Why is “AMA” not being held on THIS forum?

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  • I never said ENL favoritism and I resent you putting words in my mouth. I would feel the same if BRRN said they were hosting an AMA with @NianticBrian . I am glad to see they are dropping “AMA” from the interview & would like to see him do interviews with many groups now that precedent is being set.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hah, the words were stated many times for many years.

  • jsylvisjsylvis ✭✭✭✭

    I can tell you exactly where our focus is, and it's not on the revenue-negative products.

    How does one reform a revenue-negative product into a revenue-generating product? Is it through neglect, inaction, and lack of focus?

    This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. "Oh, this product is revenue-negative, so we'd better focus on anything else and, inadvertently, ensure it stays revenue-negative." What's the old phrase, it takes money to make money?

    Ingress's community has had a long term belief that we deserve far more attention than our revenue stream warrants. I would love to see far more communication and representatives, but we simply can't afford it. The fact that we're getting the Producer of the product to speak to a media outlet is far more than I can tell you those net-negative products I write, would warrant.

    Interestingly, for most of the history of Ingress we've provided ample feedback for successfully monetizing the game without impacting balance. Very few of those suggestions have been acted upon.

    So far, most of the attempts to generate revenue from the game have been hilariously ill-advised (also see: last-minute price-gates for Anomaly badges, gear packs in the store including VR items leaning toward pay-to-win impacts).

  • jsylvisjsylvis ✭✭✭✭

    Why is there no news or contact with the community manager?

    Not to be pedantic, but we don't have a Community Manager. Krug is no longer a thing.

    And why is the development of the game going with the speed of a crawling snail?

    This one is largely the point Perringaiden is making - Niantic doesn't want to sink undue resources into a "resource-negative" game.

    hardly anyone will tell you why the comm has not yet been repaired or when the drones will finally be completed.

    Yeah, you'd think the comms bug would be fairly straight-forward but it's been around forever, and I have a hard time buying technical difficulties.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    How does one reform a revenue-negative product into a revenue-generating product?

    While I agree attention helps, the sort of thing you're asking for, isn't where a business puts its focus. Ingress will never be a profitable product. It's best hope right now is to break even and cover costs to justify not axing it. I'm very surprised (and happy) it's lasted this long, instead of going the way of Field Trip.

    So far, most of the attempts to generate revenue from the game have been hilariously ill-advised (also see: last-minute price-gates for Anomaly badges, gear packs in the store including VR items leaning toward pay-to-win impacts).

    I don't disagree, but at the same time, any attempts to monetize the product have also been met with loud, angry tirades about 'play-to-win', even when they had little to no impact on the actual gameplay. As one of the moderators of the Reddit Prime community, we had a very long thread about it and many of the suggestions were just as pay-to-win as the Niantic attempts.

    Monetizing Ingress is important, but it's a step that has to be taken before they can afford to pay for community managers and advertising. It's a catch-22 but as players our best bet is not to **** every attempt down, or kick up stinks about how things aren't being done perfectly to our liking. This thread is a perfect example of a high level manager taking their own time out to provide an interview, and being attacked for not doing it "the way we demand".

    John Hanke has a love for Ingress and the community. Attacking everything that they do as wrong, has eroded that love, and John Hanke is largely the reason why Ingress isn't in the same bucket as Field Trip. This thread isn't a productive response, it's a knee-**** hate-spew making demands on a company that gets next to nothing out of the product any more.

    And as someone who again, works for a company with net-negative products, I can safely say pushing the issue only has one outcome.

  • jsylvisjsylvis ✭✭✭✭

    the sort of thing you're asking for, isn't where a business puts its focus.


    Monetizing Ingress is important, but it's a step that has to be taken before they can afford to pay for community managers and advertising.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=define+investment

    Ingress will never be a profitable product.

    The way things are going, absolutely. Does it have to be that way? Absolutely not.

    This thread is a perfect example of a high level manager taking their own time out to provide an interview, and being attacked for not doing it "the way we demand".


    This thread isn't a productive response, it's a knee-**** hate-spew making demands on a company that gets next to nothing out of the product any more.

    Interestingly, I was under the impression most of the criticism was directed toward the IUENG crowd for marketing this as an AMA when it's anything but, complete with decent discussion and suggestions (see: replies # 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, ...).

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interestingly, I was under the impression most of the criticism was directed toward the IUENG crowd for marketing this as an AMA when it's anything but, complete with decent discussion and suggestions

    See the OP and every post after it was clarified that it wasn't an AMA.

