You may remember a few weeks ago, Spartan Games announced that they were launching a new game set in the Dystopian Wars world, and that the reaction to the announcement was somewhat different to what they expected (you can read all about it here).
It’s fair to say that Spartan Games has been going through something of a rocky period. Not only was there the very negative reaction to announcement of Dystopian Empires, but then a high-profile member of the team, Spartan Alex, decided to leave, going as far as to record a podcast with all the reasons for his decision. (Episode 27)
But, lets give Spartan their due here. They took on board the reaction to Dystopian Empires, and within a couple of days launched a customer survey with the ‘simple’ aim of trying to find out what their customer base actually wanted. This survey covered all their game systems: Dystopian Wars, Dystopian Legions, Firestorm Armada, Planetfall, Halo Fleet Battles and Halo Ground Command.
They have since published three responses following the survey:
It was John Lydgate who said:
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”
There are players of certain Spartan games who, following the survey, have been vocal in their complaint that their particular games system is not getting immediate attention. However, Spartan are reacting to survey responses from several thousand of their customers, so I think it’s true to say that they are probably trying to deal with the most requested issue(s) first – hence the new announcement that they are launching a Kickstarter to expand the current Dystopian Wars World.
Whilst this may not be what every Spartan customer wants now, I think it’s a very positive start and shows just how much they are willing to take the time to listen and respond to their customers – although my suggestion of a new 2-Player starter box for Uncharted Seas was met with something of a pained look…
…maybe after they have worked through their amended business plan following the survey – be assured that it has made a difference to what Spartan are doing over the next 12 – 18 months.
Now, some would perhaps accuse me at this point of being something of an apologist for Spartan. Yes, I know Neil Fawcett, and yes, my son Josh has just started working for the company (which in itself, also shows that Spartan are trying to address issues – many customers have been complaining about the length of time it has been taking to receive their orders…what do you think it is that Josh is doing for the vast majority of his day? That’s right – packing orders).
I can only say this – it is very refreshing to see a company, any company, not only hold their hand up and admit to moving in the wrong direction, but to then ask their customer base what their next steps should be instead and act on it, all in the space of a month. Kudos to Spartan Games for the way they have handled this situation.
I’m looking forward to when they start expanding Planetfall…