Author Topic: Intended Business Plan?  (Read 2448 times)

Offline Pelagoth

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Intended Business Plan?
« on: September 20, 2016, 07:23:43 AM »
I've had this on my mind for quite a long time and the constant incomprehensible incompetence shown by our current CM only confirms it more and more for me:

Yodo1 bought the game with the Intention of making it great and increasing playerbase. This was an easy observation based on their highly active responses and close contact to the community. Let's not joke. They did pump out a patch every week or atleast informed us very well of upcoming stuff. Hotfixes also were done almost immediately as far as I remember. So all in all, they actually made the impression of trying hard.

So what happened? My Interpretation is that they thought the playerbase didn't grow fast/large enough. There wasn't enough income to cover all the development, server & other costs. So they had to cut short on some stuff and generally felt like it wasn't worth investing all the workload into the game anymore, which is why everything slowed down. Meanwhile I've seen games like "Rodeo Run" getting released and having much more marketing than this game. Since Crestmoor is the CEO, who is actively developing this game aswell, I believe the team isn't big enough to say "yeah, well they have an entire different Department for mobile games". They never tried TCGs before, so they must've taken their resources from somewhere (mobile app developers). Most of those mobile app developers are probably back at it on mobile app development, leaving IW with a lot less resources than what they initially fired into it. Why RikkiTikki left could have multiple reasons: costed too much, didn't like their business plan or actually wanted to take a UI course (like announced).

DrewUniverse who had been one of the most respected and dedicated players at that time (with all his tournament planning) and even having some people mention him as deserved Player of the year 2016. It almost seemed like Yodo1/LM thought "Okay, we need a CM that represents a possitive Aura to the community. So we will make one of the most respected players a CM to possitively disguise the future of IW for a Little longer".

Now. Was it a coincidence that shortly after Drew's arrival we have found These Ultra-Valuable and discounted DLCs? I'll let you in on the math again that Ori and I have estimated: Martyr Golem DLC had a value of approx. $140. The sale had it at $30 (26€). This is an UNREALISTIC high value. Especially for a card game. Calamity pack was similar in that manner.

So I ask again. Was the super-valuable DLC release a coincidence? I don't believe that anymore. Let's see the Symptoms of the game at the time of the DLC release:
* Lack of communication
* Lack of marketing
* Lack of Patches
* Lack of consistency

Yet they decided to make a super good promotional DLC release? If any other game does this, they do it with the intention to either get out as much money as possible or to increase the playerbase. If they go with the latter strategy, then they are willing to also dedicate themselves to development. There has not been much more development after the DLCs. This was shortly after the game has relaunched by the way. Why was there no marketing for the DLCs? Marketing costs money, expectations for new players joining were low, thus not worth invested. So existing players were lured into awesome deals.

Another fun fact about this whole promotion was the lack of professionality. Zekses and I have both noticed this and it is now more disturbing to me than it was at the time. Such a deal is usually well planned and get's reviewed by a lot of leading positions in most serious companies. After all, they are expecting to make Money with it. So their typo of "100%" Booster with the Intention of "50%" Booster is more than disturbing, since it's not even a typo. If they wrote "1000%" instead of "100%" I woulda been like "mmmh okay, an extra Zero happens to me aswell sometimes". They INTENTIONALLY wrote those numbers. So either it was a lazy mistake to copy paste (which means that noone else reviewed it before uploading) or they had luring intentions.

After this occurred, they ninja edited and didn't even feel the need to inform anyone. Again, was this intended? Any other gaming publisher I know, would've immediately announced this as error and most would've done a compensation. Sure, we got compensated in the end (like what? 2 months later?), but the fact that we had to ENFORCE this proved the lack of dedication they invest(ed) into IW.

So what about the new CM? Well... we all know about his state. Empty promises, delayed weekly posts and missed deadlines, cancelled tournaments, missing in action very often, entire lack of communication etc...
Is it his fault that he is bad at the Job or is there a deeper meaning to it? I am still unsure of this. Drew might be that incompetent, but I don't remember him as such since before he was a CM. He was highly dedicated and even pushed others to meet their deadlines. I am starting to feel that there is a ton of BS going on backstage that is either demotivating Drew or simply handcuffing him. Since the new mods already gave us some insight about how they convinced Crestmoor of enforcing something, I might really believe that Drew is a Problem in itself, but that still leaves one question open:

What is the actual Business plan?

