Lack of updates
This summer and fall I've been waiting for two expansion packs for two great games: Forces of Corruption for Empire at War, and Dark Crusade for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. During this time I've been a regular at the forums and homepages for both games, and in that respect I've made some observations.
First of all I want to make clear that this isn't a rant or an attack on Petroglyph in any way. I'm merely observing how the two companies (Petroglyph and Relic) are relating to their fanbases between announcing and releasing the expansions. Note that both expansions are scheduled to be released around the same time, late October.
Both expansions were represented at E3, and there were videos of the gameplay from both. So far so good. But it was post-E3 that the differences began manifesting.
Relic, the developers of Dark Crusade, released 10 video clips (high-definition) after E3. Most of it was taken from the E3 promo video, but some was not. They released one video each week for 10 weeks. These were of the expansion's two new races, the Tau and the Necrons. Then, once those videos had all been released, they released 5 new videos, one for each of the new units to be added to the already existing races. They hired a dedicated community manager who have also been releasing exclusive screenshots on the forums. Basically, each week or so there's been some official tidbit released.
Petroglyph, on the other hand, has been rather quiet (in my opinion, anyway) since a month or two after E3. There hasn't been much in the way of updates, video or screenshots, and the developers have been mostly absent from the forums lately. In the past few weeks it's been very quiet in here in general.
Now, I realise that Relic is bigger than Petroglyph, with several successful games under their belt already while Petroglyph is just starting out. But my point is that it would have been really great to have some sort of official updates every so often. Maybe a short video of some new unit in action every couple of weeks or so? An exclusive screenshot showing some new unit doing its thing in the background during an in-house playtest? It doesn't have to be much, and it doesn't have to be flashy, but a little something to keep feed the fires of fan interest now and then would be great. Both companies have done Q&As, both expansions have been given previews at Gamespot, IGN etc. But that little extra touch does a lot to keep people interested and hungry for more.
What do you guys think?
"We think in language; therefore, the quality of our thoughts can only be as good as the quality of our language."
-- George Carlin