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Strategy and General Discussion
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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » A plea for a simultaneous worldwide release
Topic Subject:A plea for a simultaneous worldwide release
posted 30 January 2002 10:17 AM EDT (US)         
The AoM community is a global community. Just have a look at this forum, it never sleeps. There are people posting here from all corners of the globe, 24 hours a day. Personally, I think bringing people from all over the world together through a game is a good thing.

Most game developers and publishers, however, don't seem to care much about the community aspects of the games they release. How else can you explain the often long delays before games are released outside North America? Some examples for Western Europe (other parts of the world or probably even worse off): AoC: was about 5 weeks late, EUII: will be almost 4 months late, Kohan: was 7 months late!!!

All too often, pre-game communities (like this one right here) are brutally broken up into 'haves' and 'have-nots' after months/years of joint anticipation. All you can do is read the forums and see how much fun your friends are having with the new game. You've got the money ready, but there's nowhere you can buy the game.

Ordering the game in the US isn't always a good option. Many online shops simply refuse to ship a game to countries where that game hasn't been officially released yet. They may have good legal reasons for doing so. Even if you can order a game in the US, you'll end up paying maybe twice as much for it: transportation costs, sales taxes, import taxes, customs taxes, damage insurance, unfavorable exchange rates, etc. The delivery times can be so long (4-6 weeks through normal mail is no exception), it hardly seems worth the effort.

The result of all this, is that people, in their desire to keep up with their North American friends, will often turn to pirated copies of the game, risking prosecution and damage to their computer.

Why am I telling you this now, so many months before AoM's release?
Well, I saw this disturbing comment in the "Bruce Shelley chat" transcript:

Quoted from Bruce Shelley:

AoM will probably be in Mexico in October or November

I don't live in Mexico, but if I did, I would be extremely upset by this news. If that's any indication for the release date elsewhere in the world than I, for one, will be deeply disappointed.

One of the usual excuses for the varying release dates has always been "localization". Frankly, I don't buy it. Many English speaking countries have to wait just as long (sometimes even longer) for games, as non-English speaking countries. For most of the world's languages, there simply isn't a localized version, so those people end up using the English version as well.

Most hardcore gamers don't even want localized versions. I live in Flanders (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium), Black&White was one of the few games that was translated in Dutch. Many gamers in Flanders & The Netherlands, however, were so dissatisfied with their local version, that they asked (and got!) an 'English patch' for the game, so they could play the game in its original version.

If a company feel they must release a localized version, then let them start working on it earlier in the game's development. If they still can't finish it in time, why not release the English/American version first in that country/region and sell the localized version later (some people might even buy both versions)?

The real reasons are more likely to be marketing related. Publishers want to release games in time for the local holiday season, so they can maximize their profits. Or maybe it's just indifference, selling games seems no different to some of them than selling auto parts.
The game developers are responsible as well. They're the ones who make the deals with the publishers and distributors. Why not put somthing about global release dates in the contract?

There is hope though, some companies seem to coordinate their release dates a lot better than others. Sierra's European release of EE was only 2 weeks after the US release. Surely, ES & MS can do just as well or even better.

So please, ES & MS, stop this discrimination against non-Americans and release AoM across the world within the same week.

posted 30 January 2002 10:42 AM EDT (US)     1 / 22       
Yeah, you're right.

Nothing more to say.

Where's paradise?...............AoM is....In war there're only loosers!
Paradise is in your heart - ..gonna come! Love is the soul's blood!
open your heart and you'll be in paradise!..There's no uncertainty, there's only hope!
What's the difference between a raven?...What's yellow and hangs in a tree?
Nothing...its legs are both equal, all about the right one!...=> A blue couch!
Real may say he leaves...but be sure, he'll come back!
HG Alumnus
(id: Smileyshelper)
posted 30 January 2002 12:00 PM EDT (US)     2 / 22       
agreed, though there will always be at least SOME difference, lets at least try to keep it under a month

It's like watching a flock of clown-like apes trying to navigate a ship, even though the ship has in fact been stranded on some kind of reef for about 7 years and none of the apes have noticed it yet. -Drahnier on OD moderation.
posted 30 January 2002 01:04 PM EDT (US)     3 / 22       
if you give me the money, i'll buy you one and ship it to you. I'd be in English and you'd have to pay shipping and handling.

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
posted 30 January 2002 02:00 PM EDT (US)     4 / 22       
Agreed, I really hope I'll see the game soon after the release.