Crestmoor used to post a lot on the Forums in the beginning. Often even engaged new discussions. Now I never really see him reply anymore and there are no other from the Team responding (Chappie for example, even if it was only copy pasta). Instead we now have a Balance/Mod Team that acts this way. Free non-paid volunteer employees basically. Why? Easy, they don't cost money and again are supposed to carry the casket of game for a bit longer (cause ya know, it's kinda dead, but not really yet), probably til the Rebellion Release.

Q: Why the Rebellion release?
A: Isn't it obvious? After the DLC Releases, this is like the next and probably last big money bag they can expect from IW. So they will try to milk the dead cow for as long as possible with as little money investment as possible.

In German we have a term for that: Minimalprinzip. Achieving a certain goal with the least amount of resources available.

The real question is: Why would they release a new card set when the game is in dire need of many other more vital functionalities? Such as a proper trading system or a rehauled ranked system. The answer is simple. Only a new card set will get them some extra cash.

Conclusion/tldr: Yodo1 partnered with high expactations of income, but those expectations weren't met. They cut resources and decreased costs to as little as possible, whilst trying to keep a face (by hiring respected players as cm/volunteers). They release occassional awesome deals (the DLCs) and a new card set to get the last bit of money out of the dead cow instead of fixing the game (which gets them no money).

Offline Adorabear

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 07:47:30 AM »
I suspect that you might be spot on or quite close on a lot of that. However there are a couple pieces of evidence against the idea that the current business strategy is that of a cash grab.

- Continued investment, tasking several employees on the Rebellion set
- Continued investment, in the form of Drew. Despite his erm... performance, it remains a fact that Yodomare considers it worth their money to continue paying him to 'manage' our community.
- Continued investment, in the form of marketing videos. Sure its super lulsy but once again shows that they are investing in the game.

In short what im saying is, however mis-spent and wasted the money may be, they ARE spending money attempting to grow the game.

However I do think it is vital to the game the Rebellion set works. If Rebellion set is a flop I think that might be it for Infinity Wars as we know it. Which is why im volunteering my time in the 'new council' to lend balance advice to the devs on card design.

I genuinely want to see IW succeed, and believe its success hinges apon 2 things...
A quality new set of cards to breath life and fun into the meta
A better approach to communication to breath life and confidence into the community.

If Yodomare is able to score goals in those 2 areas, then I believe the positive word of mouth marketing will grow IW and revive the salt blasted hopes of many.
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Offline Pelagoth

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 07:59:12 AM »
I suspect that you might be spot on or quite close on a lot of that. However there are a couple pieces of evidence against the idea that the current business strategy is that of a cash grab.

- Continued investment, tasking several employees on the Rebellion set
- Continued investment, in the form of Drew. Despite his erm... performance, it remains a fact that Yodomare considers it worth their money to continue paying him to 'manage' our community.
- Continued investment, in the form of marketing videos. Sure its super lulsy but once again shows that they are investing in the game.

In short what im saying is, however mis-spent and wasted the money may be, they ARE spending money attempting to grow the game.
In German we have a term for that: Minimalprinzip. Achieving a certain goal with the least amount of resources available.
The Marketing ad was a joke and probably costed close to nothing I imagine.
Drew is also probably being underpaid (well with his current workload more like overpaid).
I'm not sure how many developers are developing cards atm. 4-5? Ian, Crest, the Artist, maybe a co-worker?
Also I remember to read somewhere that LM is also a School and has students to some degree? So maybe those also help coding for nothing.

Then again, they are ONLY really invested in new card design, because that is the only thing that generates some amount of money. This can be used as a pro or con arguement tbh.

Offline JHOW4864

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 08:34:58 AM »
In my opinion they are more bothered about the student scheme than anything else and that is the main reason for most of this. They want to be a good school for students because they either are already being subsidized or that is one of the goals of the business plan. It could be a blessing or a curse, but right now it seems like a curse if that is their plan.

Drew is just a scapegoat, a punch bag, there to take all the punches and roll with them, its not him its the people hes working for, hes got nothing to report to us, because they don't do much outside of the student program unless forced into it by the community. Thats the way it seemed towards the last few months of teremus' tenure also.

I also think its a joke that drew was made CM in the first place, nothing against the guy but he was here for like a month or two before he was made CM, and yes he was an instant hit and popular quickly, but i could think of a lot of other players who are more experienced with the game and more deserving of that title.

Offline Qfasa

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 11:28:22 AM »
IMO, Yodo didn't expect it would be THAT hard to help this game to be popular. As everyone else who sees the game in the first time, it is quite easy to be sure that IW already has everything it needs to be the greatest digital TCG ever, and only needs a little help here and there to blow up the market. So, they decided to invest their time and money.

