Very interesting report. Thank you very much for posting. I'll offer some general comments to the wind:
- Retail didn't die. It was murdered. The reason why numbers dropped so fast was because items were no longer offered on the shelves, and the ones that were required DRM connection.
- Consolidation has only short term gain. The more the software industry consolidates, the more power will go to the vendor. They will be gateway and thus the deciders, as to what publishers are successful and which ones are not; what the customers get to see and what they don't.
- Until consoles come with keyboards, they will never have the same depth to their games as a PC does.
- The ONLY way GalcivIII will be successful is if it has the same or better AI as it's predecessor. I'll say it again to emphasize because of how important this statement is: GalcivII set the benchmark in AI design. Everyone and their dog will be comparing GalcivIII's AI to it's predecessor. If the initial reviews do not say "This has better AI than before", then I believe the game will only be fractionally successful. GalcivIII must have the same or better AI.
- Steam &%)# up my SoaSE, so I haven't played that game in quite some time. Still waiting for the mod I use to upgrade to the same update Steam has. It forced an update on me, despite me having updates option set to NEVER and it downloaded in the background during the night, despite me having updates option set to NEVER. Guess what I hate. Yup...I hate Steam.
- Really love the expansion being done to Legendary Heroes. Really fear that LH 2.0 will add many bugs to the game in an effort to encourage players to purchase E15. Steam NEEDS to allow users to choose their version. If I want to play LH 1.2 instead of LH 1.6, I should be allowed to do so.
- Since I love LH so much, it gets a second bullet. There are many, many additions made by the devoted community, and of those additions many are 'fixes' to the game; mostly extra content in an effort to round out a concept. (female henchmen as an example). These should be merged into the base game to give non-modders the chance to play with a fuller version of the game. This move can only help you to make more sales as there are many out there that can't be bothered to spend the time modding the game to an acceptable level before playing. They just want to play and the game should be as full and as complete as possible for those players.
Again, thank you very much for posting this report. Really appreciate the chance to dive in and see how SD is doing on the past/present/future level.