMUNICATION, COMUNICATION !

1) Announce that a title is being worked on, F1 has done this, but it has to be a yearly update due to F1 Season, so there was no choice.  DiRT this could have used some work, been in the dark way too long.
2) Interviews.  Now that you announced the title, you could interview team members.  Ask questions about what has been learned from prior titles, what general goals do they plan for the new title, what is the process of developing a suspension component, for example.  Show from their own mouths they have heart and passion for what they are doing. You don't have to tip your hand to everything, even a quick chat will continue to keep the people interested and communication open.
3) Screenshots, this is almost proven method of getting the word out that something is happening and a glimpse of what has been going on.  I have seen some publishers do this on a weekly basis, but it doesn't really matter as long as steps are made to show progress.  
4) Media days, allow some from media outlets access to information, bring them in to play, or get the something exclusive to talk about.
6) Early Access.  This can get very complicated and messy for some companies if not executed properly, I'm not going to detail how it should be done.  Just to point out that it give the public a degree of ownership.  Similar to a company that does profit sharing; When a company does well, it shares a portion of the profits with the employees, they feel they have a stake and responsibility for the company's success.  Early access does something similar. If the public shows support buying into the game prior to release, and is able to give input about the game, they feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for the games success.

These all can be progressive towards the release of the game not all at once, there is still room for surprise but also keeping in contact with the public enough so that no one is shocked by a delay or change.  

These are some ideas that I have had, nothing extraordinary, just proven methods by many other developers in recent years.  I have yet to see a company's image tarnished by good communication with the public.  After the release is a different story, but many times that comes down to overhyping a product that expectations are so high they are never met, again communication.  

Anyone notice a theme here?

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Their problem is not "image" - it's delivery. If they delivered quality, functional games (at launch), their image problem would take care of itself.

Personally, it offends me when game companies make a lot of pre-release noise with hype & interviews under the pretense of "community," and then they go silent post-release & abandon their community when customers need prompt support for the broken games they were sold... especially when DLC is available for sale before much-needed patches.

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I think Codemasters should keep the buzz more going throughout the year. Firstly, building up to the new release. It would be nice to have a sort of blog where developers can talk about a feature that is definitely be going to make it into the game. As soon as possible get some screenshots or video's out. I really liked the developer diaries in 2010. Project cars has a massive amount of video's online an that creates a buzz. And I also remember some Forza video's, where there we talking about the creation of the new tracks (like Hockenheim or the Bernese Alps). With a new track like Mexico, there is an opportunity to do something similar.

And then as soon as the cars are in and you have approval of the FIA, you could show on a regular basis some screenshots or small video's, even if they're just time trials. 

After the game is launched, listen to the feedback, keep the game updated with some new scenario modes every two months or so, keep a buzz going after the launch as well. Update the performance of the cars via updates, a bit like FIFA does to match the real life performance. 

A great image from the customers is a continuous flow of updates and communication!

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when they deleted the old forums with no notice they drove everyone away, there was a massive community starting to grow from all over the world and now its a small bunch of loyal fans who keep coming back even when they buy games and cant play them because of game save corruptions, gas and f1 2014 have been dropped like hot stones, the forums are going mad because there is no support and it doesn't help when people from codies say things like "we will talk about the 2015 game after 2014 is released" then keep us hanging for months. and is it just me or was it only codemasters who never knew the release date of the ps4/xbones? a bit better forward planning and you guys could have had a game out at least in the first year of a new console cycle.  I sometimes think that the guys at codies are the pc generation and what they need is someone from the iPhone generation if that makes any sense?


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With regards to F1,  personally I lost interest after 2010 and 2011.   I love F1 but its the same car on 19 tracks,  then the next year its pretty much the same,  ok there maybe some radical engine changes and driver changes, but its essentially the same game with the next years number in the title.  

One F1 game,  updated yearly as a massive DLC but sold cheaper than a full game would be better in my opinion. 