And few months later the reality of the situation is that their money and efforts aren't enough to fix all issues. And now they slowly step away from this project. Same did most of the players. Same did Fabrika although they were actually ruined by this mistake.

I never believed in any bad intentions from LM or Yodo about the game. But in my opinion at this point IW is one of the greatest traps for investment, because at first glance it's so great, but then everyone realease that this project is beyond any help. IW should be bought by someone huge, who is able to restart everything from the square one, keeping only the overall idea of what makes this game great.

As for Drew... I wasn't around lately, don't know what he did or didn't, but I think at this point IW is also a trap for CMs. With all the issues that can't be controlled by CM he is still the one who will be blamed every time, because he is "the face" of the company, that already doesn't give Puffy about the project. And as far as I can understand, LM's bureaucracy is simply stupidly restrictive and turns CM's job in to hell.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 11:29:59 AM by Qfasa »
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Offline TheRealTuna

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 12:50:38 PM »
What will ultimately kill this game is a continued lack of transparency.

We have all been saying this. It's not new. This issue was prevalent when I started playing during Ascension, and I would bet anything that it was an issue back when the game first started.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the importance of an open line of communication between developers and players, especially when we're talking about a smaller-scale company.

The sad reality is that we, the players (and former players), will never receive an appropriate level of communication from this company. If they haven't fixed this problem by now, it's never getting fixed, and it is wasteful of our hope and time to continue to believe that it will be.

When I raised this issue back when Teremus was CM, he reported back to us that developers are not necessarily comfortable with communicating with the player base. Well, that's crap, and I've always thought so. Your game is dying. Your players are losing faith in you. And you are too scared to type a few words on a damn keyboard to save your game? Granted it is not necessarily in their job description to do this, but if the Coyle isn't present, if Crestmoor isn't present, if our CM isn't present, then why not log in to the forums for 5 seconds and respond to a post saying, "Hey, cool idea! We'll definitely think about this for our next set of cards!"

Sorry to break it to you guys, but the people running this game are not waking up, ever. If they haven't gotten the point by now that we need some line of real communication to maintain our trust, then they never will.

Devs / CEO / CM / etc, if you guys are reading this, I want to make something clear: this is the position of, very likely, your #1 monetary investor, at least from a player base standpoint. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on this game. I spent money on this game because I believed in the game. But that belief has long since been shattered, and it is entirely your lack of transparency and common sense that caused this.

If you aren't going to listen to the vast majority of your player base, listen now to the kind of person who you are trying to rope in and keep in.

If you want me to return to this game -- if you want to have even a glimmer of hope that I start playing / investing in this mess of a game again -- the following people need to post in this thread and provide some degree of assurance about what is in store for the future of this game...or hell, just to let us know you're still even watching this forum:

Elphie Coyle
Crestmoor
DrewUniverse


I won't hold my breath, and neither should any of my fellow players.


In the interim, anyone want to buy a huge collection of digital garbage for $5,000 or so? No? Yeah I didn't think so!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 12:53:11 PM by TheRealTuna »

Offline JHOW4864

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 01:04:16 PM »
What will ultimately kill this game is a continued lack of transparency.

We have all been saying this. It's not new. This issue was prevalent when I started playing during Ascension, and I would bet anything that it was an issue back when the game first started.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the importance of an open line of communication between developers and players, especially when we're talking about a smaller-scale company.

The sad reality is that we, the players (and former players), will never receive an appropriate level of communication from this company. If they haven't fixed this problem by now, it's never getting fixed, and it is wasteful of our hope and time to continue to believe that it will be.

When I raised this issue back when Teremus was CM, he reported back to us that developers are not necessarily comfortable with communicating with the player base. Well, that's crap, and I've always thought so. Your game is dying. Your players are losing faith in you. And you are too scared to type a few words on a damn keyboard to save your game? Granted it is not necessarily in their job description to do this, but if the Coyle isn't present, if Crestmoor isn't present, if our CM isn't present, then why not log in to the forums for 5 seconds and respond to a post saying, "Hey, cool idea! We'll definitely think about this for our next set of cards!"

Sorry to break it to you guys, but the people running this game are not waking up, ever. If they haven't gotten the point by now that we need some line of real communication to maintain our trust, then they never will.

Devs / CEO / CM / etc, if you guys are reading this, I want to make something clear: this is the position of, very likely, your #1 monetary investor, at least from a player base standpoint. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on this game. I spent money on this game because I believed in the game. But that belief has long since been shattered, and it is entirely your lack of transparency and common sense that caused this.

If you aren't going to listen to the vast majority of your player base, listen now to the kind of person who you are trying to rope in and keep in.

