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Communication

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Customers are losing faith in Codemasters, and it's not because of the quality of their products, or delays, or a lack of patches.

It's communication, or an incredible lack of it.

I'm involved with a lot of racing games/sims, and there is no company that keeps its customers in the dark as much as Codemasters.

Take iRacing for example.  The iRacing community receives so many updates from the developer about things they're working on, what will be included in the next update, etc, that the community have created their own thread to track all these little pieces of news from the developer.  When there's an issue, the issue is acknowledged, and the developer lets the community know it's being worked on, and when a fix should be released by.

In the Codemasters world, there is almost no valuable information passed onto the customer.  At best, the only updates are "still deciding", "early", "soon", and every other vague term you can imagine.  There aren't even regular blog releases anymore.

Customers are willing to forgive a lot.  Delays, bugs, you name it.  But they're only willing to forgive if these things come with communication; with an explanation.  Why wasn't their an F1 2014 patch?  What exactly is an early season release?  What exactly is your definition of "soon"?  What will be done about the imbalance in gamepad vs wheel pace? What will be done about all the other issues that have plagued past releases?  What should we expect to be fixed in F1 2015?  

How about you bring back the developer diaries?  It doesn't have to be a video; just communicate with us somehow.  Tell us what the team is working on.  Do something to contribute to building a community - your own community!  Is there even anyone at CM anymore who remembers how busy these forums were 4 years ago?  They're a ghost town now by comparison.  Steve Hood used to post on these forums.  These days, I'm not sure I even know who replaced Steve Hood.

I'm saying this because I want to see Codemasters succeed in every way possible.  I also want the best possible F1 game, but if we don't get that, I at least want to know someone cares, is listening to its customers, and is doing what they can.  Talk to us!

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"We understand your frustration and we would answer all of your questions if we could. Something something. :)"

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Apart from hatta- who else is responding to the forums - of past years gone bye , there was about 3-4 mods and other developers from CM + Steven hood...who are we listening to now

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My guess is: like many (if not most) companies, among competing priorities & stakeholders, customer satisfaction & engagement are their lowest-priority concerns.

Contractual obligations to financial backers, publishers/distributors, licenses, partners, & outsourced services (among others) must be met to avoid significant legal troubles. Such things are likely a much higher priority than customer satisfaction & engagement.

Also, by communicating too much pre-release, they risk forming public perceptions of commitments to deliver things that (for whatever reason) can't be completed in time for launch (and thus, potential for "false advertising" claims). (I think this could be mitigated by a more careful approach on how they communicate.)

Plus, dissatisfied customers pose little risk. An unhappy customer is someone who bought the product - and due to common laws in major markets, there are no refunds in most cases. If they got your money & don't have to give it back, what concern is it of theirs if you don't like what you bought? (There's also the legitimate avoidance of people who would treat purchases like "rentals" by buying games only to return them for refunds after playing them for a few days.)

There may indeed be individual people employed by the company who are very passionate about their work & have nothing but the best intentions, but they're typically not the driving force & decision-makers of the company.

Ultimately, the only goal for any business is simply to sell. They're not in business to deliver quality or value - they're only in business to sell, and the only influence consumers have is to buy or not to buy what's being sold.

TL;DR - Sellers don't care what people want - they care what people buy. Years of valid complaints don't matter if people keep buying. Vote with your wallet.

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Customers are losing faith in codemasters for a lot of reasons but from reading some of @justbiglee 's previous statements it's very likely to improve. I hope it does the same as everybody else. Codemasters have made excellent games since the birth of the company. 

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mmpaw37 said:
Its the lack of this 'communication' that I find quite disturbing, especially regarding 2015...Look at F1 2014 and the lead up to that...virtually no marketing, minimal community relations - Then came the game...Horrible!
Excactly... if CM knew they had a perfect "f1 2015" coming out, I suppose they would spam the forums with content.... I still hope this theory is wrong...

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community? I never see any more than 30 people online here. they killed the community when they shut the last forums down. mind you the fanboys drive a lot of people away from here too.