Most importantly though,  the one and only reason im giving CM games a miss for a while, is the fact that the last two I have bought, have been terrible at launch.   Grid 2, and lots of problems, and many of them were carried into Autosport.  The thing that really annoyed me was the DLC.  I had specifically asked whether the DLC would work in online playlists, even if other dont own it.   I was told it would.  So I wait for the only DLC I wanted, the touring legends, and find its useless to me, as it doesnt appear in playlists.  If I do want to use it, everyone has to have the same DLC's as everyone in a custom lobby, and corner cutting penalties dont work .  

Im sick of buying games that dont work 100% when I get them home.  we'll fix it in a patch......maybe, is unacceptable.    Delay the lauch/release....make sure it works.  

Look at the upgrades in grid autosport......they will NEVER EVER work.
Less of the single player/career please too.

Concentrate on the online experience,  I know some people on this forum love their singleplayer and only play that,  Im not trying to annoy you,  its just that for most people, I believe its the online multiplayer that they are going to play the most.  

Make it work 1st time
Make it work 1st time
Make it work 1st time
Make it work 1st time

I have always loved CM games in the past, but im skipping the next 1 or two,  untill they are sold working.  
Sorry CM, but I meant it months ago when I said that, and I still mean it now.  Infact, its getting me annoyed thinking about it, so its time I stop typing.  lol. 


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when they deleted the old forums with no notice they drove everyone away, there was a massive community starting to grow from all over the world and now its a small bunch of loyal fans who keep coming back even when they buy games and cant play them because of game save corruptions, gas and f1 2014 have been dropped like hot stones, the forums are going mad because there is no support and it doesn't help when people from codies say things like "we will talk about the 2015 game after 2014 is released" then keep us hanging for months. and is it just me or was it only codemasters who never knew the release date of the ps4/xbones? a bit better forward planning and you guys could have had a game out at least in the first year of a new console cycle.  I sometimes think that the guys at codies are the pc generation and what they need is someone from the iPhone generation if that makes any sense?


How would you do it, then?  What can you think of that would better their image right now?  What do you look for in other games.  What companies do you think have a superior image?  

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Bring back the Dev diary's so we all can follow the progress of their games, they were a hit with DiRT 3.

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Strong point in the thread, the part I can sort of step back with as far as the new F1 and dirt releases go, they're built on next gen consoles maybe it's just a little harder to develop for a more advanced console. I agree with most other things In this post. As it seems, Codemasters is falling apart.

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gfRally said:

when they deleted the old forums with no notice they drove everyone away, there was a massive community starting to grow from all over the world and now its a small bunch of loyal fans who keep coming back even when they buy games and cant play them because of game save corruptions, gas and f1 2014 have been dropped like hot stones, the forums are going mad because there is no support and it doesn't help when people from codies say things like "we will talk about the 2015 game after 2014 is released" then keep us hanging for months. and is it just me or was it only codemasters who never knew the release date of the ps4/xbones? a bit better forward planning and you guys could have had a game out at least in the first year of a new console cycle.  I sometimes think that the guys at codies are the pc generation and what they need is someone from the iPhone generation if that makes any sense?


How would you do it, then?  What can you think of that would better their image right now?  What do you look for in other games.  What companies do you think have a superior image?  

it doesn't matter how I would do it, and I don't think there is much to make codefailures look like they have a good image. the game is up! it will just be a small clique group who will continue to buy there half finished games. and as for your last question pot noodle has a superior image :-)


also NWR I wish youd stop calling a ps4/xbone next gen, its old, over a year old so its current gen..thanks

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Nah @@samueltrautman it is still next gen for codemasters release as they haven't released anything on xbox one or ps4 yet.  With the ps3 and xbox 360 remaining so popular I'd still class the ps4 and xbox one as next gen consoles to.  But at the same time it shouldn't really matter what anybody refers them as right?