If you want me to return to this game -- if you want to have even a glimmer of hope that I start playing / investing in this mess of a game again -- the following people need to post in this thread and provide some degree of assurance about what is in store for the future of this game...or hell, just to let us know you're still even watching this forum:

Elphie Coyle
Crestmoor
DrewUniverse


I won't hold my breath, and neither should any of my fellow players.


In the interim, anyone want to buy a huge collection of digital garbage for $5,000 or so? No? Yeah I didn't think so!

I agree with this wholeheartedly, as i have also spent what i would consider alot of money, not near what you have spent but i have spent about £300-400 and i would consider that a lot to be spending on a game.

Would love to see them reply i too am not holding my breath though.

Regarding the business plan again, it just doesn't make any sense to me the lack of work that gets done. They might be near amateurs and that might be harsh on them, i dont know, but what i know is either way its not good enough. Then my mind starts wondering to why isn't enough being done? The answer is because they are focusing on students. Then that raises the question...Why are they mainly focusing on students and not the game in which has been stale for like nearly 2 years, and in which people have spent thousands? The answer is they are either committed to getting subsidies for students, or they already are subsidized hence why that seems to be their main priority. A business plan like that is all that would make sense to me.

Offline JHOW4864

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 01:54:01 PM »
Just remembered something similar to the false advertisement of the boosters aswell....

When they released the star trek pre orders the premise that i was under the impression of was that you pay for EVERY SINGLE Star Trek card in plat, then about a month or two later i came across somebody who had a star trek card called "type-8 shuttle" or something along those lines, it wasn't a card that i was ever aware of and i supposedly should have owned a plat of EVERY star trek card. I messaged one of the sort of mods at the time (schumi) and she asked who it was who had it and said it was one that wasn't actually released but was planned to be. I wasn't satisfied so i messaged elphie directly and his response was "ummm...its part of the star trek set"...That always annoyed me that, i get the feeling they underhand released a hidden card or two in the non plat packs only. I was under the understanding i payed for EVERY star trek card in plat. Quite scummy if you ask me.

Offline Benionin

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 03:15:58 PM »
The Star Trek card at least was a bug that was never supposed to be available to the players. Coyle saying "um, it's part of the Star Trek set" was probably a result of him not paying close enough attention to the details of his game.
Another card that was released accidentally with Star Trek was "Starfleet Scientist"--I remember getting a copy of that one. LM ended up taking the unreleased cards away and replace them with something else. So when you paid for the Star Trek Phase 1 pack, you got every single card that was supposed to be released, as you thought. Nothing "scummy" about that.
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Offline Chapmandu

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2016, 03:48:20 PM »
What will ultimately kill this game is a continued lack of transparency.

Transparency is great providing you don't mind people seeing what your are doing. I suspect that if we all knew what was going on (or not going on) at Lightmare/Yodo1, we'd be less impressed that we are now.
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Offline NTL

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 04:04:20 PM »
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt."

Offline mew28

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2016, 07:17:17 PM »
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt."
Or you can speak out loud and prove to everyone you actually know what your doing.

Offline MerliniX

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 07:18:27 PM »
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt."
Or you can speak out loud and prove to everyone you actually know what your doing.

Pretty sure that isn't an actual option in this instance.

Offline ORISOLVE

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 08:03:23 PM »
I agree with what many of you have said, as it seems likely to be true based on speculation.

An employee displaying Drew's level of incompetence would have been fired instantly from most companies. But if he is the "Punching Bag" then it explains why he is still on the team. I do feel bad for Drew, if this is the case. Although some things just don't add up, and his actions have not helped his case either in relations to certain members of the community. Let's just say as much as I like Drew and his Tournaments, he would not have been my first choice for a player CM.

There are other small details that have left me concerned. Such as the initial release of the DLC was 40% off as a REBORN SPECIAL OFFER. Spectacular deal that was then extended by like 2 months for no apparent reason other than "Developer Generosity". Then 1 month or so after that, DLC was on sale again, but this time for 50% off, even more than the REBORN SPECIAL OFFER. Then Drew claimed he himself personally messed up communication with the Steam DLC advertisement of the IP/XP Boosts. Most people eventually got refunded, but it does seem odd that something that should have been professionally done with 0 errors/mistakes came out half assed. You are selling a product, the product should not have been misrepresented in any way. Perhaps this is as symptom of another communication error between the internal affairs of LM/Yodo1, leaving Drew to be the scapegoat.

