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Reader Comments (42)

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:14PM (Unverified) said

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I think SWTOR could quite possibly sell 2 million copies. Bioware + the Star Wars IP could easily draw that many purchases. However, I'll be shocked if they manage to retain 2 million subscribers past the first month. You'll have the flood of people who buy the game because they're tired of WoW, and then quit after the first month because SWTOR isn't WoW (and go back to WoW). You'll have non-MMO players who pick it up because it's Star Wars and/or a Bioware game, and then quit after they realize MMOs aren't for them.

I'd be guestimate that roughly 50% of box sales will translate into a subscription that lasts more than a month or two, with that number gradually declining the older the game gets. So, if SWTOR sells 5 million copies, then sure, I could see 2 million subscribers out of that being possible. If SWTOR sells 2 million copies (a more likely number) I seriously doubt they'll hit 2 million subscribers.

Trying to copy WoW's success is like trying to copy Harry Potter. You can come up with something similarly good, and it can be quite popular, but you're never going to get the same faddish success.

I don't hear book publishers announcing that such-and-such new release is going to sell x millions of copies and be just as popular as Harry Potter was, because they seem to realize it's just not possible. WoW (like Harry Potter) was a once-in-a-generation phenomenon. Nobody is going to match it for at least a decade or two.

Posted: Mar 20th 2010 12:25AM (Unverified) said

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You try and you try and you try to copy harry potter..

Then you know what happens?

Someone writes Twilight and Harry Potter becomes irrelevant. Its the way of things. Eventually someone will break that 2 Mil Sub threshold again. Do I tihnk its SWTOR? Not really, maybe I suppose.

But one day, someone will.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:26PM (Unverified) said

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That was amazingly insightful, well done....
Oh, and the article was good too.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:32PM Samael said

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I think you are right with your conclusion. They just might pull this off because they are BioWare and this is Star Wars.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:36PM (Unverified) said

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If anyone can pull things off it is Bioware + Star Wars. Warhammer was a great game that was just boring, and too much of the same damn Fantasy-Horse being beaten once again.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:36PM Itanius said

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There's no doubt in my mind that they'll pull it off on a global scale.

The real questions: how long will it take to get there, and how long will it last?

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:43PM CCon99 said

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Did they say 2 million subscribers, or 2 million players?

2 million players I can see them easily getting, just from people playing SWTOR as KotOR 3. 2 million subs on the other hand is going to really depend on what they offer. If the game is just another soloable MMO that you breeze through the storyline in under 4-6 weeks, they won't maintain 2 million subs for long and will see huge drops in subs after 2 months.

For a subscription success they're going to have to really bust their butt to offer lots of endgame stuff to do and have a fairly successful optional PvP system that has meaning (taking/holding objectives). I also think it will depend on just how instanced the gameplay is. Over instance and you suddenly cut off the players from interacting with others, which is the whole point of playing a MMORPG.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:46PM (Unverified) said

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No offense to other Massively users but there aren't 2 million gamers out there that will rush to buy a MMO. Even if it is Bioware which I may add has never made an MMO and Star Wars which may or may not be the best iP for an mmo. I hope this game is good, I hope it sells well. However, they better have a hell of a marketing scheme to sell this game or it's just going to come out and then gradually gain subscriptions.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:57PM JediPagan said

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You'll be eating those words come launch. SWTOR will easily have 1 million copies sold PRIOR to launch.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2010 9:03PM (Unverified) said

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Games like AoC, WAR, Aion all managed to sell around 1 million boxes at launch IIRC, SWTOR doubling that is not that far fetched considering the IP, the hype and the facts it's a BioWare game.

There's a huge crowd of people looking for their "next WoW", but so far everything they've tried has let them down, if SWTOR doesn't let the players down it might very well come out of the first 6 month with 1+ million subs. IF they don't disappoint...
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Posted: Mar 20th 2010 2:59PM starka1 said

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"Even if it is Bioware which I may add has never made an MMO..."

Umm, you do realize Blizzard had not made an MMO before WoW, right?
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Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:46PM (Unverified) said

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As a consumer, Bioware has earned my trust - I trust that they will deliver a quality product that has a depth of both character and story. Will I be dissapointed in this trust? Possibly, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They have a reputation for quality, and even without the Star Wars name attached I'd give them high chances for success.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 7:51PM Sharuk said

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As mentioned WoW at its peak hit only 2.5 million NA subs. However, I do believe SWTOR will hit 1.5 - 2 million. Star Wars is probably the best known IP in existence and BioWare is one of the best developers in gaming.

They have taken 5 years to make it and have not rushed. They have learned from the mistakes of WAR and AoC. They have smart leadership within the company to know what works.

SWTOR will capture MMO games including WoW gamers looking for something new, Star Wars fans, BioWare fans and other casual games.

I have friends that don't like MMO have never played WoW, not that interested in Star Wars wanting to play SWTOR.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 8:02PM Matix said

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I can see 2 million people buying the game to try it. The IP brings people in. I played WOW because I was a Warcraft nut.