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Hey guys, thanks for the posts - I had a lot of replies on Twitter and one dude even sent me a 3,000 word document on his feelings about it all.

It's all useful stuff, I suspected a lot of what you've all said and it was good to have that validated - so thank you.

As for a reply to some of what you've already said.

You're right, it does need to start with the games and how we support them, being straight up I'm well aware that it doesn't matter what I say here. I know some of you have felt let down in the past and I'm well aware of what you guys think of us and although some of the stuff I've read kinda gets away from my original question, something is else is quite obvious.

Despite the hate, the "efff you CodeB*****ds" and the "You've hurt me too many times" kinda comments I've been reading it's clear that you all do still care.

Why else would you come by the forums? Why did you bother logging in? Why did you write that post?

Proof is in the pudding though right? It's the games that matter the most and I do honestly believe what we're planning with DiRT will shock a lot of you (In a good way). As for F1, being straight up with you I've been wondering a lot of the same questions you guys have (to give some context to those who don't know Luke handles community for F1, while I've been working on DiRT and don't get to spend a lot of time with F1). But a few weeks ago I seen it running properly for the first time and I'm not concerned about those things now.

As for how we support our titles post launch I'm not going to give you the spiel, it is changing but I don't won't you to take my word for that. I want you guys to keep pushing back once our next wave of games is out and I'm confident we'll restore faith with you.

Back on the original point of my tweet - What I'm looking to find out is what kind of things would you like to see us do when it comes to interacting with you guys/the public?

What kind of things do you want to see on Twitter & Facebook? 
What do you want to read about on the blog?
What kind of videos do you want to watch?
Do you want livestreams?
Developer Q&A sessions?
Do you want to play a game with the devs?

Things like that - just fire me ideas, nothing is too crazy.

I've got a presentation deck full of ideas already, hopefully I've already got in it a lot of the things you're about to ask me for but if not thats cool, I can add it in.

Let me know what you think.

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In response to your questions:

What kind of things do you want to see on Twitter & Facebook? 
Absolutely anything and everything that you can possibly do! Screenshots, behind the scenes, answering as many questions as possible, links to videos about your games made by the community, etc.
 
What do you want to read about on the blog?
Deep insight on new features on the games. Dedicate a whole post if needed to one awesome new feature. Show it off! Also various trailers, perhaps fan posts? The racing league spotlights and community spotlights were great last year!

What kind of videos do you want to watch?
Actual proper gameplay videos. From an F1 perspective, no one really liked the hotlap videos. The cameras changed way too much, they didn't give any true insight. I want to see actual gameplay with all the HUD, like 3 lap race videos, maybe the odd scenario, featuring as many different cars, drivers, tracks and game modes as possible. Developer Diaries too. They were SO GOOD for F1 2010 and I don't know why they haven't been made in the last couple of years. They're so insightful and interesting and the fans love them.

Do you want livestreams?
100% yes, or even uploads of longer stuff, like a look at the career modes, online, anything and everything.

Developer Q&A sessions?
Yeah, that would be great. Just answering as many questions from the community as possible.

Do you want to play a game with the devs?
Yeah that would also be epic! 

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We want videos like the dev diary and screenshots and videos of the new titles (dirt and f1) in action we also want the dev Q&A sessions you mentioned in video form because having F1 2015 added to we at the twitch before it's released would be silly but not even that it's just because no one wants to watch a live stream of it I mean people want to be able to go on YouTube and skim through the video. Maybe during these videos you could put screenshots / gameplay on screen while the codies babble on ! I hope you can actually answer us and do what we want for a change. And we really appreciate you replying to this thread especially since you didn't even start it because you are the only codie who has said a word on this forum in the last 6 months or so since Steven Hood has left.

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"...it's clear that you all do still care. Why else would you come by the forums? Why did you bother logging in? Why did you write that post?..."

