View Full Version : Interesting Business Idea using VBS2
May 12 2008, 20:28
I just had an interesting thought while I was browsing the VBS2 website. I live across the street from a LAN party location, and they have at least 12 computers that each must have cost around 1.5 grand. that's about 18 grand for computers alone, add the cost of networking, the sound system, and their console systems/projection equipment and you could have several Virtual Battlespace 2 machines running. If you were to cut that down to 3 or 4 machines with the program running, you could then project the game onto Large screens, and add special controls that would make one machine specifically for flight, one for motor vehicles and a couple for squad combat. Then you could charge for use of the machines. I realize that at first this wouldn't make the profits of a LAN place, but overtime you could add machines and eventually have 12 or 16 people playing if you had a large enough facility. When you consider that often times LAN places end up being focused on one game anyway, the fact that the place would be VBS2 focused wouldn't necassarily hurt business, and it would provide people the opportunity to actually get your hands on VBS2 if you can't afford to spend the money on the program (like myself). I was just wondering if anyone else had had this thought before or if anyone knows of any facilities that offer VBS2 play. Also I know that I didn't cover all of the difficulties/costs, I was just trying to state the idea and compare it to an LAN place.
The price you've seen on the website is a single user licence. Your idea requires a network licence, for that money you can add another dozen computers allowing more people to play ArmA or whatever.
I really don't know what that VBS2 hype is all about. The flight model is the same, vehicles are (almost the same too). Leaves you with some advanced infantry stuff like fatique and suppression simulation (which some VBS2 users already disabled because it's too much for them).
May 12 2008, 21:47
~$20,000 to outfit twelve stations with VBS2. Compare that to $360 for ArmA. If that's the start of your business plan, I'd love to hear how the rest of it goes. http://forums.bistudio.com/oldsmileys/wink_o.gif
"Well it continues to stay in deficit for a year or two, until the debt gets so large that I have to close down everything, take a loan from the mafia so I can pay back the bank and sell my kidney so I can pay the mafia"
May 13 2008, 01:41
Most people are quick to dismiss other people's business ideas, but remember that most people in fact work for someone else's business.
I'm not saying this *would* work, but it *could* work. The only problem is that VBS caters to a small niche market compared to video games in general. Your target niche might be even smaller.
I remember a business called "The Other Side" when I was a kid, it was a LAN place that specialized in flight sims (and Duke Nukem 3d). They had these enclosed pods in this dark room that you played in, with the full flight sim controls, radios to talk to your friends, etc. They even had trained pilots who would administer scenarios for you. Before you started playing, the admins would actually take you into a special briefing room, where they would give you a top-gun style mission brief.
It was a great place, but it eventually went out of business. Maybe they didn't push their niche hard enough, or maybe it just wasn't able to stand up against the increasing numbers of people with their own home computers. But it was a unique experience, something you couldn't get at home or even at a friend's LAN party.
What most sets VBS apart from ArmA is (1) the real time editor, (2) the after action review, and (3) the compatibility with other sims. So you'd be best to exploit these differences, and find a target market that finds these important, or else stick with ArmA.
(1) would be very useful if you had administrators for the scenarios, because new and interesting scenarios could be created on the fly.
(2) might be of interest to very serious gamer groups who want to train together. Maybe you could set up a league with prizes to encourage groups to train together. It would also be fun for party groups to see how they completely murdered their friends.
(3) would be very cool, because you could get Steel Beasts for the tankers and Lock On or some other flight sim for the pilots. This way you would expand your market niche to cater to these other hard-core sim fans. Imagine if you are a flight-sim fan, your buddy is an ex-tanker, and your other friends like first person shooters. You could all play together in the same scenario, and yet not have to sacrifice any level of detail for your individual roles.
Anyway, like I said, I think it *could* work, but I think you'd have to work *very* hard to exploit your niche.
May 13 2008, 08:46
I thought about such thing many times, and to be honest I still can't stop thinking about it. It's a good idea, but:
VBS2 is simply too expensive, ArmA as a game is just ok
ArmA is not ok, because it doesn't have the missionmaker-friendly real time editor for creating missions on the fly.
12 pc with arma and rlt editor with admin + head tracking + 3d glasses, other games maybe...that would be cool
May 13 2008, 23:07
Quote[/b] ]... that would be cool ...
True, but would it be economically viable?
That's the real question. With broadband and consoles, imho you're going to see a substantial decline in PC gaming centers. The US never had a significant amount of internet cafes, I mean the more complex ones as opposed to wifi at Starbucks.
Similar to the flight simulator concept mentioned previously, I once saw a NASCAR themed 'sim center' at a shopping mall. They had a half dozen cars on motion platforms, and probably Matrox TripleHead2Go's for the displays. It was nice, it was fun, I might do it again once or twice, but not on a regular basis. I could see it *maybe* working in its location provided that it was continually subsidized by 'resident' clans/leagues, but baring that
I fail to see how it could be profitable in the long term.
As was noted previously, the benefits of VBS2 are extremely admin-intensive. Imho, you're not going to be able to get an effective sim center instructor out of the minimum-wage after-school mall rat pool. Those retail settings are more appropriately served by a product where they can push a reset button, go back to the popcorn machine, and print out a stats sheet at the end of the 15 minute cycle.
An excellent case example is that used by the Army National Guard Recruitment units. If you go to the county fair, the scenario that four of you in the front of the trailer get to play with is actually the substantially shortened version of the scenario. It's a simple matter of profitable cycle time, whether your intent is to gather recruits or profits. As fun as a 15 minute raid sounds, there's a customer element that would want 2 hour missions, but scaling the pricing appropriately to reflect the seat occupation may be economically non-viable.
May 14 2008, 00:38
Imho, you're not going to be able to get an effective sim center instructor out of the minimum-wage after-school mall rat pool.
Exactly. I'm guessing this is why the flight sim place didn't survive.
I think you'd find that the cost of LABOR would be far, far more expensive than a relatively small one-off payment for the software.
I guess this is the case for many businesses though, which is why my car is built by a robot and my calls are serviced by Indians.
You know what happens to Internet Cafes? They go out of business.
Unless you happen to be in the right location at the right time... But even then, if someone else opens one next to you, then you both go out of business. This is why, in locations with a lot of Internet Cafe's, such as Mexico, Los Angeles, Taiwan, they only charge $0.50/hour.
-Just my observations FYI.
Aug 11 2008, 11:05
just pre-order ArmA and pay from 'saved' cash some mod makers ...
or even better invest into BIS to get more content http://forums.bistudio.com/oldsmileys/rofl.gif
Aug 12 2008, 19:56
hey i would invest into bis if i could, i have 3 copys of armed assault or was it 2 and 1 of queens gambit http://forums.bistudio.com/oldsmileys/smile_o.gif
During all the years playing ofp i have bought 5 copies due to wear and tear and discs that have broken down.
Arma is on a dvd disc and they tend to be thicker and don't break down so easy.
Internet cafés where booming in Sweden wich is one of the It-heaviest countries in Europe.
When i was 10 years old you could get teased for not having a Tv but now you could get teased for not having a computer probably..
Anyways if Arma 2 comes out i'll buy 5 copies if i feel its better than Arma 1 http://forums.bistudio.com/oldsmileys/thumbs-up.gif but that depends if im school still or if i have a job.
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