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April 15th, 2007, 00:42
I can sympathise with your point, Alrik. However, English is inescapably the language of the web. Communicating in German (or Chinese, or whatever) limits your audience while communicating in English will be widely understood, even by Germans and some Chinese.

I can understand it may not be their preference — or your preference — but it is practical. This is one (small) part of the puzzle as to why Gothic is a quaint niche German game that few outside of Germany or a rabid fanbase care about, even though it is a small thing they can address.

Have a look at Silverfall. I would hazard a guess that it outsold Gothic in this same timeframe in NA (that's just a guess - I have no data) but the Silverfall devs (and Atari, obviously) went to lengths to build bridges with the English community. It's just a mediocre action game but they built quite a big profile. Same for The Witcher. Both use (ex- BioWare) Tom Ohle for PR. I hear from Tom at least twice a month on something or other.

Who represented PB / Gothic in the English market? How often did they communicate with us (answer: I've never heard from them. I bet Gorath had, but I also bet not as often as I hear from Tom).

Simple question: do you want them to make some cultural point or sell games?

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April 15th, 2007, 01:42
Dhruin expressed it extremely well Alrik. The reality is English is the major language of the world. It has NOTHING to do with culture, but everything to do with communication!! Marketing is all about communicating and PB don't do it well!! Remember, I love and support the Gothic series; I'm on their side!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 15th, 2007, 02:58
I seem to remember that Aspyr's Blaine Christine(?) did quite a lot of the English PR. I also seem to remember that Mike (txa1265) mentioned getting pretty regular updates on the status of Gothic III (pre-release that is). Now it would be interesting to know how regular .

As far as PB are concerned, we do not know whether the contract with Aspyr even allows them so say a single word without Aspyr's approval. Though I'm fairly sure that -realistically- even a carte blanche wouldn't change all that much . They (PB) probably just don't consider international PR as their job but as JoWood's/Aspyr's thing.

BTW, the major reason that they are so open in their communication with the German community at all is the fact that they won that community relations award at the same big awards show where they also scored the price for best German RPG (or even game?) or some title like that. They said that they were proud of that community award and in order to live up to their good rep, they wanted to pay attention to communicating with the fans more regularly. And that's what they are indeed doing now…
Well, umm… maybe RPGWatch should award them "best English community relations" and see what happens .

Besides, while KaiRo is pretty good at communicating (in German and English), I don't think you really want some of the other folks (no names… for now at least ) from PB to even attempt to communicate in English since even their German is barely comprehensible sometimes.
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April 15th, 2007, 03:07
Ah Mo, we need you back on staff to handle all these things!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 15th, 2007, 03:12
I have heard nothing from Aspyr since the release of the patch for the game. But I haven't asked, either …

— Mike
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April 15th, 2007, 03:53
Blaine was nowhere near as proactive as Tom Ohle - not even close. In all fairness, Tom is probably as good as it gets so perhaps that comparison is unfair, but still…if you want to build a stronger English audience…

Perhaps Aspyr / JoWood did gag PB…I still don't think that changes my perspective that communication for Gothic rates about a 2/10 on a scale of best practice. It goes well beyond KaiRo, who I'm sure tries hard. A good PR system can notify sites of new media, write an IGN blog, send out patch updates - things that build a connection and keep Gothic in gamers' minds - and a PR guy can do that fine. He doesn't need to be a developer.

*shrug* I'm not the one who might have lost propective sales. If they're satisfied with the <200k sales they'll get from the combined English sales of the expansion, that's their call. Glad I don't own shares, though.

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April 15th, 2007, 06:10
Yup Gothic PR has been bad from a stand point of global coverage, it's why Gothic can't get a fair shake in the English speaking countries.

It's certianly not the gamers fault of any language or culture, most gamers reguardless of culture are chomping at the bit to get a good RPG like Gothic, but jowood keeps kicking Gothic in the private parts with there publishing style (or lack there of).

I would have to agree and disagree with you, I would say that English has been unfairly forced on the world where it was not an inherent language, very much like Windows has forced itself on the world, but it's also a much closer and better (in many cases) world because of it, as an example many countries and cultures would not have access to the web if it wasnt for the English speaking cultures.
Does this mean it's a perfect world or that it couldn't be much better? Of course not.