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there is a site where employees can rate there employers without being identified, cant remember the name of it right now but I was looking at how codies employees felt about codies and it aint good, most don't like the ceo, don't like the upper management and feel the company is stuck in the past, some even mentioned not getting paid for overtime as they struggled to meet the deadlines for games release. so all in all its not a surprise. Codies aint that same company that started way back in the 90's that is for sure!

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there is a site where employees can rate there employers without being identified, cant remember the name of it right now but I was looking at how codies employees felt about codies and it aint good, most don't like the ceo, don't like the upper management and feel the company is stuck in the past, some even mentioned not getting paid for overtime as they struggled to meet the deadlines for games release. so all in all its not a surprise. Codies aint that same company that started way back in the 90's that is for sure!

Was it this?

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Codemasters-Reviews-E36512.htm

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What happened to the sticky threads , where only mods updates, how it is you have to search in lots of discussions just to find a small comment from them, I give up looking, sorry if I got the name wrong of these threads

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What's the most disappointing point for me is, they jump on you asap if you say something out of turn, so they are about, I remember  piperalpha, syngamer , Helios they was all involved in discussions as a mod/ and a fan , again sorry if names are wrong

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mmpaw37 said:
Apparently, the overtime issue is an industry problem, and not just in Codies.
It's certainly been an issue across the whole software industry for as long as I've been working in it (over 20 years), though more so at startups than established companies these days. Even the promise of overtime payment is rare, I've only ever worked in one software job where that was on the table. Everywhere else I've worked, the contracts basically say "you'll probably have to work extra hours now and again without being paid for them", which covers their backsides for most things. (Though the EU may disagree...)

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Sector4 said:
there is a site where employees can rate there employers without being identified, cant remember the name of it right now but I was looking at how codies employees felt about codies and it aint good, most don't like the ceo, don't like the upper management and feel the company is stuck in the past, some even mentioned not getting paid for overtime as they struggled to meet the deadlines for games release. so all in all its not a surprise. Codies aint that same company that started way back in the 90's that is for sure!

Was it this?

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Codemasters-Reviews-E36512.htm

If those reviews hold any truth, it sounds like the company's employees are treated even worse than customers. Truly a shame.

Common theme with many (if not most) companies: great people with poor leadership... yet when the company overall doesn't perform well, the great people who've done their jobs superbly are the first to suffer the consequences (the hardest) rather than the "leaders" who steered the company down such a questionable path.

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That website is lethal for my opinion about Codemasters. I thought they neglected the fans of their games, but they seem to neglect their employees even worse. We've seen a lot of nice people with good ideas leave over the last months and they were all very professional about their departure but this would explain a lot. It would also explain why F1 2010 was such a great introduction to the series (made by creative and good people) and why it hasn't been keeping up with this level over the years. If you look at say Steve Hoods career, whenever he could he seemed to go where the F1 games where. And he obviously thought he would be happier elsewhere, even though next-gen offered a lot of new possibilities for the series.

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Hi all,

Feel like this is getting a bit off topic now and I don't usually mind watching you give us a bit of a kick in, you are entitled to you opinions and I want you to feel like this is a place where you can talk freely (so long as you're being adult about any given subject - even us)

If you've got a question you'd like to ask me I'll do my best to answer it for you (or at least try give you reason why I can't answer any given question)

I've moved the topic from the f1 section to Codemasters section too.

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Thanks for not locking it anyway.  Wasn't intending for this to get out of hand - just wanted to express how a lot of the community is feeling, with the goal of ultimately seeing some improvement in this area.

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Thanks for not locking it anyway.  Wasn't intending for this to get out of hand - just wanted to express how a lot of the community is feeling, with the goal of ultimately seeing some improvement in this area.
Nah that's cool, I'm on your side with all this. My job is talking about our games and at the moment I've nothing to talk about so believe me I'm just as frustrated about it as you :)

The thing that is most important to me is when I have got something to talk about that I do it better than we have before. There are plenty of threads about it on the forum and fingers crossed I think I can pull most of my ideas off. :)

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