An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

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leo99756
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An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by leo99756 » 30 Jan 2014, 23:38

I originally sent this email to Nadeo, but they responded telling me that I should post here, so, without further ado, here is a copy of what I sent:

"Dear Nadeo employees,

My name is Leo, and I am an avid TrackMania fan. As well as this, I take a keen interest in following the TrackMania community, especially in the area of eSports. In doing so I have noticed a worrying trend: that the number of players playing Stadium has stagnated, and that many who play TMNF still have not purchased the new game. A recent discussion by TrackMania enthusiasts on Reddit brought to light a number of very interesting improvements that could be made to the game in order to bring TrackMania new players and more popularity.

The biggest hindrance to the success of Stadium is the fact that it is not free, whereas TMNF was. With this in mind, there are ways to make Stadium a free game, without any drawbacks such as those brough by Freezone, whilst still bringing Nadeo income. I credit the following idea to 'jaynemesis': the renovation of the Planets system. Planets could be completely overhauled, making them much harder to earn and thus give people an intensive to buy them with real money (like a DLC).

In order to justify this change, they could be used as an in-game currency for premium skins, title packs, mods and other creative content. User could create and sell in-game items/mods etc. via their personal Manialink pages, and Nadeo could take a percentage of this fee to make sure there is not an abundance of Planets in the market. As well as this, Planets could be used as rewards for tournaments held by Nadeo, sponsors and community members. This would be most successful combined with an in-game tournament browser and registration system, which would allow players of all skill levels easy access to competitive play. Another advantage of such an in-game system is that tournament sponsors would know that most of the TrackMania community would see their product, making them more likely to support the title.

I started to look at other successful eSports titles, and an idea that Valve uses in CS:GO stood out as something that TrackMania could benefit from massively; The 'map pack pass'. Community created maps, released every month, and purchasable with Planets. "Why would people buy maps like this?". The simple answer is that buying these map packs would enter you into a league for those maps that lasts the duration of the month. Users would score points on each map based on their times on them. The top competitors could perhaps win a special car skin/have a shoutout somewhere in-game. I believe this would attract many people, as competition is at the heart of any eSports title, especially TrackMania.

I hope that this email will not go unnoticed, as I truly believe that these suggestions could help TrackMania grow and become a big player in the eSports scene. For reference, linked here is the link of the Reddit thread I previously mentioned: http://www.reddit.com/r/TrackMania/comm ... mania_and/.

Kind regards,

Leo."

I decided to quote it in full because writing it up once took enough time, and I really don't know if anybody of influence will even respond. Feel free to add your own thoughts as comments.

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tombuilder
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by tombuilder » 31 Jan 2014, 00:03

I`m just want to be sure, that I understand that correctly:
So instead of paying 10€ (5€ on sale), I should pay (or win) for ingame content continuously?
That`s ridiculous, this is not a 60 € game, it`s already quite for free.

Sorry, that should not sound too harsh, but I really can`t understand it.

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Alter-Fox
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by Alter-Fox » 31 Jan 2014, 00:35

I have to agree with Tombuilder that charging real money for planets is ridiculous, and it would probably drive some of the largest player demographics away from the game (like university students, who need to save a lot of money if they want to pay their own tuition). 20 euros, dollars, or whatever currency :P is a much better deal for the game than either paying individually for creations (especially maps) or waiting weeks to save up enough planets "normally" so you can buy them.

I do like the idea of a tournament browser. I think Shootmania already has something similar, so it wouldn't be hard for Nadeo to add this into Trackmania. And I'd also like to see SM's matchmaking system brought into TM2.
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leo99756
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by leo99756 » 31 Jan 2014, 00:41

tombuilder wrote:I`m just want to be sure, that I understand that correctly:
So instead of paying 10€ (5€ on sale), I should pay (or win) for ingame content continuously?
That`s ridiculous, this is not a 60 € game, it`s already quite for free.

Sorry, that should not sound too harsh, but I really can`t understand it.
You should not pay for content consistently! My whole point was that as well as gaining planets in the usual way, they could be bought and that would give Nadeo an incentive to actually create good content for people to spend planets on. Apart from Startrack, when else have we seen official map addon packs? That's not making people pay for what they would get for free, as I don't assume that Nadeo have plans to do such a thing again any time soon.

leo99756
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by leo99756 » 31 Jan 2014, 00:44

Alter-Fox wrote:I have to agree with Tombuilder that charging real money for planets is ridiculous, and it would probably drive some of the largest player demographics away from the game (like university students, who need to save a lot of money if they want to pay their own tuition). 20 euros, dollars, or whatever currency :P is a much better deal for the game than either paying individually for creations (especially maps) or waiting weeks to save up enough planets "normally" so you can buy them.