@JustBigLee : I'm genuinely impressed that you can see & acknowledge this. Others might be quick to write off negative feedback as just "haters," but everyone here is a gamer & an auto racing fan, and I think we all want to see CodeMasters succeed with quality games. The better your games get, the more we buy, the more we encourage our friends to buy, & the more fun we all have. It's win-win for everyone (including you & CodeMasters).

justbiglee said:
"...You're right, it does need to start with the games and how we support them... Proof is in the pudding though right? It's the games that matter the most..."

Spot on. It absolutely does not matter how awesome of a Community Manager you may be if the games you represent are severely defective. All the videos, live-streams, interviews, dev diaries, screenshots, contests, & give-aways in the world can't make up for broken & low-quality games.

justbiglee said:
"...I want you guys to keep pushing back once our next wave of games is out and I'm confident we'll restore faith with you..."

In my case, it's entirely up to you (CodeMasters) to restore my faith first before I give you any more of my money. I no longer have enough faith in CodeMasters to purchase from you at or near launch again (definitely no pre-orders). I'll wait until your next game has been in the hands of real customers long enough for issues to be discovered, and I'll be monitoring CodeMasters' efforts to support its games (on all platforms) post-launch. If convincing evidence of launch quality & prompt support is there, then I'll be next in line to buy - but for now, I'm done buying on faith.

justbiglee said:
"...what kind of things would you like to see us do when it comes to interacting with you guys/the public?..."

Show actual game-play. I want to see & hear what the game is like when the controller is in my hands. Too often, game companies mostly show pre-rendered cinematics, cut-scenes, & stills that bear little to no resemblance to actual game-play. Show as much actual on-screen in-engine game-play footage as you possibly can (HUD, menus, & all), the exact same as it would look if I was actively in the middle of playing the game myself.
 
Connect game features to customer feedback. The Dirt, Grid, & F1 games all have long histories with years of input from customers - prove that you've been listening. I don't care to hear what game-makers have to say about their next game if they don't acknowledge what their fans/customers have said. Please don't insult me with canned marketing lines like: "We're taking advantage of next-gen capabilities to deliver a thrilling new experience like never before." Virtually any game can spout vague claims like that. We've heard it all before. Show me that what went into the game is based on what customers/fans actually want. For example, a dev diary about the next Dirt game might say something like: "Our fans have been saying that they want the series to get back to our rally roots, and we're here to show you how we're doing exactly that [cue awesome in-game rally footage]."
 
Show that you're delivering more than just graphical updates. As far as I'm concerned, the graphics wars are over - graphics are no longer as much of a competitive advantage between games (& platforms) as they once were. Game-play trumps all. Graphics were already pretty nice on prior generation hardware, and squeezing in a few more pixels & polygons ain't gonna impress anyone at this point - neither will more lens-flare. How are you innovating with game-play? Show how you're delivering a better game, not just a better looking version of the same old recycled game.
 
Show how the game will still be fun & rewarding 3+ months after launch. Games that only provide a week's worth of content & activities are barely worth a rental, let alone full retail price. Games that fake longevity through contrived grinding are just tiresome. Games that rely heavily upon online features when servers are unreliable or soon shut-down are worthless shortly after launch. Stagnant online public lobby playlists get stale fast. Show how you're designing genuine longevity into the core of the game itself  (and not just through DLC).
 
Make it work. Please don't try to dazzle me with fancy features when critical functionality is unreliable. Show that your highest priority is providing a fun, smooth, trouble-free gaming experience. I honestly don't care how realistically rendered the grass/turf is when my game-save file gets corrupted. Function over features. I shouldn't have to babysit my games & repeatedly run through checklists of precautionary measures & back-ups just to try to work-around the game's defects. Don't waste my gaming time with troubleshooting. You don't have to build in every feature I ever wished for, but the features that are present must work reliably.
 
Commit & deliver. Too often, CodeMasters' responses are either non-existent, or vague & non-committal. A "soon" reply to important questions & issues frequently seems to turn into to weeks or months (anything but "soon"), if ever. I don't expect you to divulge every confidential detail, but either commit & deliver, or just immediately own up to the fact that it won't happen at all so we can move on instead of clinging to false/faint hopes.

justbiglee said:
"...I've got a presentation deck full of ideas already..."