The Last Knight
Grasshoppers are cheap, nutritious, tasety,Kosher and easy to dissect
posted 30 January 2002 02:14 PM EDT (US)     5 / 22       
I live also in Flanders!!!!
You're right!
Dutch version of AOM? Nah, English is more "original".
My friend have AOK in French.

posted 30 January 2002 02:17 PM EDT (US)     6 / 22       
100% agree. When AoK came out, I paid over $70 to get my copy shipped by courier, and is still arrived late anyways .


posted 30 January 2002 02:22 PM EDT (US)     7 / 22       
alrighty, but you might want to remind me AoM comes out, or maybe i'll just preorder about 6 of em

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
posted 30 January 2002 02:49 PM EDT (US)     8 / 22       
Thanks for the support guys. I hope game developers and publishing companies will take notice and start thinking more in terms of global game communities and less in terms of national markets (something tells me I might have to wait a few decades until that happens).
dd, it looks you're gonna have to start your own online shop

[This message has been edited by Stormboy (edited 01-30-2002 @ 03:03 PM).]

posted 30 January 2002 03:30 PM EDT (US)     9 / 22       
All this time I thought Flanders was in northern France

"It may come as a shock to you . . . You can have fun and be serious all at the same time."
Kaziglu Bey
posted 30 January 2002 04:11 PM EDT (US)     10 / 22       
I agree, especially with that having localised versions of games is not always a good thing. Personally I don't by them if I can help it and look hard for the international release instead. With some games you get additional problems when finding patch updates for localised versions, and more often then not the translated manuals are of poor quality.

[This message has been edited by Kaziglu Bey (edited 01-30-2002 @ 04:18 PM).]

posted 30 January 2002 04:12 PM EDT (US)     11 / 22       
sometimes the reaosn is, that they want to see how sales are, and only ship teh game worldwide, if sales are good enough.


What can i do now ?
posted 30 January 2002 04:26 PM EDT (US)     12 / 22       
If they did a simultaneous worldwide release, they'd have to delay it being released in the US by many months. I am 100% against this plea.
posted 30 January 2002 04:52 PM EDT (US)     13 / 22       
PseudoKnight, there's no reason why selling the US version of the game across the world would have any impact on the US release date. The CD's are produced and packaged locally (e.g. the English language version of AoC for Europe was produced in Ireland), all they need to do is transmit the CD image and the manual files. The rest is a matter of organization and coordination in the local production centers. The main problem is making sure there's enough production capacity at the right time in the right places.
The solution is speeding up the production and distribution across the world, not delaying anything in the US.

[This message has been edited by Stormboy (edited 01-30-2002 @ 05:45 PM).]

posted 30 January 2002 05:21 PM EDT (US)     14 / 22       
Even though it doesn't affect me, i agree.

God Bless America.

I am the state.

posted 30 January 2002 05:40 PM EDT (US)     15 / 22       
Does not apply to me but...
I agree to an extent.
posted 30 January 2002 07:39 PM EDT (US)     16 / 22       
Im in the USA, I dont care when other people get it! Just give me my game!!! Heh, less competition for teh time being! HAHA!!!

No I'm just kidding, I agree, I would be terribly dissapointed if I lived in Mexico...


posted 30 January 2002 08:53 PM EDT (US)     17 / 22       
I agree with all you guys...
lets send a petition to ES for a simultaneous realease...

i mean... how will we feel when we enter the forums in september and people r all talking about the best way to counter the anubite rush and we haven't even finished downloading the demo version....?

posted 30 January 2002 08:57 PM EDT (US)     18 / 22       
The problem is that the companies responsable for distribution in our countries always want to do something else... here in Brasil for exemple we had to wait a while to get aok because they were translating the manual...
if we have the game in english why the hell would we need a translated manual!?
posted 31 January 2002 00:41 AM EDT (US)     19 / 22       
i used to live in india. AOC came out 3 months ago. i got it from my cousin in new yorkim in canada now. is the release date same for us and here??????

Id challenge you to a battle of wits; but u appear to be unarmed
posted 31 January 2002 04:09 AM EDT (US)     20 / 22       
I am hoping they will have the sense to release AoM in Australia at the same time as the US.

If you're like me, then it's possible you're a clone generated from my stolen DNA. I suggest you turn yourself in for destruction immediately.
Thors Hammer
posted 31 January 2002 10:36 AM EDT (US)     21 / 22       
I totally agree...

It always sucks when you see info and things that the developers intended to be a surprise, popping up on forums and websites.
And you want it so badly and have the money for, but have to wait because you can't get it anywhere...

HG Alumnus
posted 31 January 2002 12:59 PM EDT (US)     22 / 22       
I got AoK on vacation in Austrailia, that way i got it approx 2 weeks before it was ehre at home. I got my father to purchase TC when he was in the US for buisness just after it had come out.

EE's worldwide realease was terrible unsucessful. It came out the 13th of Nov in the US. I had to wait until the 30th of Nov just to be able to order it online (nationally); to the 5th of December to have it in my local store!

This isn't even the worst though. As for Zeus; Master of Olympos, the xpack wasn't even released in my language - the only one of the translations that didn't got it. I gave up Zeus after that. I dunno, perhaps it has been released now, I don't care.

So I'm 100% for a worldwide release. And with worldwide, I mean that if it is in US stores on monday, it should be availible all over the world by Friday. (perhaps with the exception of small towns in developing countries etc)

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