Note to players: Please see the final (and apparently official) response to the Immersyve survey here: Immersyve Survey - #166 by Ignasis
This was, without a doubt, the most tone deaf response I could have imagined being come out with. It’s also very clear my own initial post was not read. So let’s go through this.
Ignasis: We’ll proceed to close this thread as it has been taken out of context in more ways than one, not without a final series of clarifications.
No, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t taken out of context at all. It was clearly a marketing survey, not a “how can we make our game better?” survey.
Ignasis: The survey is optional and voluntary. Taking it is not forced or enforced, but it is appreciated for those of you who are willing to take it.
Not a single person claimed FC was holding a gun to their head to make them take the survey. The only people who used the expression “forced” was to explain that if they wanted to participate in the survey they were “forced” to answer a large number of questions they felt were personal, intrusive, and offensive. There is no “opt out” on any of the questions. And yes, that’s a problem. There absolutely should have been a “Prefer not to answer,” option on all the questions that did not directly pertain to the game itself. Yes, all those questions asking people about their mood and their satisfaction with their lives.
Likewise, there should have been an option to opt out for questions that did not actually pertain to people. One writer spoke of all the roleplaying questions that did NOT apply to them because they don’t actually play on roleplayng servers. So to continue to participate in the survey they were, indeed, “forced” to answer a whole host of questions that did not even pertain to them. There’s two obvious problems with this. The first is that a significant portion of respondents will simply just stop taking the survey at that point. So now you’ve lost a chunk of valuable data. The second is that those who DO go on and answer questions that do not actually pertain to them will skew the data on those questions. How is that helpful to either Funcom or their players? It’s not.
So who the heck signed off on this and did they even read it?
Ignasis: It is a product and customer satisfaction survey created and processed by Immersyve, a world-class leading company in this field. Their services have also been used by other gaming companies and organizations outside of gaming. You can check their website here: https://immersyve.com/
I, in fact, actually did go to their website. Which is where I found the following:
This did absolutely nothing to make me feel any better about this company or Funcom’s association with them. Not only that, but as “ a world-class leading company in this field” I was shocked at how poorly produced the survey was.
As I mentioned:
Question 50 through 54 they totally screwed up. They all read:
50. How interested are you in accomplishing Other - Write In (Required) ***? ********
And then they don’t give you the ability to write anything in. I would not expect a “world class” company that’s been in this biz for forty years to be so sloppy. And no one at FC caught it. There are actually a few more places where similar gaffes were made. That was just the most glaring one, being four questions in a row.
Ignasis: The questionnaire has been crafted by Immersyve, and the data that stems from these questions is collected and processed by Immersyve. The results will be used by us to better understand the pain points and motivations of our player and customer base.
I’m sure it will. I’m also very sure that the questions that ask how frustrated you have to be that you’ll reach a point where you’re willing to make in game purchases to either have an item that will allow you to more easily “complete your goals” or to “save time” are exactly what they look like: An attempt to gauge how willing players are to accept microtransactions, cash shops, etc. If it was REALLY about identifying “the pain points and motivations of our player and customer base” it would have addressed issues like lag and general performance, how balanced PVP is, the impact of thralls, the amount of players that are able to play on both official and private servers, how well armor and weapons values work and a whole host of other questions that actually pertain to your players’ experience of the game. Of course that would have required that the survey be crafted by a “world class” company that actually knows the first thing about your game. Or perhaps FC’s own participation in crafting the survey rather than just farming it out and failing to read the finished product before releasing it to your customers.
Ignasis: Once again, the survey is completely optional and voluntary. Those who don’t want to take or complete the survey are 100% free and in their right to not do so.
Again, not a single person claimed that they were being forced to take the survey. That you feel the need to say this twice shows your utter incomprehension of the objections people have had to this survey. You’re responding to a non-issue that no one raised.
Ignasis: And finally, to reiterate, thank you to those of you who have voluntarily agreed to take and complete the survey. It is still available, and you can find it in our blog.
Y ou’re welcome. In fact, I took it twice. Because you can you know. Not sure how that might skew your results but my surmise is that, since Immersyve can easily tell if a survey is coming from the same IP or machine, they’ll simply throw those out.
As to the issue of privacy, I notice you don’t touch that. There is no reassurance that our participation in the survey will NOT open us up to targeted advertising or that our information will NOT be sold to other third parties. There is no reassurance that our identifying information is NOT being collected by participation in this survey. So, my question is: IS IT?
To say that I, and many other players, are deeply disappointed in this response is a colossal understatement. Saying that other companies also engage in these practices and use Immersyve to do it does not excuse Funcom. Thus far Conan Exiles has pretty much been the last bastion of freedom from coercive salesmanship and psychological manipulation of its playerbase. I am incredibly sad to see that era come to an end.
Alright because I am curious, try to be fair, and am also apparently machoistic, I have taken the survey for a THIRD time. So, for starters, and in GOOD news, there’s this:
So, yes, they have finally addressed the privacy concern. Apparently they are NOT collecting our IP addresses and selling them off. Hurray. Now you can all go take this endless thing and I STILL encourage you to do so.
Also, pretty much all of the errors I noted on my first run through have now been corrected. This actually now works/reads like a professional product. Also good news.
The personal questions about your happiness, etc are still there and still do not have opt outs. However, with the assurance that IPs are not being collected we can probably be more comfortable with answering them. I feel the reasons they ask these kinds of questions are still not legitimate and may even be nefarious but I am now less concerned than I was initially. And because I know someone will ask… Why do I consider the personal/psych eval questions to be potentially nefarious? For some of the reasons I’ve already talked about. Knowing the state of mind of players gives companies an edge in knowing what kind of psychological manipulation to employ against them in order to get players to act against their own self interest. And I maintain that this is unethical.
There are still all the questions that probe to see if you’ll get to a point where you’re willing to accept microtransactions and cash shops, etc. So be on guard for those and I hope you’ll join me in firmly rejecting all such monetization schemes. Be clear that what will get you to open your wallet is a quality product that performs as it should with new, high quality content released on a reasonable schedule. And the return of our beloved cultural DLCs!
But, overall the survey has been improved and if you can force yourself to wade through it you probably should.