Like what? And what are you waiting for? Stop talking about it & do it! :)

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@justbiglee There have already been threads where you have asked us "What do you want see" true this one is different but still the same none the less. Have the other threads been taking into account where we have giving feedback? Sorry but it just seems your stalling for time and when the community gets together and fires tough questions towards Codemasters you seems to only answer with "can you give us some feedback on what you want to see". 
Sorry for the rant but 4 years is a long time between games.

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@justbiglee There have already been threads where you have asked us "What do you want see" true this one is different but still the same none the less. Have the other threads been taking into account where we have giving feedback? Sorry but it just seems your stalling for time and when the community gets together and fires tough questions towards Codemasters you seems to only answer with "can you give us some feedback on what you want to see". 
Sorry for the rant but 4 years is a long time between games.
Oh yeah they have, it's all in this thing I'm going to present to the people in the studio to see how they feel about my ideas then I'll show it to the bosses and say "This is what I think we should do".

The reason I'm asking again this time is to make sure what I have already (which is based on that older stuff) is all correct. :)

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a truthful explanation about the forum closure and maybe an apology to the loyal fans would be a good start, maybe then codemasters can start working on regaining the trust of the gaming community. if you cant understand that this is why there was a mass exodus from codies then its already too late. to a lot of ex members and I have spoke to many on other racing/gaming forums they all say the same, a poor game was released with very little support then when the forums went wild with complaints the forum was shut down with no warning. what did you guys expect? people to hang about waiting? since 2012 the sales of games tell you the story of a declining fanbase. im really not sure if codies will be able to improve there image without doing something extraordinarily good but I just cant see where it will come from. for me I will give them a chance on the new F1 game coming out on ps4.


But at the very least its good to see (about time) someone from codies starting to acknowledge how poor the support has been.

the last question you ask could really help with the community issues, of course we want to play with the devs, we want to see who's the best and there is so much scope for competition in games like grid, dirt and especially f1.

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For me two of the most important things have already been mentioned:

1) make sure the games actually work on release.
2) longevity

I could have happily played Autosport until the next Grid is released but unfortunately the technical issues with the game has driven a lot of people away along with the limited online playlists. 

One thing that would be good would be the opportunity to play betas of your games before release to enable us to have some input into the finished product and provide an extra layer of testing :)


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Codemasters for me is where gaming started, back in the days of Dizzy, I loved Grid and Dirt, and I am also a HUGE fan of the Operation flashpoint games, for me the downfall of the brand was the lack of communication we had with CM staff, I remember talking to a community liaison when Grid 2 was announced and I told him then, that unless the issues with the previous title were dealt with, (Achievement glitched on xbox360) then the forums of two of the biggest achievement sites would be proof enough that people would turn their backs on CM, and sure enough, the issue was ignored, now whether it was a microsoft issue / CM issue, it doesn't matter, I was one of the lucky people, 
The main problem with the brand is that it's out of touch with what people want, CM always made games with just the correct amount of difficulty, but all titles were easy enough to pick-up and play. CM needs to have MORE approachable members of staff, fellow gamers, youtubers, twitch streamers, Hell, I'm no big youtuber by far, but one of my favourite videos in an operation flashpoint one, 
Codemasters has a unique opportunity, one that EA had, and didn't take up and now people are turning their backs on them, anyway, it's this, Microsoft are giving free games away on their consoles, yes? and every time these get released, they get streamed, instantly, as soon as you go to the game details on the one, you can see a few people streaming the game, this is where, you can have your 'Streamers' in place, paid professionals / known youtubers, and in multiple languages with community members / staff / devs, ready in the stream chat to answer questions.
I came here today to look for information about any possible Operation Flashpoint games for next gen. Sadly, I don't see any. Simple fix, for the company, :- Our kids would enjoy the games we started with, Dizzy ect... I love watching my kids play tomb raider and other titles from back in the day, As a parent and a serious gamer I want more, I want fun yes, like arcade games, but if you are informed you will know, gamers want more simulation type games, now, there's shooter in the making, not as serious as Arma... has the feel of Op Flashoint, CM need to branch out, And another thing that kinda killed CM for me, having VVV cheat the leaderboards on Grid and admit to it, then for CM to do nothing about it. You need gamers, paid professionals that are good, helpful and can show the community that their issues ARE being addressed. Dice are finally starting to listen, anyway, sorry about the name and shame, but without it, you wont see the simple little frustrations, that are only a part of it, I could go further, but I'm Starving!

