That’s what I said, only way nicer and with less sarcasm.
You started off with great expectations of being open & honest @Mark_Cote and it hasn’t taken long to fall into the zwift way of doing things, has it?
No communication for a number of weeks and then a few PR type statements & platitudes and then back to hide for a few more weeks.
Go read the statements ‘you’ posted when you first took your position and see if you are meeting those expectations that you set out and if the above is how you thought you’d be communicating with people.
I didn’t mean to take your arguments or anything, just giving them some support
Ha I know, just jesting
WTRL’s semi-incorporation into Zwift just further cemented Zwift’s hold on the e-cycling world. Unfortunate, because the organized racing community was a means of leverage against the ever increasing dominance of Zwift in virtual cycling.
It’s quite slick, really, what they have been doing over the past year, eliminating user-based organization by taking over zwiftpower.com, shutting down its community forum, and ‘co-operating’ with WTRL for the ZRL league (a pseudo-innovation, not much more than invitation-enabled events, which makes racing less inclusive, rather than introduce any real novelty that actually matters, if you ask me).
Well-organised community groups, like WTRL and the team behind zwiftpower, had some leverage to take their activities to other platforms, and create momentum there, increasing competition in the market… Zwift realises this very well - and consequently muzzled them. It would be much better if community race organisers would function independently of Zwift, and Zwift would provide them with better tools to organise their events.
Don’t expect anything of meaning to happen over the next years (especially not what concerns e-competitions), except for a Zwift IPO perhaps, so the VC funds that invested can cash out. Call me a cynic, but I fear time will proof me right. If anyone thinks Zwift’s in it for your e-cycling enjoyment… I’m afraid that’s being naïve. That boat has long sailed after the big venture capitalists got involved.
A market monopoly will never come to the benefit of the consumer…
Thát, I believe
I automatically parsed that as though there was a comma after “less”.
I think it is less a reflection of zwift specifically but more a reflection of the maturity of this e-sport and fitness applications in general . We are still in the world of proprietary and non integrated solutions . That survives in the current feudal level of space maturity but eventually products come along that start to understand the value of standards and reuse-ability and other enabling architecture. So applications that have developed complex,closed and highly proprietary approaches will naturally wither as users gravitate to more open standards where the sorts of things you advocate come as minimum.
We will know when that happens when a product turns up to market with an open API from day one. That will be a product to truly consider investing lots of energy in . Otherwise only do enough to try and make it better for you but don’t “invest” in it any more than that, as you said they are not operating for the benefit of anyone but shareholders so this is a sensible relationship standpoint to adopt.
It’s a difficult needle to thread and those close to product development can respect this challenge. We are working on some of the most challenging, unique problems to MMOs and esports. It’s a fair assessment I’ve not been on the forums with you as often as I hoped. I have been working hard on building our our upcoming content and tools.
I’m sincere in my interest and my daily efforts connecting this community with our product team. There are many on this thread who are on regular comms with our team. If you have a dedicated stream where you’d like to engage, DM me. Not all areas of work have on-going interviews but it’s nice to have the list of Zwifters to connect our PMs with.
There’s nothing to stop someone setting up a new, independent forum. (Or Reddit, etc.) It’s not like Zwift have (or can) stifle conversation and discussion of the things that irk people free of any shackles imposed by an official forum.
That can still happen too. It just takes someone to want to do it. As it is, there are race series I know of on other platforms.
But the incentive isn’t as strong, I think, because Zwift is already the default. The one with the critical mass of users; and thus the biggest draw.
They’re a business, it’s in their interests to protect themselves. The onus is on the competitors to provide a compelling alternative to lure people away. Or maybe for some notable people in the Zwift community to “defect” to another platform; but that’s not any guarantee of success either. Just look at Ninja and Twitch/Mixer.
Thanks for the reply @Mark_Cote. So are we likely to see any material development this year in terms of sorting the massive sandbagging issues that are prevalent in racing (especially at the lower levels) or a different rankings based system that would negate that altogether?
“That can still happen too.”
Is that true though? Aren’t they covered by exclusivity / non compete clauses?
I don’t mean WTRL or ZwiftPower specifically. Anyone can write a similar system. I did it 20 years ago for a Quake 2 CTF league I used to run, for example. (On a much smaller scale, of course, but the basics of teams/rosters/leagues/events/cups/results/seasons/promotions etc. are all the same.)
Right, that’s my point indeed. Critical mass, and hence virtual cycling competitions all together, belong to Zwift now, which is an unfortunate and unhealthy situation (and let’s be clear, something resembling the zp forums won’t re-emerge anytime soon, right?)
But I agree with you, it’s their right, as a private company, to try and maximise their profits, but as fans of virtual cycling, we’d better be wary of this.
And it’s our right, as paying customers without proper alternative due to the market structure of these type of platforms, to demand a decent service. For many of us, this is becoming wildly expensive software.
Zwift’s actions in the e-racing sphere (and more specifically, their antics with zwiftpower) so far have accomplished the opposite. Nothing racing-related has improved over the past years. Categorisation and sandbagging have gone unadressed, as well as fraud. It took a year to sort out zwiftpower issues (and still not finished). The fraud reporting system hardly has any effect (because “they are in a bind because fraudulent riders complain when being caught”). None of these things are rocket science, and it’s clear that money is the only thing driving this inaction. The only thing I notice moving are 2 guys commenting every other month here, keeping up appearance that they devoted even the slightest bit of manpower to this…
So indeed, forgive me for getting a bit cynical here. I like e-racing (even though i’m not terribly good at it ), and because of community-driven efforts (! 100% !) the only place to properly compete is on Zwift. So yes, as a paying customer (> 500 euro and counting!), it deeply frustrates me to see ZHQ trying to actively tear down parts of the racing eco-system, presumably just to create a tiny bit of additional shareholder value, without putting anything in return.
I don’t really care about the corporate or financial aspects. It’s the nature of business. Or that Zwift becomes increasingly dominant. It might even be a good thing in some ways. There are two sides to that coin. Communication style/customer relations? Well, I do have preferences there, but it’s actually not really crucial either to me. I’m used to getting pushed around a bit as a mass-market consumer. Can’t say I like it, but as long as I get what I need in return… The thing is:
As long as Zwift delivered in racing I would be happy.
Because it is absolutely core to the product, regardless of whether Zwifter so-and-so races or not. Many - both subscribers and Zwift employees - seem to fail to get this. So many things, so many non-racing things in Zwift depend on a solid racing platform. It would send waves.
Business secrets? No one is asking you to divulge the minute details on future solutions. Of course you couldn’t. But I would like to see you make a promise. I think you owe us that. Could you promise to deliver on the following within a foreseeable future:
- Cat enforcement… [YES/NO]
- …without cat performance ceilings [YES/NO]
- …and a results-based categorization (pick your weapon, any model is fine really) [YES/NO]
I myself would happily swallow at least two chill pills and be more patient and well-behaved (at least until a foreseeable future ran out) if I could get a YES on all three above.
Those three couldn’t be considered business secrets. They are how any other sport is run. It’s a commitment, rather, to conform to proven and fair standards from the grass roots and up through the rider ranks, and that’s what separates a mere consumer product from a true community movement Who would you rather be, a product manager, a community manager, or someone who manages a new positive movement while getting paid? You need to understand that Zwift is so much bigger than Zwift. [sic!]
So will you? Do we have your commitment?
I like this so long as there are enough racers in bigger events. I don’t want to race when it is less than 10 in my Cat, preferably 20 or more. During peak Zwift season in big events this makes sense to have more Cats.
Still, bring a results based system.