Author Topic: Why Kix Won't Fix The Glitch  (Read 899 times)


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Why Kix Won't Fix The Glitch
« on: September 21, 2012, 09:15:54 am »

Why Kix Won't Fix The Glitch
(The Bad Scenario)

Imagine a pie chart illustrating Kixeye's income from Battle Pirates when they had ID's under 2000000. At that time, it was still the dark water, no blueprints/drac tech, no specials, etc., just the basic game. There were glitches, a few, but nothing terribly game-impacting. They certainly didn't account for more than a sliver of that pie chart. It was all pretty much buying resources and speeding up repairs. 

Now imagine that same chart today. Raids (repairs and builds for raids) likely account for a very large slice of that chart, but the next biggest (if not the biggest) slice would be due to glitches and the fleets they destroy. Asking Kix to fix this would be asking them to cut their current revenue stream by a large percentage. Yes, it would make the game far more attractive and fun (like it used to be), and encourage a big bump in 'voluntary' and useful (as opposed to recovery) coining. But this would not be any more than a fraction of what they are currently pulling in due to glitches alone.

The problem for Kixeye is that, even though they might like to fix what's wrong, even though they (theoretically) might be willing financially to take the hit, since the glitches have actually inflated the revenue 'artificially' in some sense--they are faced with a serious issue in the market if they were to fix things. What happens to a company when their revenue dips significantly? What happens to the public and business world perception of them? The stock and investor confidence in the company is shaken, regardless of the cause of the 'downturn'.

In the business world, revenue cannot even remain flat, it must grow, and so must the profits. Battle Pirates is a finite game living on infinite expectations, but where players reaching top levels are at an effective ceiling where they grow more and more slowly and incrementally. Only the raids still provide motivation for high level coiners to acquire anything and feed the ever-widening maw of Kixeye's coffers. This is why introducing the magic Harry Potter ship looks so crass and desperate, 'cause it is.

So, if they were to fix things, even knowing they had improved the game, attracted more players, maybe increased the life span of its revenue generation, nevertheless the market is going to look at them and say "Your revenue stream wasn't broken, that was a bad move, bad judgment, you suck." That is bad for Kixeye, bad for their image, bad for their business dealings, their advertising contracts, bad for everything except the players.

Which brings us to the really important point: You, the players, even though you are the source of their revenue, their golden goose--you do not count. Not as long as you keep paying for their broken game. That's all there is to it. This is a carnival, and you are the marks. Not people, marks, to be taken for whatever they can get out of you. That's what business is, whether selling you cars, tv's, phones, games, whatever. The object is to get you to give them more than they give you. That's their profit. Your 'profit' is enjoyment, fun, whatever, but always something intangible. "You can't put a price on it." Uh-huh.

The forums, the CM's, the 'support', is literally nothing more than PR. It is there to help the revenue stream and absolutely nothing more, just like the helpful carnival barker encouraging you to lose your money for something less than its value, but which is 'fun'. Whether it really is or not. Every corporation has PR, to put a 'human face' on the company, so they can behave as inhumanly as they believe they need to. There is no human factor in how business works beyond convincing people to shell out their cash. That's it.

Like most businesses in today's world, they are selling you a fantasy. It doesn't matter what the product is, as long as you can be hooked into paying for it. Which is to say, especially in the virtual world, a total fantasy. And we are okay with that, for the most part, as long as we're getting the 'fun' we're paying for. It's entertainment and we don't mind paying for entertainment, games, movies, whatever. We are sold this fantasy through more fantasy. For example, when the female commander of the Drac's was introduced, that was to associate her 'hotness' with the upcoming raid. You get to 'engage' with her. This 2D cartoon drawing would stimulate libidos just like such associations do for selling cars, phones, toys, etc. (And if you're a girl, well, she was not only "sexy", she was "empowered".) And, of course, it worked, because we are so solidly conditioned to be manipulated in this way. That's why they try to make you think the "something intangible" that you're getting is somehow enhancing to your deficient self, ie: you will be more sexually attractive (because you're not), or even, 'you are buying sex!' (how else you gonna get some, loser?)--pretty much the basis of advertising.

All of the PR aspects of this game serve to enhance revenue. They are their created illusions, and they are your accepted delusions. If they can promote and sell a broken game, it is no more or less dishonest than the carnival's off-sited bb guns, and other such rigged games. How can they lose when they are selling you your own fantasies?

Disclaimer: this is not an accusation in any way that Kix 'introduced' the glitches for the purpose of boosting revenue. If they could have fixed the big ones early on, they might have done so in the belief that hurting the game would hurt revenue. But once the metrics were in, imagine their surprise when people coined even more, much more. At that point, it would become more and more difficult to justify the bloodletting they would have to suffer as their profits returned to normal. They may, however, keep introducing new glitch-producing content without much hesitation. If an issue is large enough, like losing relocate (little effect on revenue, large outcry from the players), they will address it and fix it. Basic, long-standing problems, or problems like the increasing failures of specials, are good for revenue. The outcry is far larger, but c'mon, seriously? You don't really need that fixed in order to play. Kind of.