The only people whom don't want progress are people that are currently profiting at the expense of progress, for all.

You seem to think that knowing or having a first language other than English is a bad thing. you dont seem to realise how lucky you are, many people in English speaking countries are at a disadvantage compared to you.

Through the arrogance of our leaders, in English speaking cultures we were taught only English out of some deluded patriotic fundimentalism (DPF).
That same DPF forced English on you as a second language has now given you a major advantange, as being multicultural not only gives you instant advantages in getting better jobs but also at Any social level.

Maybe it's a choice to how you look at it or use it.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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April 15th, 2007, 06:21
Mike and I had contact to several guys at Aspyr before the release. They gave us quite a lot of infos and tried to help whereever possible. I think theyīve treated us well.
How good their buzz building was outside of our site(s) is hard to say. They certainly did more than all international Gothic publishers before them combined, but this doesnīt mean all that much. G3 surely was no hit internationally, but what was the reason, crappy marketing or the buggy state of the game?

The marketing and PR work in the German market is of course on a completely different level. Koch Media / Deep Silver is doing a great job spreading the word, with the help of PB and JoWooD. Due to the special situation of the Gothic franchise itīs not the typical "publisher talks, the rest STFU!" situation, but generally speaking thereīs a lot of communication and most of it is under control.

It seems PB considers PR the publisherīs job. Which is quite normal IMHO because itī spart of the publisherīs core competence. But is such a situation desireable for a developer who is doing more than contract work?
What I donīt understand is why they donīt hire a full time PR monkey & community manager who is fluent in 3 languages? It would seem to me a natural measure to protect a rather valuable IP and maintain a little independence from the publisher. If you consider how much work he can take off the devsī shoulders and what he could do to sharpen the company profile itīs simply a no-brainer.
Ascaron for example has at least 2 community managers - and they had to suffer a lot before Sacred was playable.
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April 15th, 2007, 07:59
I think most of us agree with you Gorath. Why are some devs so blind? It's the same with my pet peeve of NESB devs who don't hire a competant native English speaker to check through the English translation and fix up the fundamental errors of syntax and grammar. I'm sure the people translating an english game to a different language would do that!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 15th, 2007, 09:07
Yes, I knew Aspyr was in contact with you and Mike - I wasn't trying to suggest they didn't support us but I still don't think they were as proactive as others. I think we agree on the same main point: good community managers are worth the price.

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April 15th, 2007, 16:40
I know personally if I were developing a game and contracted with a large publisher, I would expect them to take up the torch regarding PR and leave me alone to concentrate on building a fun stable game. I therefore think that the bad marketing is mostly the fault of the publisher. Nevertheless, I think that Gorath and Corwin have valid points - it would have been smart for PB to add someone else to the team just to market the game. Let's face it, some people are brilliant in many areas, but completely lack business sense. We all know that the personalities of the people making up any business are largely what makes or breaks the company. I'm not saying that's exactly what happened here, but it could be a contributing factor.

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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April 16th, 2007, 01:46
I seem to recall them saying it was English and none of them felt comforatble enough with it to go on forums.
At the very least offering some emailed questions from English sites would/will go a long way and at the very least proper translations of German interviews.

Seems they are finally seeing these things as improtant steping stones and great sties like RPGWatch are helping bridge the gap.

It has been a long hard fight just to help get PB the recognition it deserves and I don't think it's done, quite yet.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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April 16th, 2007, 01:52
I can understand NESB devs feeling uncomfortable communicating in English on a forum. However, the idea of them having a multi-lingual PR person alleviates the problem and by doing this, I think enough extra sales would be generated to easily cover the cost of hiring such a person!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 16th, 2007, 02:34
yup..

Its common sense to communicate with fans and press outside germany, likewise doing spell check before the release! Its basicly sawing your own branch of the tree doing the opposite.
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April 17th, 2007, 04:07
……..So when are we expecting that next patch?
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April 17th, 2007, 15:48
Just in time for no one to care because they will be playing Two Worlds and The Witcher.

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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