Is Command: Modern Air Naval Operations Worth $80?

There is a new game out that has been highly anticipated.  Command: Modern Naval Operations is supposed to be the 21st century heir to the successful Larry Bond franchise Harpoon.  It has been followed obsessively by naval warfare enthusiasts, dutifully chronicled by the interested and well received with many hosannas from the faithful during the beta period.

One detail though to my knowledge had never been discussed openly and that is the game's price.  So this morning on launch day, I (like many of my fellow, digital Midshipmen), went to the Matrix website and did a hard refresh when the $79.99+ tax price flashed up on the store page for this game.

Wow! That's pricey. I could buy Command Ops: Battle of the Bulge and Scourge of War Chancellorsville for that price and still have some change left over I believe.

What were they thinking?  Well my guess is they were thinking that a small team has, after many years of obsession and uncounted hours, lovingly put together a game version of Jane's Fighting Ships for us nerds to play with.  It's a labor of love project that based on the depth I've seen from the Beta AARs maybe be worth it....or maybe not.

Darn, I was already drawing up China vs. USA scenarios at work just yesterday and now that fictional conflict has to be postponed because I am not going to pay $80 for this game. I may pay it, but not now, not without playing a demo.

Note to the Slitherine/Matrix Digital Complex:  Release a demo please for sea slugs like me who won't shell out $80 on a game without having played it first. 

Beta AARs and the few videos that show up on Youtube aren't going to convince me to buy the game but a first-rate demo will. So please release one and soon!



Miguel said…
I think it is :) Yet indeed, a demo would be most helpful. I think it will take them a while to roll out one - it won't happen until the dust of release settles down a bit.
Chris said…
Hi Miguel. Thanks for your comment. In all likelihood I will eventually breakdown and buy it demo or not. I've been waiting a long time to play the game and was a little thrown this morning when I went to buy it. That said, I will reach the point of purchase quicker if I can field test a demo.
Doug Miller said…
I was pretty taken aback as well, Chris. I went ahead and purchased because there really isn't anything else out there in this niche that isn't horribly dated and/or broken. I felt that given the long development period and extensive testing, as well as some of the comments from beta testers I know that at least it wasn't going to be unplayable.

I played tonight and I like what I see so far. I think this is what I wanted from a modern Harpoon - time will tell. But even if it, $80.

Matrix/Slitherine have what I (and a lot of others) feel is a pretty unenlightened attitude toward demos and pricing. They claim to have data that backs up their business model, and they may well have. I honestly don't mind paying more for a quality conflict sim for an admittedly niche market; I get that my hobby is not mainstream and developers gotta eat.

You'd think they could at least take me out to dinner and a movie first, though!
Chris said…
Hi Doug. I am glad to hear you bought it. The more I read about the game the more likely I am to buy it at $80.

One of the things that sold me on Command Ops was being able to play the Bulge demo (and I think the game was priced at $60 then). So I hope Matrix will consider a demo for this one.

Since I am new to command ops and feel like I have so much more of that game to play I don't see myself considering Command until closer to Christmas anyway.
RangerX3X said…
It very well may be worth it, but some cannot afford it.
Herman Hum said…
A new review for CMO has been posted to SimHQ.

p.s You won't find a link to this review on Matrix because the thread was locked and the review was "McCarthy-tized". :-)
Phil said…
I did some beta testing for this. I found the game to be quite engrossing and enjoyable but I have to agree that the price given is just excessive.

Chris said…
Phil thanks for the comment. I am very interested in the game. Wish there was a demo. Have you heard any conversation about when/if one might be launched?
Phil said…
I'm afraid i haven't but if i hear anything i will give you a shout.
Anonymous said…
Yes, it is :)