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Reader Comments (28)

Posted: Oct 30th 2008 4:41PM (Unverified) said

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While I agree the likelihood of SWTOR surpassing WoW's current alleged subscription numbers is pretty unlikely, I think using the launch sales of the original KoTOR is irrelevant. What were the total sales of KoTOR or Mass Effect for PC and Consoles? I think that gives a better indication of Bioware's fanbase.

I am fully confident in Bioware's ability to make a fantastic Star Wars game. Only die hards will stay in SWG (though admittedly, I don't think there are anything but diehards in there already). It won't beat Blizzard's current numbers, but it might one day be the #1 MMO once WoW finally heads into the decline it so richly deserves.

Posted: Oct 30th 2008 4:40PM (Unverified) said

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"When WoW came out, EQ was the biggest game in a genre that boasted few alternatives. Aside from Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online and City of Heroes, what else was there? "

Um, Star Wars Galaxies? Hehe. :)

Posted: Oct 30th 2008 4:53PM Rollins said

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I think you underestimate the power of the Star Wars fan base.

I'm not saying that it's going to dethrone WoW; I don't think it will, but unless Bioware blows it big time, it will take the #2 P2P MMO spot easily.

The reason I say this is because they have both an extremely popular mainstream IP and the financial backing of EA for marketing purposes.

There are few IPs like Star Wars; I can't name another series where it's the exception for someone to have never seen the movies. Even LotR isn't as popular. I don't know anyone who wouldn't recognize the names Luke Skywalker or Han Solo. The lack of such name recognition is the main reason why Warhammer will never go from a small success to a monumental one, despite how good I believe it is.

Now, I know that Warcraft wasn't exactly a household name when WoW came out, but there also wasn't a polished, casual-friendly, and well-marketed MMO out there yet.

Assuming the system requirements are accessible, EA/LucasArts will be able to get many people to try it on name recognition alone, as long as they make people aware of its existence. And they have the money to buy as much advertising as they need.

Granted, much can go wrong. LucasArts may try to influence the project too much. Bioware's lack of experience in the MMO space could become problematic. EA might turn back to their old ways and rush its release. But if everything goes according to plan, WoW will have a competitor coming up closer than any other game has in its rear view mirror.

Posted: Oct 30th 2008 5:44PM Arashikou said

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I can't shake the feeling I've seen this Blizzard/BioWare showdown somewhere before.


"Your overconfidence is your weakness."

"Your faith in your fanbase is yours."
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Posted: Oct 31st 2008 4:58AM (Unverified) said

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To be fair, the Star Wars fanbase is, compared with the Warcraft fanbase when WoW launched, quite a bit larger, and in some cases more fanatical. And, before WoW, Blizzard also had no real experience in the MMO space. What Bioware has the advantage with, however, is that there are people out there now with a lot of experience, and a real sterling example of how to do an MMO that works. The hard part is taking the lessons of WoW and interpreting them correctly, instead of just flavoring a WoW-style MMO with a few sprinkles of Star Wars. Bioware's already announced their intentions to do otherwise, so we shall see what happens next.
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Posted: Oct 31st 2008 3:11PM (Unverified) said

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"There are few IPs like Star Wars; I can't name another series where it's the exception for someone to have never seen the movies. Even LotR isn't as popular. I don't know anyone who wouldn't recognize the names Luke Skywalker or Han Solo."


Superman and Batman? There's an upcoming MMO for DC Comics. :P

In all seriousness, I agree it all hinges on an infinite number of things that could go wrong between development and release. I really hope they don't screw it up.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2008 3:37PM (Unverified) said

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Equally as strong or stronger. Trekkies. Star Trek MMO coming as well.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2008 5:07PM (Unverified) said

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I think Bioware can pull it off because there biggest competition will be Eve Online. Because it's a sci-fi MMO they won't be directly competing for the Medieval Fantasy MMO base so they have a chance to split the pop with WoW. If people want a Sci-Fi MMO and Medieval Fantasy MMO.

Also considering how Lucas enjoys milking the franchise I wouldn't be surprised if the release of the MMO went side to side with a KOTOR movie. Which would definitely help the release...if the movie isn't written by Lucas.

Posted: Oct 30th 2008 5:15PM Ingrod said

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I believe that WoW success is an "one time event", no other MMO in the future can reach his numbers.

When WoW launched MMOs where a new and expansive genre, the novelty catch the people interest, now MMOs gamers are jaded, and MMO are a stagnant genre.

Actually the MMO marked have many titles, when WoW launched only two o three mayor titles disputed the market. No other MMO with the same formula can repeat that situation. Sandbox and "world MMOs" are more niched, and the future "innovation" will be WoW derivative.

SW are a strong IP, but is an 30 years old IP with some renovations (KOTOR timeline), no other film can repeat the 1977 Star Wars gigantic success, inclusive in the same franchise. And no other MMO can repeat the WoW 11 millions succes, inclusive using the same formula.

Posted: Oct 30th 2008 8:27PM RogueJedi86 said

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"no other film can repeat the 1977 Star Wars gigantic success"

To point out the fault in that, many movies have beaten the box office gross of the original Star Wars movie. Titanic netted over $1 billion worldwide, 20 years after SW. On that same logic, someone will top WoW eventually. It may take 20 years, but someone else will get 20 million subscribers or some such. The future is uncertain, forever is a long time.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2008 5:20PM (Unverified) said

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Again i would also like to point out like another replier, that AO was a popular alternative at the time. And when you say its not unopposed in the Star Wars genre of MMO games, then you haven't actually looked at SWG in a while. The game has essentially been dead since the infamous CU. will it dethrone wow. probably not. WoW has everyone because it has had x years to polish its self. people love polish. was wow polished to begin with? no. but it also didn't have another super titan with the crushing capabilities the wow of today has. So what then you may ask will it take for SWTOR to succeed? Some new "gimmick or novelty" if you will that is extremely catchy that will initially bring in the players, and then its going to also have solid hardcore depth to it, without the intimidating face, but with a happy G rated face to ease you into the vast complexities that the game holds for the devoted. If it has those traits then yes, it might stand a chance against the "dozer" that is wow that if i may quote Snatch, "is (aiming) for penetration."

