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Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Should I boycott GMT? rss

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Ingólfur Valsson
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I'm not really happy about the whole Twilight Struggle kickstarter mess, and while it might have a lot to do with Playdek the Kickstarter was in the name of GMT and they don't seem to care about their customers there.

I have several games on P500 and I'm considering canceling them.

Do you guys have the same opinion or do you see it in a different light?
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Inappropriate Andy
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In my opinion, everyone should be allowed some mistakes in life.
The question is how often they happen and how they recover from them...
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Michael Olsen
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I have been annoyed with GMT for some time now. For one thing they keep setting release dates they can not keep. Sure, they are "tentative", I get that, but when you set a "tentative" date some 6 months away and it take 3+ years after that, then it is, in my opinion, borderline vaporware.

Then there is the TS Kickstarter, yes. Luckily I am not part of that (I never had any confidence in Playdeck, looking at their previous products, so I skipped that). I understand why that would concern people.

Personally I am fed up with them. I think the main reason for this is they keep on with the unrealistic "tentative" dates, even though they know people are getting annoying.
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Jim Ransom
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Kickstarter is what it is. It's the "drive-thru" method of wargame acquisition. And you know what happens at the drive-thru...

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Ivor Bolakov
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Quote:
I have several games on P500 and I'm considering canceling them.


What will it achieve?
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Charles Lewis
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They've publically acknowledged some production issues in recent years, and they are right now in the middle of a large infrastructure upgrade to address it. If that's not enough for you, by all means don't buy their stuff.
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Matthew Galer
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Michael_Olsen wrote:

Personally I am fed up with them. I think the main reason for this is they keep on with the unrealistic "tentative" dates, even though they know people are getting annoying.


me personally I think they are doing a good job with the P500 system and the dates they give. If you really cant stand waiting in a queue (with no obligation I might add), then stay out of the P500 and wait for a game to be published.

I prefer that a game is delayed and done right that have something rushed to meet some arbitrary date set (maybe I've worked in the IT business long enough to know what that results in...). This to me is one of the biggest beefs I have with KickStarter - dates are set in the future, money is collected, and then you may have to wait for many months to years to get what you paid for (lets not discuss KS philosophy here) - with P500 you dont pay until its ready to ship.

I'm guess you have never put in an order for an 18XX game from Deep Thought Games - you would probably lose your mind for waiting years for your order to be fulfilled (and those games are finished with design and development). Although once again, you dont pay until things are ready to go.
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Ingólfur Valsson
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OhBollox wrote:

What will it achieve?


Nothing except as a principle for me I guess.


Meisterchow wrote:
They've publically acknowledged some production issues in recent years, and they are right now in the middle of a large infrastructure upgrade to address it. If that's not enough for you, by all means don't buy their stuff.


Well it's the kickstarter issue that is bothering me, I guess even if GMT wanted to fix those issues they can't because it is in Playdek hands. So maybe my beef shouldn't be with GMT.
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Morten Lund
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I backed the kickstarter, for the digital version only, and I think the project has run pretty much as can be expected for a kickstarter project (my philosophy is that you're not buying a product as much as helping it comming into being in the first place). Playdek has hit some bumps along the way, but delivered a nice game, reasonably priced, and gave me my refund, when the Apple appstore became difficult. it took them a while, likely due to paypal restrictions, and they could have been more vocal about that, but besides from that, it has been a positive experience for me.

I can understand the critisisms of the deluxe collectors edition, but the digital part has been fine (again, for me).

In my experience, GMT are a really nice bunch of people, who seem more than willing to go the extra mile for you, like sending me a new sheet of counters for the copy of the burning blue I bought second hand (the registration was a off by enough that some of the text was on the edge of the counters) - for free, and thanking me for asking.

now if only I had more opponents locally, and p&p to denmark wasn't so expensive

.morten
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Rex Stites
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
I'm not really happy about the whole Twilight Struggle kickstarter mess, and while it might have a lot to do with Playdek the Kickstarter was in the name of GMT and they don't seem to care about their customers there.

I have several games on P500 and I'm considering canceling them.

Do you guys have the same opinion or do you see it in a different light?


What exactly about the KS for TS has made it a "mess"? I haven't been following the situation.
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Andy Pymont
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
Twilight Struggle kickstarter mess

I'm a fellow backer and I would struggle to call it a "mess". They've delivered a fine product on a timescale I am happy with. Yes I'd have preferred the Android version to be out a bit earlier but the Steam version is great and I'm sure Android will be too in a bit more time.

By Kickstarter standards, there have been many, many worse projects.

I gather there were lots of problems getting people iOS keys, but by the sounds of it, that is (yet another) reason to boycott Apple, not anything to do with GMT.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
I'm not really happy about the whole Twilight Struggle kickstarter mess, and while it might have a lot to do with Playdek the Kickstarter was in the name of GMT and they don't seem to care about their customers there.