What Yodo1 didn't know coming into the Steam TCG business was probably that this is much different than Mobile games. Mobile games net revenue quite fast due to the ease of access and simplicity, which is quite different than a Steam Store TCG. This is why I keep trying to convince the Developers to remove the Sleepers and move IW into the Mobile Applications as soon as possible. The Steam TCG business is something I assume they have almost no experience in. I personally don't know what Yodo1 has invested or owns how much of Infinity Wars, but I assume it is a substantial amount due to the initial push of the game's success. Perhaps they were sold on the idea of Infinity Wars, a great game that has the potential of rivaling Hearthstone and even MTG. However, this was not the case due to the endless bugs they continued to encounter, even after the Desync Trap. After realization that the money they have poured into the game would not be easily returned, they decided to "milk the cow" for as much as they can with the DLC's. If I were in Yodo1's position I would have done the same thing, I'm not in the business of losing money in investments.

Now onto the Rebellion set, another quick cash grab. However, they initially thought the players were complete idiots and would pay money for any new cards that came out. Little did they know, this is a fkin strategy game, and the players are not the same idiots that watch "The Kardashians" or play "Call of Duty" for entertainment. The Wave 1 release was almost a complete disaster, but since they were still hopeful they listened to player feedback and did the best they could to alleviate player problems with the new cards. Wave 1 wasn't a complete failure, packs still sold and they made some money. But now Wave 2, released, a complete disaster. Players didn't purchase any Wave 2 packs, and they made almost no money whatsoever.

We can further see evidence of cash grab based on the value of "ES's Decks" and the DLC that came with it. Another failed attempt that did not make even an ounce of the money the initial DLC made. Where are the Alt. Art Guns of Goliath?

So what can the developers do now to improve the game with as little resources as possible? What would Orisolve do? Well here's what I'd do, hire a team of Community Moderators who are not paid. We already hired DrewUniverse a previously player, why not even more players. This is actually a very strategic move on their part. First, they are free volunteers and also they work for free. Did you notice the FREE part? These are players whom are excited to improve the game without any inside details on the internal affairs of LM. Is it true that these Community Moderators will improve the game? Yes of course, development has not been completely halted yet and it still continues, but perhaps at a slower pace and less resources. Community Moderators can relate to the community and improve relations between the players and the Developers. It will take time, but yes I do see the Community Moderators (Hacker, LargeNuggets, ES) improving the game further down the line.

I have reason to believe that the subsidized "Student Educational Programs" at Lightmare no longer exist. Coyle has stated in previous interviews that the students had to pay a wage. I don't think the community reviews of their games have improved their relations to the Australian community and eager students. Why else would Yodo1 intervene if Lightmare as a company were successful making enough money to pay their own salaries and slowly update a game. Well it is possible for LM to still be running the Student Programs, and insisted that Yodo1 help improve Infinity Wars, while their attention is with the students. So as a business LM is a failure, but as a company they are doing quite well if they can earn enough money to pay their own wages.

As for Crestmoor no longer spending time on the forums, it is a possibility that he left and has more important things to do. Another possibility is that he monitors the forums silently. The community have their pitchforks ready and it would not be wise for someone in his position to respond in anyway whatsoever. That is what the 3 new Community Moderators are for and DrewUniverse. He probably understands the community's frustration and anger with the current state of the game, and appearing now would not be helpful at all especially when you have no answers to why certain things are bugged and not fixed.

I don't need to have data to know that players aren't spending money on the game. I can read the trade chat, I can feel it in the air. TheRealTuna is probably your #1 monetary investor and even he isn't spending money on the game. Let's hope that Rebellion will change that along with ES's Balance Team (Splitter Robot better be nerfed to my demands, or I'll know your Balance Team is rigged). Will players ever spend money on the game again? Perhaps, but probably not for another year from now, which is quite long. But since most of the vets are angry and frustrated, new player retention is the most important issue right now. But you guys are clearly fkin up at that level too, probably worse than what you have done to the vets. The Campaign currently doesn't even work...

So overall, I feel like LM as a business has failed and will continue to fail. But as a company they are making enough money to feed their families and enjoy life, which is a success. Yodo1 probably didn't lose much in their investment on Infinity Wars. The only real losers in this whole situation are the players who love and enjoy the game. But hopefully, Infinity Wars will change for the better a year from now. :'(


« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 08:15:58 PM by ORISOLVE »
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Offline ORISOLVE

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Re: Intended Business Plan?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 08:25:14 PM »
Edit: As you all know I have been monitoring an active player list, and there seems to be a slight increase in newer players, so Lightmare/Yodo1 is probably doing something right on the advertising front.

I do however find it ironic that these new players are the same people that ask "Is anyone online?" ;D
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 08:31:10 PM by ORISOLVE »
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