Posted: Oct 31st 2008 5:38AM wjowski said

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Actually, compared to what came before it, WoW's level of polish was unprecedented.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2008 5:38PM Ingrod said

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Bioware's lack of experience in the MMO space could become problematic.

Perhaps that is true for Bioware, but Bioware Austin have some of the most veteran names in the genre, in example Gordon Walton is a pioner in online games with 30 years of experience, he has working in some mayor titles how UO and SWG.

Posted: Oct 30th 2008 5:52PM Temploiter said

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Story-driven is not going to be a market-differentiator, or even a selling point to MMO Gamers. I don't know any Role Players, I guess they are all on Role Playing servers, but the MMO Gamers I've known for the last 8 years have all skipped past Quest content to find the objective, turn-in, move-on, and level as fast as possible.

Story, simply, will be an obstacle to them. Like in AoC, the demand to skip past story elements in the quest text/cut-scenes will be loud and will drown out the tears of the writers and animators who worked tirelessly for hours and hours just to watch their work be clicked-past in an instant on the way to "max level".

Posted: Oct 31st 2008 9:18AM Ayenn said

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I must totally disagree with your belief that story is an obstacle. The problem with many MMORPGs, if not all of them at this time, is the story is so bad it becomes an obstacle. When someone does story well it will cease being a click fest and something to which people will look forward. At that point either the MMORPG will redefine itself in unexpected ways or what we call a MMORPG will become something else entirely.

Go out and pick up Fallout 3. THAT is story done well the main story, well, that couldn’t be done well in an MMORPG. The other quests, the other stories, HOT DAMN I want not to play that MMORPG, I’m actually in the process of developing it! Story is potentially stronger than you realize. Don’t discount it yet. We haven’t seen someone do it well.

I have always wondered at the sex life of rapid clickers. It can’t possibly be good if they are all skipping the preamble...
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Posted: Nov 4th 2008 6:50AM (Unverified) said

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Your idea that storylines are an obstacle are is ridiculous. The fact that no MMO HAS a storyline worth playing is the reason you do not play it.

I for one am going to play this because I love Star Wars, I love Bioware, and I hope it crushes the shit out of that pitiful excuse for an MMO that thousands of mindless people play, WoW.

I once had a friend say if 'WoW isn't the best, why do millions of people play it?' I quickly responded with 'Why do millions of people watch mainstream bullshit on television, biased news, and shit like American idol.'

Its played because it's familiar and its part of their comfort zone. Aside from that I have spoken to people who play WoW that DO NOT EVEN KNOW that other MMOs EVEN EXIST.
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Posted: Nov 5th 2008 12:05PM Temploiter said

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It's ridiculous or the product of no MMOs having a story worth stopping to read? Make up your mind. You can't tell me I'm ridiculous and then go ahead and admit all MMOs have shitty storylines.

I agree that WoW is a junk game, by and large, in terms of story/lore, but don't conflate my statement into thinking I'm some kind of WoW-fanboy, I'm not.

One day if some MMO has a story that is so compelling it will detract players from the race to max level I'll happily be wrong. I just don't think Bioware can deliver that in the market that WoW has largely created. That market demands instant loot satisfaction, quick progression, not lore or storylines. Sorry. Doesn't mean I don't lament it.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2008 5:54PM vicryixiv said

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Like Blizzard's lack of experience in the mmo space?

First of all, dont be such f-ing fanboys. They're allowed to aim high. I wouldnt have any respect for Bioware if it didnt at least THINK it could challenge wow.

And realistically, what other combination of developer, publisher and IP has even a snowballs chance in hell of coming close to Warcraft? Bioware is at the short end of that list, and in case you all havent noticed:

NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE THAT STAR WARS 'SUCKS' NOW. The toys do well, the dvds sell like hotcakes every time they put it out. The tv show gets good ratings despite "critics". Even the games sell great even though they're mediocre most of the time.

Look at Galaxies. That game is a text book example of how to fail. You couldnt make a worse game than galaxies, i dont care what period you pick in its development. My friends will challenge me on this, but i stand firm: It was never good. NEVER. But the setting overcame the errors and imbalance and un-fun game design. And its still overcoming those things despite a total exodus of most of its subscriptions.

People will come play it because of the setting and because of Bioware. Anything Bioware (like blizzard) does is a day 1 purchase for me. MMO or not.

I love warcraft. Been to 3 blizzcons, bought a figure print, have signed posters on my wall. But Star Wars is in my blood. As much as i think they will have a hard time finding 11 million subs, you bet i want it to happen.

Posted: Oct 31st 2008 1:58AM (Unverified) said

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The key is either international success, as the vast majority of MMO gamers reside in Asia, or finding out how to grab non-MMO gamers in the US. Star Wars ONLY holds the same kind of appeal in the US, it exists worldwide, but the following has never been as heavy. #1 in the US? Maybe if it's got a good hook. #1 overall? 1,000,000/1 odds.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2008 6:06PM (Unverified) said

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Those saying that this is Biowares first attempt at a MMO. Do you realize that WoW is Blizzards first attempt at a MMO? While I think SW:Old Republic will not topple WoW. I think like one or 2 have said in these comments that it will take #2 spot.

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