So, in the end, this game will die. Not because they fix it, they won't. Not because their customers will 'wake up' to what is being done to them. Most of them are okay if all of the above is true. It will die because the revenue starts falling because the game sucks so badly even addicts won't pay for it. Nothing else will do it. Kix will close the game, saying it was an experimental prototype, had run its course and it is time to 'move on' with other projects. It was a great success, but "all good things... blah, blah. Hey, look over here at our new games!"

How the game ended up doesn't matter. Whether you enjoyed it or just struggled, whether you played (as best you could) for free or paid a little, or you paid megabucks, does not matter. It was never about you. It was about real money, for them. All you got--all you mostly ever get--was a fantasy. You will be, truly, the Forsaken.

How Kix Will Fix The Glitch
(The Good Scenario)

Kixeye intends to move its games off of Facebook, starting with Battle Pirates. Nothing will be changed for you in this move, as far as your bases and fleets, etc. You can still logon to Facebook to get into the game, if you so desire. Or you can logon directly to Kixeye's servers. How the direct
method might affect your connection with your Facebook friends is unclear at this time, but since Facebook got rid of its own chat it is likely that third party chat systems will be utilized. Or, once the Alliance feature is in place with its own chat, it may become a moot point.

The reason Kixeye is moving its games is that it contends that Facebooks alerts, updates, etc., cause interruptions to the games' data streams, thus causing our SoS screens and Flash crashes, white screens, blue water, and such. Although this is not the cause of the specials failures, like hailstorms, when issues like those arise they do find it harder to separate them out from the issues caused by Facebook's Flash interruptions, apparently.

If Kixeye is correct and all of our most serious glitches are resolved by this move, the game will be in a far better position to last a long time. Assuming they can then also resolve the persistent coding glitches for specials and repairs, the stability of the game would finally be back to what it was when the game was only in Beta.

New features, such as alliances, could be introduced--and thereafter tweaked or patched--much more easily and quickly, bringing a far more satisfying gaming experience to the players, and presumably to Kixeye's bottom line (as new players flock to join).

When will this move happen? Um ... "soon"?

(A Dash Of Reality)

At that point, the most daunting issue would still be the current problem of extremely long repair and build times that cause enormous backlog for most players once they reach level 28 or so. The option most requested by the players for another shipyard or just a refit dock has been addressed by CEO Wil Harbin with a resounding N. O. Period. (

This problem is built in to the structure of the game itself because of the revenue generating model that underlies its conception. Battle Pirates, like most Facebook games of this type, gets people to pay to avoid frustration. It is a negative principle. You don't pay to enjoy the game but to avoid negative feedback from it. Once that is relieved, by paying to avert it, you can then enjoy playing the game. You are, it is true, indirectly paying to get to that enjoyment, but you are paying for the same reason you pay taxes to avoid going to jail (unless you feel some quasi-patriotic loyalty toward Kixeye and their need for profits). You are paying to minimize your experience of the dark side of the game.

The conundrum for Kixeye is that this gaming model relies on those who are most successful, who have advanced the furthest, to provide the most money. Yet, those who have advanced the furthest also have the highest negatives staring them in the face, like two to three week build times for a single ship, etc., as we all know. These people, being near the top in the game, already have the least to look forward to in terms of real advancement, and even with new toys, there's not really much newness in the game itself--they've been playing it for a long time.

And, of course, eventually, they start leaving. For large numbers of them, raids and new toys are not enough and they move on. This happens with most games, because being at the top in one thing, you might as well move on and try to make it to the top elsewhere. Like mountaineers climbing a different mountain.

So, as huge numbers of people are now level 30 and above, Kix simply must encourage a much wider base of new players, tempting them with new graphics and toys they can obtain. Of course, this has its own built-in problem of players leveling faster and having better stuff much sooner than in the past--which creates a hyper-inflated condition of needing ever higher numbers of players joining the game. We all know that ponzi schemes are not sustainable, and the game is already top-heavy now. And unless Kixeye finds a way to accomplish a level of recruitment that pays for an ever-expanding server system, the game will inevitably fold as the players ascend out of the top levels and are reborn into level 1 in some other game.

If only they'd make a Battle Pirates Classic version of the original game, we could actually reincarnate. Just think: they could avoid all the mistakes they made with this one, and we'd all know what to expect as the game introduced 'new' things.

Well ... that is, unless when you're reborn you forget everything about the previous game, and everything just repeats like some horrible karma. That would suck.

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Re: Why Kix Won't Fix The Glitch
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 11:36:23 am »
That was the longest post I have ever seen! I didnt read it all but I have figured it out. Kixeye has those glitches there for a reason, they know **** will freeze cause your fleets to get beat to **** and you will have to repair or coin to keep playing. A lot of people say they quit but really don't and until they see a huge drop off in their numbers, they will leave it in place to make money between raids. Simple formula Kixeye+glithces= repair time = money for kixeye.
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Re: Why Kix Won't Fix The Glitch
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 09:17:53 pm »