I do like the idea of a tournament browser. I think Shootmania already has something similar, so it wouldn't be hard for Nadeo to add this into Trackmania. And I'd also like to see SM's matchmaking system brought into TM2.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but what do people actually use Planets for other than betting online and paying to restart the map? I am suggesting a way to utilise what to many seems like a pointless currency for the good of the game.

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Filipe1020
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by Filipe1020 » 31 Jan 2014, 01:08

Let's be realistic here, a nadeo developer might reply something off-topic here and then ignore this topic like most of the topics that suggests changes for more players, I love nadeo but they policy is terrible and they are keeping Maniaplanet with a small community on purpose, I want to see their games being massively successful and well known, but at this rate, we will just see new titles that the only difference between each is the environments and car physics being released at 20 dollars and having a lot of players just on the first 2 months, and then the ammount of active players drops again, that happened with valley and stadium, maybe even with storm, they have the ubisoft support now, I have no idea why they still don't make any single advantage of that powerful publisher and don't work further on advertizing and better ways to manage their own games, I mean look at Assassins Creed, it has a giant ammount of fans playing it and buying games from that series, I tried to be nice before but now I think nadeo just need to actually do something

edk
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by edk » 31 Jan 2014, 02:40

Stadium was $2.49 over Christmas. A contrived F2P economy that will essentially restrict the greatest driving force of the game, that being the creative community, is not going to help. In fact, that would be the nail in the coffin. Good intentions OP, horrible idea.

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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by HaagseSmurf » 31 Jan 2014, 08:25

Your intentions are good to increase the amount of players playing, but the idea is really confusing.
I dont think that people are willing to pay for planets who dont want to spent money for TM Stadium (usually € 9,99 on steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/232910/) .
leo99756 wrote: Maybe I'm missing something here, but what do people actually use Planets for other than betting online and paying to restart the map? I am suggesting a way to utilise what to many seems like a pointless currency for the good of the game.
Planets are now used to my knowledge for:

- betting online [planets from players to other players]
- restarting maps [planets from players to serverhosters]
- donations [planets from players to serverhosters]
- pricemoney in tournaments/cups [planets from serverhosters to players]
- payouts in maps (nr 1, 2 and 3 earn planets) [planets from serverhosters to players]
- setup ranked servers [planets from serverhosters to nadeo]
- paying for skins / suits [planets from players to skinmaking players]
- planets for reaching higher ranks [planets from Nadeo to players]

Maybe i am missing current ways to use planets or maybe somebody has new ideas on other ways using planets, but they are not really pointless. I think changing the planets into real money wouldnt be an idea a lot of players would cheer for.

There must be better ways to attract more people like letting the world know this is by far the best racing community there is through advertisings or interviews on gaming sites and gamingmagazines or any other media willing to publish about gaming. Or amaze the world what can be achieved by players such as the RPG-Title.

It takes a lot of time to get the players back that have left (if they even want to get back because of reallife changings such as studies or work) and welcome new players that are interested in this game. Its allways good to think of ways to make the game better and to have more players, so keep this discussion going!

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leo99756
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by leo99756 » 31 Jan 2014, 09:03

HaagseSmurf wrote: There must be better ways to attract more people like letting the world know this is by far the best racing community there is through advertisings or interviews on gaming sites and gamingmagazines or any other media willing to publish about gaming. Or amaze the world what can be achieved by players such as the RPG-Title.
I fully agree, but what has Nadeo actually done in this regard as of late? I may have missed something somewhere, but it seems to me that advertising is not really one of Nadeo's priorities, which seems pretty insane bearing in mind that the number of players on all title packs has really stagnated and begun to decline.

The reason why I suggest monetising Planets is mainly to facilitate the other changes I write about, most importantly making a version of the game (Stadium) free. The same could be achieved with a new 'premium' Planets currency used for such matters, or just real-money-in-game transactions. TMNF was vastly popular because it was free, and I like many others would probably have never tried it out in the first place if it wasn't. People make the argument that TM2 is not very expensive, but you have to bear in mind that as the game appeals to a wide age demographic. The point here is that kids who rely on their parents etc. to buy them games may not be allowed to pay for some 'random game' made by a company no parent in the household has heard of.

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tombuilder
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Re: An open letter to Nadeo regarding the state of TM.

Post by tombuilder » 31 Jan 2014, 09:25

I agree, that the possibility to test the game should be free. But it was for some time (beta and demos) and will be (http://forum.maniaplanet.com/viewtopic. ... 6&start=70). Charging money for ingame content would kill the whole idea behind Maniaplanet in my eyes. Even now, with the "low amount of players", the variety is very large (skins, models, maps, titlepacks, modes,...). But if you would have to pay for the content, I think many things would stay unseen even more.
My big hope is indeed the Maniaplanet 3 update. If they succeed to manage the title pack problem in a good way, come up with a good, "free" demo and (for me most important) do finally some good advertising, this may attract some new players.

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