    You're seeing Ingress as a potential money maker. I'd love this to be true.

    Niantic's board of directors is seeing Ingress as a vestigial organ that when causing damage, can be cut loose without any ill effects. You don't invest in something you'd prefer to discard, and they're already trying to cut it loose.

    Things like Portal Scans are Brian's attempts to provide a good reason why Ingress is making the company money by other means. But of course they've also been actively panned in multiple threads too.

  • This! Dropping the “AMA” is all that is necessary, which they did yesterday. Again, I resent the way you project words & feelings that are not there.

  • jsylvisjsylvis ✭✭✭✭

    See the OP and every post after it was clarified that it wasn't an AMA.

    I think you'll note I listed quite a few individual replies and the list got long enough I cut it short.

    Niantic's board of directors is seeing Ingress as a vestigial organ that when causing damage, can be cut loose without any ill effects. You don't invest in something you'd prefer to discard, and they're already trying to cut it loose.

    I can't argue that; if anything I'd argue that expectations and execution of Ingress and its roadmap have been pretty skewed since the runaway success / revenue of Pokemon Go and that said directors are absolutely out of touch with the game.

    Things like Portal Scans are Brian's attempts to provide a good reason why Ingress is making the company money by other means. But of course they've also been actively panned in multiple threads too.

    If anything, I'd argue this is an example of change that brings little value to the game (players have no reason to care / be engaged) and is perceived as out-of-touch. And yet, the effort to shape those perceptions and provide some background could absolutely be provided... and hasn't been.

    You could easily give players a reason to care about Portal Scans by giving some sort of useful, rewarding mechanic - perhaps a gimped / tweaked hack loot table - to drive use of the feature that may or may not be providing intangible value to the game. But here we are with a relatively unattainable badge and apathy.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    directors are absolutely out of touch with the game.

    The board of directors are investment company representatives etc. They don't care about the game, they care about the financials. If the game is doing badly and causing a loss, and can't be easily recovered, they're happy to cut it loose.

    If anything, I'd argue this is an example of change that brings little value to the game (players have no reason to care / be engaged) and is perceived as out-of-touch.

    Because it isn't targeted at us. As will nothing else, if the Ingress team can't show a tangible benefit to keeping Ingress alive.

    You could easily give players a reason to care about Portal Scans by giving some sort of useful, rewarding mechanic

    Can you honestly say this wouldn't be labelled as a play-to-win or 'cash grab for free labor'? Ingress Agents already expect undying love for their work creating the portals in the first place, despite the fact that most of the people who did that no longer play and the people expecting it are later waves after 2015 etc.

    This is the problem. People are treating Niantic like it owes something to Ingress. Niantic has repaid its debt to Ingress over the last 5 years, by sinking a lot of money into development of a client (necessary, regardless of how much people dislike it) and server and communication costs for 5 years of zero profit.

    The failure that occurred where the developers of Prime had no clue about the game isn't something the board of directors care about. A client was developed, and it (largely) has feature parity with the old client, so they've done that work. From a financial POV, Niantic is sinking good money after bad, with Ingress, and it won't last forever.

  • jsylvisjsylvis ✭✭✭✭

    The board of directors are investment company representatives etc. They don't care about the game, they care about the financials. If the game is doing badly and causing a loss, and can't be easily recovered, they're happy to cut it loose.

    It's as if you're just restating what I said.

    Because it isn't targeted at us. As will nothing else, if the Ingress team can't show a tangible benefit to keeping Ingress alive.

    Right. Like, say, monetizing it in a sensible fashion, etc.

    Can you honestly say this wouldn't be labelled as a play-to-win or 'cash grab for free labor'? Ingress Agents already expect undying love for their work creating the portals in the first place, despite the fact that most of the people who did that no longer play and the people expecting it are later waves after 2015 etc.

    Yeah. That's kind of the whole point to the hack mechanic. Give it storyline tie-in, make it kosher in the world of Ingress, and make it comparable to existing mechanics so it feels like it has a fitting place rather than being some awkward bolt-on. Again, much could be done to smooth the introduction of this and shape perceptions.

    This is the problem. People are treating Niantic like it owes something to Ingress. Niantic has repaid its debt to Ingress over the last 5 years, by sinking a lot of money into development of a client (necessary, regardless of how much people dislike it) and server and communication costs for 5 years of zero profit.