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oDAZZLAo said:
Codemasters for me is where gaming started, back in the days of Dizzy, I loved Grid and Dirt, and I am also a HUGE fan of the Operation flashpoint games, for me the downfall of the brand was the lack of communication we had with CM staff, I remember talking to a community liaison when Grid 2 was announced and I told him then, that unless the issues with the previous title were dealt with, (Achievement glitched on xbox360) then the forums of two of the biggest achievement sites would be proof enough that people would turn their backs on CM, and sure enough, the issue was ignored, now whether it was a microsoft issue / CM issue, it doesn't matter, I was one of the lucky people, 
The main problem with the brand is that it's out of touch with what people want, CM always made games with just the correct amount of difficulty, but all titles were easy enough to pick-up and play. CM needs to have MORE approachable members of staff, fellow gamers, youtubers, twitch streamers, Hell, I'm no big youtuber by far, but one of my favourite videos in an operation flashpoint one, 
Codemasters has a unique opportunity, one that EA had, and didn't take up and now people are turning their backs on them, anyway, it's this, Microsoft are giving free games away on their consoles, yes? and every time these get released, they get streamed, instantly, as soon as you go to the game details on the one, you can see a few people streaming the game, this is where, you can have your 'Streamers' in place, paid professionals / known youtubers, and in multiple languages with community members / staff / devs, ready in the stream chat to answer questions.
I came here today to look for information about any possible Operation Flashpoint games for next gen. Sadly, I don't see any. Simple fix, for the company, :- Our kids would enjoy the games we started with, Dizzy ect... I love watching my kids play tomb raider and other titles from back in the day, As a parent and a serious gamer I want more, I want fun yes, like arcade games, but if you are informed you will know, gamers want more simulation type games, now, there's shooter in the making, not as serious as Arma... has the feel of Op Flashoint, CM need to branch out, And another thing that kinda killed CM for me, having VVV cheat the leaderboards on Grid and admit to it, then for CM to do nothing about it. You need gamers, paid professionals that are good, helpful and can show the community that their issues ARE being addressed. Dice are finally starting to listen, anyway, sorry about the name and shame, but without it, you wont see the simple little frustrations, that are only a part of it, I could go further, but I'm Starving!
They don't make these types of games anymore been like that for about two years now, they only make racing games now hence the names Codemasters Racing and RaceNet.