I have several games on P500 and I'm considering canceling them.

Do you guys have the same opinion or do you see it in a different light?


I was a day one backer of the KS and it's been great. It took awhile, but most KS do. The biggest issue was the number of Apple codes and they should have seen that coming (in fact, Apple needs to fix the problem -- let devs buy as many codes as they like so Apple gets their cut, but mark them so they don't drive up sales and popularity figures).

Otherwise, it's been a great release for PC/Apple and Android is coming.

So no, I see no reason to boycott GMT as a whole. But it of course is a personal call.
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Leo Zappa
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Question: Should I boycott GMT?

Answer: No.

GMT is a great company. I have a half dozen games on preorder from them and I just added another last week. I own a bunch of their games. You know what the key was for me? I only buy board games from them. They do pretty good with those. If I want a video game, I buy one from a video game publisher.

Bottom line: you can boycott GMT if that makes you feel better, but don't hold your breath expecting anyone to join. Most of us love GMT, or at least like them quite a bit.
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Ingólfur Valsson
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NormandyWept wrote:

I'm a fellow backer and I would struggle to call it a "mess". They've delivered a fine product on a timescale I am happy with. Yes I'd have preferred the Android version to be out a bit earlier but the Steam version is great and I'm sure Android will be too in a bit more time.

By Kickstarter standards, there have been many, many worse projects.

I gather there were lots of problems getting people iOS keys, but by the sounds of it, that is (yet another) reason to boycott Apple, not anything to do with GMT.


We can hardly blame Apple because we weren't promised anything by Apple, Playdek should have checked before they offered us iOS versioned if they were to be able to provide them. I never got my iOS version, and for some reason they ask us to contact them for a refund (they have the info and emails for those who asked about iOS). I sent them a email asking for a android version instead and no reply.

Then there are all the features that haven't been mentioned after succesful funding, strategy guides, expansions etc.
 
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It is unfortunate that you were one of those who required a refund, but holding GMT responsible for Apple's narrow-minded decisions is rather unfair, IMHO. GMT has bent over backwards to make things right in this case, as far as I can tell. Mistakes were made, but so were amends. We're all only human, after all.

GMT is a great company with outstanding customer service. They are responsive and very much interested in making the customer happy. They make great products and back them up with great service after the sale.

As is common in a newly burgeoning industry, GMT are struggling to take advantage of the new digital medium, much like other companies that attempt to transition board games to digital. With experience, this process will improve all round. Regardless of the road travelled, GMT and Playdek delivered on the Kickstarter for TS, the game is completed and it is a fine product that does the original game justice. They continue to improve the product and release on new platforms. Hardly a company that doesn't care.
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Ahmed Hadzi
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
I'm not really happy about the whole Twilight Struggle kickstarter mess, and while it might have a lot to do with Playdek the Kickstarter was in the name of GMT and they don't seem to care about their customers there.

I have several games on P500 and I'm considering canceling them.

Do you guys have the same opinion or do you see it in a different light?


Yes you should.

As a business owner myself, I can't expect my customers to be human beings and understand that we are all humans and make mistakes. God forbid that I provide anything but flawless service to my flawless clientele.

When I do make mistake, I try to make the amends and apologize.

Sometimes the contractor that I hired messes up, but the clients blame me.

That being said, you should DEFINITELY boycott them.

Just check your ego at the door first, please.
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Ingólfur Valsson
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Cantatta wrote:
It is unfortunate that you were one of those who required a refund, but holding GMT responsible for Apple's narrow-minded decisions is rather unfair, IMHO. GMT has bent over backwards to make things right in this case, as far as I can tell. Mistakes were made, but so were amends. We're all only human, after all.

GMT is a great company with outstanding customer service. They are responsive and very much interested in making the customer happy. They make great products and back them up with great service after the sale.

As is common in a newly burgeoning industry, GMT are struggling to take advantage of the new digital medium, much like other companies that attempt to transition board games to digital. With experience, this process will improve all round. Regardless of the road travelled, GMT and Playdek delivered on the Kickstarter for TS, the game is completed and it is a fine product that does the original game justice. They continue to improve the product and release on new platforms. Hardly a company that doesn't care.


While I disagree with you on Apple being to blame (they are a shit company sure, but they never made any promise to us), I agree with you that GMT are a fine company. This and the fact that I never received my Empire of the Sun game board troubled me. I believe I will still buy games from them.

But I guess Playdek here are the problem, the refunding thing was a mess, I sent a email asking for a android version instead (it was a choice between Android and iOS initially so it shouldn't make a difference to them) and got absolutely no response. Doesn't seem like they wanted to make this thing right.
 
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Eric Schaefer
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I have always found GMT's transparency about production schedules, and production issues extremely refreshing. While on occasion, it has delayed one or two games I P500'd I was always happy with the result--even got a new set of blocks when several of them in my set of Crown of Roses were cracked within two days.

