Bill Harris took ten or so paragraphs to say “don’t release games before they are finished” and “don’t bad mouth your customers” but was an interesting read anyhow. I would not put Out of the Park Baseball or Eastside Hockey Manager on the same tier as PureSim. I think both SI products are a bit more refined and have much longer shelf lives than PureSim. Shaun Sullivan’s game is more in line with some of Grey Dog Software’s basketball products – good games that get better with each new iteration, but with much smaller fan bases. I imagine (with no numbers to back this up) that OOTPB and EHM do much larger sales numbers than either PureSim or Total Pro Basketball.
And to be honest, there is no other text-sim at Football Manager/Championship level, so tier-one is very much an exception and an exclusive club. Maybe if we throw Total Club Football in the mix, but they’ve had their own patch-related issues this year. And I imagine there are quite a few copies of TCF sold around the world.
I also think that while Mr. Harris describes a linear relationship in the ranking and I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. A game like Baseball Mogul has been around for a long time, but I would put it solidly in the third tier, or if we create a PueSim/TCB third tier, Baseball Mogul is in the fourth. You can be a long established text-sim and crank out broken game after broken game, or one that doesn’t evolve with the times. And as far as I can tell, Baseball Mogul fans are so loyal, that they purchase the game in enough numbers to keep the franchise going for all of these years.