Re: Suggestions & Recommendations

Halo 3 related

  • My very first suggestion with regard to the still current Halo 3 crisis would be to read and take more seriously this forum, which after all is their official forum. How could someone not take serious his/her own creation? What use would have an official forum if those in charge wouldn’t pay attention to it?
  • Next, I’d recommend doing some quality control before selling anything. Anyone with a minimum local knowledge (you could hire any tourist in town for 5 days for that job) would have detected the Halo 3 language problem assuming anyone was reading the delivery papers and/or tested at least one game out of the imported boxes. A bit of advanced planning might have prevented the whole disaster from happening. A sticker on the Mandarin version boxes and an order of English (read "Singapore") discs and everyone’d be happy.
  • Asking gamers before a game release would not hurt either. Bungie only develops the game; it’s not them who decide what language goes to what country. The Japanese are similar unhappy despite their language track being better in quality than the Mandarin. A bit of market research in form of reading forums and asking a couple of questions would have done a miracle here.

Market research

  • People don’t expect great gifts to answer some questions. Putting up a question in a forum about language preferences would certainly have received a lot of replies. Why not accept free market research which is voluntarily provided for free and with joy by the gamers? How many times in the past have we written pages and pages about everything and in particular about the marketing mistakes by MS with Xbox 1?
  • Talk to gamers outside the usual circles.
  • Reach to people who are not the typical local.

Publicity

  • No need to do many, big and fancy events when they are badly organized or not advertised. How come most of the activities are never known to forum readers?
  • Run the publicity stunts in more/other places than just a few local magazines. Big events certainly would pay off in other places than the usual newspaper or magazine. Besides, it boosts sales and certainly improves the image if once in a while the name Microsoft pops up in something other than Cantonese.

Web Site

  • Make use of the local, official Web Site. How come it’s not updated at all and if it is, it’s mostly wrong information?
  • Why is it only in Chinese whereas so many other countries have two languages? Hong Kong also has more than one official language (hint: English is one of them).
  • If it’s still the case that every word to be put onto the local Web Site has to be send to the US for some non-Chinese speaking webmaster to upload when he got a break between breakfast and playing Halo, why not get it done locally or regionally? Who cares it’s HK or Singapore who updates the site for as long as it’s accurate and useful?

Local, regional and global

  • No matter what the internal organisation of MS is, it seems to work way better for every other place than HK. See my comments about the Web Site above and think about quality of events, information availability and customer relations elsewhere.
  • I am sure that there is much to be improved in how things are handled in the local-regional-global order. Might as well be time to rethink how that works.

Failures

  • Admitting a failure saves more face than hiding it. Halo 3 was a mess, so exchanging everyone’s disc would sure fix the problem (but not erase from memory).
    Same principle applies to everything else as well.
  • When something goes terribly wrong in whatever aspect, learn from it. It borders on insanity that the same things happen again and again, usually growing in scale.

Operation

  • Take action before something goes wrong, do damage control and take action after the failure. While it might not be possible to fire people at will (it sure would help), there should be a review and new measures being put in place.
  • HK might have limited budget, so it’s certainly time to think about a change of spending plan.
    Making up for failures is more costly than doing some wise spending in advance. Sometimes it is cheaper things which are more welcomed than expensive stuff badly carried out.
  • Get together with the end-users.. yes, that’s the customers.. that herd of unpredictable (well, maybe too well predicable in HK after reviewing the Xbox history) gamers who dare to complain after feeling cheated once more. Listen what they say: invite them for a coffee and a game, chat with them and let them fill out some forms. If they know they are respected and treated well, and this ultimately will lead to a happier co-operation and co-existance, which eventually results in products people actually want (what and when), it will show in sales. There’s no need for expensive Synovate and such surveys for top-secret stuff. Take a look at the US where they got everything from Alpha to Beta testers and whatever else they need to make sure they stay in touch with their customers. Which makes me remind you: don’t ever copy survey and research results from another location and put a HK chop on it. In case the Mandarin Halo 3 edition was indeed intended, it shows best that this will not work at all.

Staff control

  • A tighter control of what MS staff is doing. It can’t be that such incidents like the Halo 3 Windsor House queue happen. That’s not acceptable.

Mission control

  • Is there anyone supervising the various missions? Again, I refer to the most recent incident with that Halo 3 Windows House night. Total chaos.

Staff quality

  • While I totally understand the need for good sales reports, it is nevertheless important to stay realistic. Making sales reports look good through inflated non-official console sales to the mainland via local stores is one thing but pushing the wrong product (Chinese Halo) with total disrespect to everything just to get a first-day sales number is another thing. Numbers-hungry staff chasing every digit like Captain Ahab hunted Moby *** will end in tragedy.

Now I don’t know how much of the above is already carried out but whatever it is, it is either not enough or not efficient. Overall, I have the feeling that this whole HK Xbox thing is run like a snowball system where MS keeps refilling but it keeps spinning out of control faster and bigger. Another way to look at it would be that MS keeps digging their own grave but so far always managed to fill it up with consumers instead.

{One of my posts at "香港 (Hong Kong) 地區 Xbox 討論區" dated "09-29-2007, 10:21PM"}

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