If you are talking vaporware for games, you should go to the HMS Games and Total War (Europa) thread. Game was supposed to be released over ten years ago...still nothing.
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Ingólfur Valsson
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ahmedhadzi wrote:

Yes you should.

As a business owner myself, I can't expect my customers to be human beings and understand that we are all humans and make mistakes. God forbid that I provide anything but flawless service to my flawless clientele.

When I do make mistake, I try to make the amends and apologize.

Sometimes the contractor that I hired messes up, but the clients blame me.

That being said, you should DEFINITELY boycott them.

Just check your ego at the door first, please.


Hi, me and the rest of the people here are trying to have a discussion in this thread. Perhaps you should check your non helpful remarks at the door instead.
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As someone who works in book publishing, where a delay of even a few weeks is can be met with outrage, I take this all in stride. There seems to be little actual relationship to any kind of announcement about a game printing or whatever and a physical copy of a game in this industry. That's just how it works, whether from GMT or other companies.

If waiting for a game is annoying because you put your name on a list that may be totally meaningless, than I'd say don't buy into any of the P500 lists. If they have enough orders to print a game at all, you can be sure they overprint by some amount. Set-up costs of equipment are simply too high for them not to do that. You'll be able to get the game you want if you keep track of the company enough to know when it is *actually* shipping.
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Phil Bolger
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It's been mentioned by others, but they're currently undergoing a huge restructuring based on their own frustrations with logistics.

When you consider that they're working with some 51-odd design teams to publish a very wide variety of games with a tiny staff, they're doing quite well.

I had thought they'd mentioned something about a change to their logistics system in a recent monthly update, but I cannot seem to find it, and their July State of the Union was primarily about market, not method.
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Alexis Polux
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My wife bought me a copy of Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942 for my birthday in December 2015. It had a very minor player card missing (the first time that has ever happened) and, out of annoyance more than anything else, I emailed GMT just to get it off my chest.

As it happened, the game also had a gigantic 2 inch hole punched right throught the bottom cover (the same hole went through the outer parcel box itself so it was obviously caused by the incompetent English Royal Mail service and had nothing to do with GMT). Since the game was a birthday present the hole was annoying, but the game components themselves were completely undamaged.

GMT not only insisted on replacing the minor player card that was missing (although there was a duplicate item in the box), they also insisted on shipping me a new game box all the way from California to England, even though that particular damage had nothing to do with them.

I know for a fact that if I had have contacted Royal Mail about their incompetent service and the damage that they had caused to the item that they had delivered that they would have told me to "F**k off" (such is the general level of customer service here in England). Whereas, GMT was willing to replace (and send half-way across the continental United States and the Atlantic ocean) an item for which they had no responsibility for whatsoever.

In short, GMT are the good guys, their customer service is fantastic and they have my undying loyalty. However, I accept that YMMV.
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Steven Mitchell
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The only reason I backed the project was for the Collector's Edition. I ended up hating it, but I've made my peace with it — if for no other reason than the fact that I'll make quite a pretty penny when I sell it.

But for those who were in the project for the electronic version, I agree that there is plenty of reason to harbor a grudge. But I think nearly all of that can be directed towards Playdek rather than GMT. The delays are on Playdek, the failure to clear their distribution with Apple is on Playdek (though Apple can take a large chunk of blame there for being ridiculous), the radio silence when trying to get a refund is on Playdek, the sloppiness of the beta test is on Playdek, the lack of public communication is largely on the Playdek end of things, and so on.

I have put plenty of criticism on GMT for lots of different things over the years, but the one thing I can never call GMT out on is customer service. Repeatedly and regularly, over and over, they have eaten a lot to make things right for their customers. Most everyone I know who has had a problem with GMT has come away with a satisfactory resolution.

I hate that the TS Kickstarter has GMT's name on that for that reason. They have been hogtied to a company that apparently does not share any of GMT's core values in that regard. The number of times on CSW that someone has asked a question and Gene has had to respond with effectively, 'I know the answer, but because of the NDA, I can't respond. I'll try to have Playdek answer for you,' and then get nothing from Playdek...

And for a lot of people who have maybe only bought a game or two from GMT and then this KS, this is negatively affecting GMT's reputation in their eyes, in a really big way. That sucks. It would have been far better if GMT had stayed out of the campaign and simply licensed the game for a nice sum. I bet that's what they wish they had done, too.
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Steven Mitchell
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Also, for the record, the infrastructure restructuring GMT is currently undergoing has nothing to do with the KS problems. From what he's saying, that has nothing to do with Ingólfur's concerns.
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Ingólfur Valsson
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Who am I kidding, I'm not going to boycott GMT, I have to go reapply for my Empire of the Sun game board replacement, and wait patiently for Fields of Despair.

Just look at this beauty.

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