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Ok, I've been a passionate, (predominantly), 'driving' gamer since before Toca and Toca2, I had a Madcatz wheel with the earliest Playstation, Wipeout and F1 97 were standouts, GT Force/Pro with PS2, Cockpit Rig G25/27 with now my third PS3, and have just updated to Fanatec CSR Elite hardware, Full HD 3D LCD..blah blah.  Basically, I've finally got everything I ever wanted in terms of setup after more than 25 years of 'driving games'. I always drive manual.
  Toca 2 was an absolutely awesome game to play, the graphics were 'lacking' compared to some Psygnosis releases in the same era, but the gameplay, the 'weight' of the car, and the 'feel' of speed vs grip were second to none at the time in my opinion.  THAT was Codemasters.
Codemasters WAS Racing.   The Dirt series was the same. I had dozens of friends leave my place and literally buy D!RT/2/3 on thier way home, and after the fervent and loyal speech I'd delivered attesting to Codemasters quality, attention to detail,  not to mention their connections to the 'real vehicle racing world' in, (almost),all of their racing games, I should have been getting commission. (With exception of the slapped together 'insult' that was 'Showdown', no manual gears option saw that game returned and refunded in 24hrs). Vast games with multiple vehicle classes,  varying surfaces, stunning replay and camera options, player interfaces that were seamless and practical. 
That WAS Codemasters. Codemasters WAS racing...
Skip forward to Racedriver: Grid.
All in all an excellent game, if alot more 'arcady' than it's predecessors, playable to the end, enjoyable enough,  save for a few minor issues which will go unmentioned. 
Grid2 arrives!  One of the few games I've purchased shortly after release, at full price. 
Initially I was impressed enough, it was 'shiny' and appeared polished.
 But race with a close to full lobby, and the polish came off.  Glitchy/jumpy graphics, milliseconds of 'pause' that put you into walls or other vehicles.  My ADSL2+ modem is dedicated to the PS3, connection speeds were not the issue.  I reset my PS3's settings a hundred different ways, a brand new PS3 behaved the same, on three different TV's.  Night races with FIREWORKS were the worst culprit.  
This WAS NOT Codemasters, giving up the 'feel' of speed versus grip versus surface and gear-changes and throttle control for 'Shiny' Fireworks!?  I was disappointed, my friends had the same issues.  Limiting the lobby to 6 players did little if nothing to bring back the 'feeling' of real, albeit 'arcady',  racing.
And then the corrupted save profile...
First at lvl 19.
Online storage was corrupted too.
AGAIN at lvl 26.
I had by then disabled autosave 'upload to online', before logging off I would save to USB, then reload save from USB to confirm correct operation.  Only then would I update online storage.  AND YET SOMEHOW, all my save profiles were corrupted? ? Even the USB that worked 12 hrs earlier? 
The save files were not corrupted in my opinion.   Some other 'highly polished' piece of code was to blame, needless to say, there were plenty of fireworks offline then too.
It took a few weeks to get over...especially after buying every bit of DLC as it was released, only to see the whole lot on sale for 'half' what I paid...no loyalty bonus?
Not to mention 'Dirtnet' being replaced by 'Racenet'...which in my first 12 months on Grid2 it operated successfully maybe 6 times tops.  The lack of numbers on the Tacho,  to me, as a mechanic of 25yrs involved in many motorsports, was laughable, (My missus' noticed that one, shameful).  The way certain cars 'behaved' on certain tracks, (with or without 're-inforced' 'road-tyres'), was also very questionable.   I spent ALOT of time on Grid2, the Agera R was my baby.  I was shocked to see it had the Agera 'S' colour scheme...even more shocked when sometimes it just 'wouldn't get up and boogy'.  The 'catchup' in the game was very poorly hidden by the digit free tacho in my opinion.  I topped the world rankings more than a few times, but the inconsistencies drove me mad.  (Try teaching someone to drive the Agera and to up-change at "12:00" O'clock, but only on this track...?  even my extensive knowledge of all things internal combustion could not paint a logical or believable explanation to the greenest of noobs).
 I've managed many businesses,  and ran a few of my own, I understand what it means to be successful in one's chosen niche.
One thing I've learned is that Negative feedback is the ONLY way to improve beyond 'just keeping people happy', mediocrity is just too close to 'that's the way we've always operated'...and even closer to outright failure.
You ask what 'we' want to see next, ask yourselves, what do 'we' never want to see again.
I remember Codemasters, as the fastest, (not the shiniest), seat of your pants, white knuckled, holy sh!t..Whoa!....Phew!..games that ever existed,  unfortunately the current online racing generation cannot attest to alot of Codemasters previous excellence.
So I guess technically your question is moot.

SixpackSubaru
  

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