    Quite the opposite, players are treating Niantic like both parties want the game to succeed, one needs money and the other has money, and if they'd meet us in the middle somewhere we'd all be much happier. Also see: the myriad monetization threads over the years. It's hard to say "sinking" given it's never been a true focus, and your point falls short when the common theme here is "let us help you monetize this".

    The failure that occurred where the developers of Prime had no clue about the game isn't something the board of directors care about. A client was developed, and it (largely) has feature parity with the old client, so they've done that work.

    I'd argue that it's something they should care very much about given it directly impacts the profitability / success of the product.

    From a financial POV, Niantic is sinking good money after bad, with Ingress, and it won't last forever.

    Sure, and from a holistic / context-aware point of view it's easy to understand the failures with the lenses of hindsight and to work around them / pivot. We are aware "it won't last forever" and would very much like to see Niantic pull Ingress out of this nose-dive.

  • jsylvisjsylvis ✭✭✭✭

    And yet Odie from Cutlass, who is a single developer making Orna, runs rings around Niantic.

    And it's frankly painful to see at times, given how effective that man is versus the greater-than-1 person team behind Ingress.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    And what you are quite literally saying in response to that is, "Ingress doesn't make much money, so therefore we aren't going to give the community any attention."

    I hate to give you a 'reality check' but this is exactly what the board of directors is saying.

  • Who knew we had a person on the board of directors that spends their entire day on the community forums! Thank you for gracing us with your presence, board member. /s

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's almost as if Niantic employees talk to players.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    This dollar has become so important, people like the Taiwanese Grandfather with his phone bike, blatantly gets away with breaking Niantics own ToS because he generates revenue.

    And that's not going to change, because Niantic is a business, with big money investors.

    Would I like to see Ingress like it was? Definitely.

    Do I expect it to be? Never.

    The question is not "What can Niantic do for us?" but "How do we make Ingress cover costs?". Because the altruistic enjoyment isn't what's going to keep Ingress alive. Niantic doesn't need it, John Hanke still fondly remembers it. Without him, we would have been folded up long ago.

    So all the complaints that Niantic doesn't listen to the community have merit when 99% of the suggestions require a cost of more dev than they'd gain. Things like one-off purchases don't work. The key lockers gave a burst, then died out. They're not going to repeat that mistake.

    I think the R8s in the store might have had a better effect if we weren't all stuck indoors or avoiding coming together. (I don't agree with the C8s but I see why they're there and can live with it.) But we need more ways to pay small amounts regularly if we're going to save the game.

    When I get a chance tonight, I might go through and repost here, all those suggestions categorized by "one off" vs "repeat purchase". The vast majority of them were "high dev, single purchase" like skins or specialty lockers. Those won't save Ingress because their production would cost the revenue.

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭

    You are basically saying the company has poor ethics and can pick and choose which of its own ToS it can choose to enforce.

    A subscription payment for larger key inventory say, would be regular income.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭


    Why does Ingress hardly develop? Even the same pokemon go and harry potter are much more diverse than our game.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    How much do you pay, per month, to Niantic for Ingress?

  • CliffMCliffM ✭✭✭✭

    I have paid a ton to them over the time I have played Ingress, but I have stopped. I would sum it up, but I just don't care that much. What do they offer for me to "buy" now? Why is it my problem they can't monetize Ingress?

    I stopped buying Frackers, because COVID. No more get togethers, no more community. I also stopped buying Character codes and Gear Loadouts, because they were immediate redeem - and not cards or codes I could share. I don't care for having the Faces interspersed on my profile anymore - and I wish I could remove the ones I have.

    Anyway, you mentioning their financial woes is tiresome. It's on them to fix whatever. Or just sunset the game. They seem to be doing that anyway.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    Anyway, you mentioning their financial woes is tiresome. It's on them to fix whatever. Or just sunset the game. They seem to be doing that anyway.

    Thank you for restating my point. The reason they haven't successfully monetized it, is that every time they try something, everyone is up in arms about it, and every time they don't, they can't afford to do anything else. Part of that is bad choices on what to sell, and part of that is an overly entitled player base.

    I wasn't claiming "You should give them money!" but that there is next to zero revenue for Niantic from Ingress, therefore there is no spending on Ingress. It's not a surprise that a game that brings in no money, is not showered with support and resources.

    Until they provide us with things worth buying that the player base doesn't attack, Ingress will continue to fade into obscurity.

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