For the 12 years I have ran my centers I firmly believe that Smartlaunch has caused our industry to be stagnant and been solely responsible for many centers closing their doors.
- In 2004 when I opened eBash, Smartlaunch software license could be purchased for a one-time fee. We paid $1,500 for our copy and not only was it promoted as no other fees in the future, we could also actively sell our license to other stores. This was a REAL program they supported, you contacted them and said “I sold my license for 27 stations to this email address” and they would transfer them. Crazy, they actually made the licenses a commodity and gave them value almost like a bar with a liquor license.
- Smartlaunch then went into financial ruin. I know more than most about what happened. But I will keep this extremely fact based. They went out of business.
- All of a sudden, they are back in business again and guess what? Now you have to pay a monthly fee for the licenses for the EXACT SAME THING YOU ALREADY BOUGHT for a one time fee. It seems like a joke, but it wasn’t. Because the licenses we bought outright still authenticated on boot up they were able to just shut everyone off without a monthly subscription. How does a monthly subscription even make sense when the software runs on game center servers at the game centers? There is no SaaS model here, and there were no new updates to justify charging monthly.
- Up until I guess today (if we believe this is a NEW product released today) the software has been on the exact same version since I started in 2004. Yep, 12 years of the exact same version of software being provided and still charging monthly with nothing new and worthwhile developed.
- The software is dated and therefore it still takes tech geniuses to be able to run it. You have to set-up a local server, understand databases, be able to write batch files and search the internet for extra solutions. Business people cannot run LAN centers using Smartlaunch, they have to be technically savvy and spend hours with work-around solutions to get things to work correctly.
- Here is the big one: For all of the years that I have been in business as a LAN center owner, Smartlaunch has NEVER been concerned with making sure their own customers are successful. It has always been about the money. For them centers come-and-go and is all water under the bridge.
This is why today’s email makes me so upset. Smartlaunch doesn’t care about the centers, they just care about the fact that someone else like us (www.ggleap.com) has finally started a product that actually helps centers. They are willing to lie to people, take their money and then literally put them out of business and move on to the next center.
To continue to break down where we are at today, let’s take a look at the main differences between our product, ggLeap, and Smartlaunch’s new product they are calling eSports 5.0 from feedback with centers that have ran it so far:
|Web-based admin usable anywhere||Yes||No|
|Game license management between multiple centers||Yes||No|
|Free game licenses like Battlefield 1||Yes||No|
|Multiple center support channels||Yes||No|
|Player stat tracking in-game with leaderboards||Yes (3 years)||No Proof|
|Unique prize and redemption system||Yes (3 years)||No Proof|
|Integrated touranment bracket software||Yes (3 years)||No Proof|
|Prize support from major gaming companies||Yes||No|
|Built by LAN center owners||Yes||No|
Currently we are moving centers over to ggLeap that have “upgraded” to Smartlaunch’s new eSports 5.0 product. They can’t get rid of it. It is either so genius in programming as an intentional take over of control of the machine or so completely poorly written that they forgot to make a way to uninstall it. Centers are now just formatting their PCs to get rid of the Smartlaunch product and start over from scratch!
Thanks for the Monday morning motivation Smartlaunch. If that was not your intention, then sorry about your luck. Just stop over-promising and under-delivering and I will leave you alone. In the meantime you are putting my friends and good centers out of business so it is very personal for me.
I will leave everyone with the copy of the email I received today from Smartlaunch which is a desperate ploy to try and keep customers from jumping ship.
Smartlaunch eSports 5.0 has been released! eSports is experiencing explosive growth, which has made it a necessity for game centers to deliver advanced services to an increasingly sophisticated customer base.
Smartlaunch eSports 5.0 is a state-of-the-art software platform designed to deliver a complete eSports solution to Game Centers and eSports Arenas. Smartlaunch eSports 5.0 introduces a wide range of tools for day to day management of an eSports centers as well as administration tools for organization of local eSports events and participation in international competitions.
Smartlaunch eSports 5.0 comes with long awaited features such as automated game loading and patching in addition to a suite of eSports features including popular game statistics, player rankings and individual profiles for players and teams.
You can upgrade to Smartlaunch eSports 5.0 under the supervision of Smartlaunch Support. For more information and to book your installation contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.