The first thing we'd like to say is happy holidays! We hope you're all looking forward to time with friends and family in the upcoming week or two, as you close out 2016 and ring in a new year.
For us it's a time to play some of our favorite games while eating cookies and drinking warm beverages, and to reflect and to think—what's worked well and what needs work, as we get ready to launch into exciting new things in 2017?
In the spirit of that reflection, we wanted to provide some important updates and make sure we're communicating with you as best we can:
we realize there are a number of things that need working on, so we want to address those concerns. There are a number of facets of the online store that will be spending some time in the hanger bay for the next week or two!
Shipping status of orders placed to date
Orders placed before the 5th should have arrived by now, and orders placed through the 16th may or may not make it in time for Christmas. Orders placed after the 16th will start being dispatched when our warehousing partner re-opens for business on January 2nd.
That we can't guarantee that orders will have made it onto Santa's sleigh is a matter for which we offer our sincerest apologies.We've been working through a rough transition with our warehousing partner as we get the new store working as it should, in addition to discovering a number of product library issues from the migration from the old BattleCorps site. We've found many of the problems largely through your help bringing things to our attention, something for which we're greatly appreciative!
If you haven't received items for an order that was placed prior to the 5th, don't panic yet—because your order may fall under the next point:
There were listings that shouldn't have been up on the site... but there they were, like mirages in a desert; promising an oasis you couldn't reach.
During the migration from the old ecommerce platform a number of products got mismatched between titles, descriptions, SKUs, inventory counts, and relevant files. Because of the idiosyncracies of the system that was built on unicorn's blood and arcane ceremonies back in 2004, these things have been hard to catch and correct in a systematic manner. That has meant that a number of products have been up for sale during the soft-launch that are actually discontinued products, products out-of-stock, on back-order, replaced by newer editions, and so-on.
So there will need to be some refunds, credit, and back-orders to sort out, something which we're working on as best we can, as fast as we can.
If you read nothing else in this email, hear us clearly on this: we will make sure everyone either gets what they ordered, what they should have gotten in the case of more recent versions/edition updates being available, a refund, or store credit with some extra thrown in for their trouble.
To help us work efficiently on fixing this, we're temporarily removing all physical products from the store until January 2nd, when our warehousing partner re-opens and starts shipping again.
This will facilitate our team focusing on resolving outstanding digital fulfillment issues to get everyone their downloads, and do a thorough quality-control round on physical titles before we return them to availability on the store. We want to stress again, your patience is greatly appreciated as we find and squash bugs and endure growing pains—the old site was very overdue for an overhaul. Through these last few 'trial weeks' we've prioritized some specific things which are what we're working out now:
We're implementing a new way to do combo products so you can still get a deal on both physical and digital delivery of your favorite titles, without breaking the inventory system which previously required orders to be entered for fulfillment by hand, with inventory updated separately in two places.
We're overhauling 'ye olde product database' to make products easier to track stock of, to ensure there aren't multiple versions of the same product on the site or old versions which are out-of-print.
We're still working out the connections for fulfillment and tracking (both digital and physical) so that it's easy to ensure you get your downloads immediately through the download platform and tracking numbers back to you from our warehousing partner within one to two business days of your order.
In case you thought we were asleep in the cockpit, we also want to highlight new functionality we've already implemented:
Better search tools, to make it easier to find your favorite products
We've improved the search engine implementation on the site, so if you use the search bar now you'll be getting more relevant results on the first try, with results-by-category and automatic suggestions too.
Proper account management access for you to keep your info up to date
Now when you're logged into the site you'll see that not only can you change your shipping address, you can also change your full name and email account. In the future we'll also be adding options for email notifications to opt-in to receive special deals, news, and updates that matter to you, and not the ones that don't.
Custom account data which can be kept per user
We've laid the groundwork for the future resurrection of the BattleCorps subscription platform, as well as other preferred customer perks and future tools for the demo team.
In addition to the above tasks already accomplished, here's what we're hoping to get done before we ring in the new year:
Back-end changes to facilitate a bulk-fix for ALL the missing downloads not yet matched up to purchases
Fixing the product library data to ensure it's fully reflecting ONLY our current offerings, to ease order-fulfillment with our warehouse and prevent confusion and the need for back-orders, refunds, or other hassles for you, our valued customers.
Completing the "automation-pipe" to get tracking data out to you in a timely fashion when you place orders.
Once more, we would appeal to your better nature and patience as we get through all the tickets and respond to everyone.
There are only 3 of us who are working in the ticket system, and as of this email there have been 868 tickets of various matters to resolve in the last 18 working days since the launch of the new site. That's ~48 tickets per day each that have been added to our existing workloads.
We're working to address as many things as possible through systematic fixes that will make things better for as many customers at a time as possible, rather than just trying to handle each concern individually. This is in an attempt to try to speed things up overall, but does mean individual tickets are processing more slowly than you (and we) would like.
Therefore we ask you to please continue to be patient, because we promise we WILL get to everyone, even though it will take some time to catch up!
Special-edition holiday gift card art
Lastly, we want to end each major update with something cool: Today's it's that digital gift cards are now available!
It may be too late to get things onto Santa's sleigh, but it's not too late to give the gift of your favorite games to your favorite people.
Whether you're interested in giving a festive Atlas or an appropriately Saturnalian icon from the Sixth World, we've got options for your last-minute holiday gift-giving needs.
And, you don't have to be purely motivated by generosity to give a gift card this season... We've had our artists create two unique festive gift-wrap inspired desktop backgrounds that will only be offered with the gift cards, so there's something for you in it too ;-)