First, we respect the time, energy and passion the community has put into their opinions regarding the promotion that ran this weekend on Atari.com, offering 60-days of free play.
Like many companies, we are actively trying to sell games we are very proud of in an extremely competitive marketplace and we are always testing new ways to get more people using our products. The weekend promotion at Atari.com was one of those experiments. In the case of a game like Star Trek, we believe a larger number of players is a benefit to the entire community.
We will continue to look at the best ways to add new users to our game in a competitive marketplace while keeping our current players happy. Your feedback – good, bad and ugly – is extremely helpful and appreciated.
We won’t always get it right, but we’re always trying to do the right thing by you.
We do apologize and we appreciate your patience as we continue to do our best to make Star Trek Online the best game possible.
Glad you guys finally made an official statement. Kind of hard to believe you couldnt anticipate the response, but it at least it seems the message got through. I think the main problem was that you did it so SOON after launch. If this was 6 months from now it would have been completely different. Anyway. Now that that is said, how about a response to this?
Great to finally see a post about this. The forums have been going mad over the offer.
People have been split by this. But its fair to say that the vast majority of users already playing the game were seriously upset by the offer. After paying for the game, only 20-odd days later having an offer coming along that offers not only the game at a discounted price but also offering an extra 60 days of free play time came as quite a quick in the teeth.
It was not the best of ways to please the current user base. While its understandable that you want to increase your userbase it seemed like you were tossing aside those users you already had. Sort of a "We've got your money, we don't care about you" sort of thing.
The games market is competitive but there had got to be better ways to increase your sales than this offer. Or hell, at least wait a few months before making the offer. Give those users who had paid full price and were just paying their first subscription fees a chance to play the game before getting the kick in the teeth of an offer like this.
I live in the UK, I see offers made on new PC games at release all the time, but for an MMO, this had to be the worst. If you wanted to do an offer, then put the game out with some other exclusive item, like the pre-order items, send out batches with special edition cases. Don't reduce it and offer such a large free period so close to the release date.
I guess my confusion is a over a few things at this point.
I saw an apology in this response to the community. What is it you're apologizing for, exactly?
For experimenting with different ways to boost the player base?
For taking almost 4 days to reply to a lot of curious players who are confused to the reasoning Atari is showing as an attempt to expand subscriptions?
For this experiment being an obvious botched gimmick this early in the game's lifespan to a good amount of players who feel a little slighted?
How was the feedback helpful, exactly?
Does it mean there are perks incoming for those early adopters who stick with you through thick and thin?
Does the reflection of the feedback - the good, bad, and ugly - and any actions to appease the current player base apply to this current Atari misstep, or is it something they'll just consider in the future?
Do you, at Cryptic, feel Atari did not do the right thing by the existing players with this 'experiment'? Do you plan to share some ideas on how you'll be 'doing the right thing' at some point in the near future?
Don't get me wrong; I'm glad you've finally made some sort of communication after some days of letting the forums whip up in a frenzy, just maybe I'm not gettin-- wait, whoa. Not going there.
I don't think anyone could have an issue with you being competitive in trying to get subscriptions to this game. I suppose I'm just at a loss as to how Atari pulled the trigger on this tactic without thinking there would be some sort of ill feelings by some in the community.
No doubt there are many who have no issue with this PR fisaco and couldn't possibly care less, but those that do would love to hear you expand on what you touched upon with this general, and unfortunately vague, community announcement.
They took my advice and reiterated what Steve Jobs said!
:“Even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone, and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price.”