Can SW:TOR keep 2 millions subscribers? That's not a question we can answer right now.

I remember when WOW was in development, there was talk it could never beat EQ's numbers, let alone the 2 million mark... seems like a long time ago, but I still recall how people supposedly not going to like WOW because it just wasn't EQ.

Launch is the deciding factor: there are no second chances to make your entrance. WOW blew EQ away because it delivered a solid (though admittedly deviating from Warcraft roots by making it a quest rather than a PVP game) MMORPG from the get-go. WOW killed the old EQ-model of "the subscribers will keep paying for us to keep trying until we get it right" game-development-program.

WOW is very vulnerable right now. They have problems (especially with PVP and balancing) that they haven't addressed for years. Many players are tired of the bugs, tired of Blizzard and WOW-fanbois trying to shut them up when they try to help make the game better, and they're just plain tired of the same game.

SW:TOR is a sci-fi MMO with a good IP, so I have no doubt it could draw 2 million subscribers if it's as good as WOW. I myself would gladly switch to SW:TOR if the PVP was only as good as WOW's (and would be there forever if they make PVP better!).

Assuming Bioware's innovations make the grade, the real trick is going to be whether SW:TOR will get the 2 million from raiding other MMORPGS--or in drawing new MMORPG players into the genre like WOW did 5 years ago.

It'll be interesting to see if the SW-Prequel generation, many now coming of age, step up to explore TOR as well as MMORPG gameplay.... or whether SW:TOR will cause a grand migration of players from established games.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 8:04PM (Unverified) said

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well if that's their target, they better damn well have the infrastructure setup to support it. If they get 2 mil on launch and the lag is unbearable because their servers can't handle it....good bye subs. This is part of the reason WH failed. They had too many issues off the bat. That and the game was awful

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 8:12PM Dandmcd said

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I see the game easily sellng 2 million box copies, I mean lesser games have sold nearly that many and those weren't a mega IP like Star Wars is. The real difficulty will be retention, which every MMO in the last few years has not done well. If they can get tons of content worthy of subscribing for months, and have an endgame setup that will keep us busy and having fun, there is no doubt this game will be successful.

Posted: Mar 19th 2010 8:21PM Cinnamoon said

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"As we dislike microtransactions, they dislike a pay per month scheme."

Given that a few days ago Massively reported on the fact that North American players spent several billion dollars on microtransactions last year, this claim made by the article is dubious at best. The author here may not like microtransactions, and the Massively peanut gallery may not like microtransactions, but please, don't pretend you or your readers represent the entirety of the Western gaming market -- in which context your article placed the comparison. To say nothing of assuming what billions of people on the OTHER side of the world like and dislike! Good grief. Just lousy.

I think Bioware will easily pull off 2 million subs. Very likely more. Warcraft is downright obscure compared to the Star Wars franchise. And much like Blizzard, Bioware's past history creating games is stellar. That just can't be said for the developers of the flops of the last few years.

Posted: Mar 20th 2010 6:05AM (Unverified) said

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Agreed, way too many people like stereotyping western and eastern gamers. Over here we must all love subs, whilst over there they must all love microtransactions.

In reality DDO reported a 500% increase in sales, microtransactions are bringing in more and more revenue every year even in the west and there's hardly any mmo left, even the subscription based ones, which include some form of microtransactions. Even in wow, where at first the microtransaction bashers claimed stuff like char look remodeling wasn't a form of microtransaction blizzard has without a doubt introduced a form of microtransaction no-1 can deny as they stuffed 2 pets you can buy in the blizzard store.

Many publishers unfortunately go along with the blatant stereotyping, where personally I think I get shafted over and over with monthly subscriptions whilst I'd much rather see pay by the hour and microtransactions. But well yeh, publisher's loss. I ain't going to be subscribing to more than 1 MMO so if I'm already playing something else it's one less sale for them.
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Posted: Mar 20th 2010 4:22PM Marz said

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Cinnamoon said on 8:21PM 3-19-2010
"As we dislike microtransactions, they dislike a pay per month scheme."

Given that a few days ago Massively reported on the fact that North American players spent several billion dollars on microtransactions last year, this claim made by the article is dubious at best
--------------------------------------------------------------
Just because people do it, doesn't mean they like it. The article says we don't like micro transactions not that we won't do it.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2010 8:34PM Gaugamela said

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I don't think that EA learned anything with the WAR debacle. They also wanted big numbers with that game and failed horribly.
Setting expectations too high from the begining is half the way to fail to meet those expectations.

I will most probably buy this game because it is a Bioware game but i'll hold my sub untill i see that it is worthy of it.

They might pull this off, but the key word in this sentence is the "might". thye should aim for a safe number that they must be sure to achieve.
However, i think this is the game that has the most chances of reaching those high numbers: a flawless developer whose products are all masterpieces of videogaming from Neverwinter Nights forward. A great IP. A really aged competitor (WoW is really old right now. Even free to plays have better graphics than it).

Bioware is the only company besides Blizzard that i can see moving to a new segment MMOs and make a successful product in their first try.

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