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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 3:30PM DiscordSK said

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@Seffrid
World of Warcraft was also Blizzards fist attempt to create an MMO. Up until that point it was a studio known mostly for creating RTS's.

Honestly, I think track records and past achievements matter less in some cases as the quality of the development team behind it and Bioware has argueably the best one in the industry. They have yet, over the course of two decades, to realise a single turd.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2011 3:53PM Seffrid said

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@DiscordSK

Sorry, but you're very wide of the mark.

Blizzard had a strong track record at online games through Battlenet, and it gave them an enormous captive market as well, as did the long-established and hugely successful Warcraft IP - much bigger than SW among gamers, which is what matters.

What Bioware have is a strong track record at producing story-based CRPG's that can be finished in a couple of weeks. That's a very different background to Blizzard's when it comes to the development of MMO's that are designed to be played for years.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2011 3:54PM engrey said

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@DiscordSK

Keeping in mind that Blizzard had a history of developing and maintaining online games and had Battle.net for their platform. BioWare, outside of NwN does not have anything like that. Also, the team that has created previous BioWare games is not the same team working on TOR. While some developers do cross over, most of the TOR team is built up of employees from other MMOs (Mainly SOE). While experience is always good, as Mythic has showed us, it does not mean everything.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2011 3:31PM Vestas said

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@jslim419

EA is not just a publisher. When a publisher has to sink 200 million into a product, it's not "just a publisher" whose normal responsibilities involve printing the boxes and getting the game on the shelves (which costs far less than that). EA is investing heavily in Bioware to the point where the two act like partners.

EA has a horrible track record with MMO's. As a company they believe in one off products, things they can ship year after year and don't have to support because "That'll be in next years version". They have categorically failed to put money into shipped mmo's. The Sims Online, Earth and Beyond, Warhammer, Motor City Online, all games that with a bit of budget, could've continued to improve in their own niche. But none generated "enough" revenue for EA to be happy. It wasn't about profit and loss, it was that EA /only/ supports blockbuster titles, their entire company is focused on writing off "mediocre" titles and pumping the big releases. From a culture and management standpoint, they have no concept of how to maintain an MMO or run a live product.

Bioware knows how to make quality product, and EA seems to be thinking the reasons for their past failures was not enough initial funding. I.E. They think "Too big to fail" will work for them this time. Whereas, in reality, it's probably "So big it can only fail."

I trust Bioware to make a good game. I trust EA to abandon it shortly after launch.

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 3:33PM clik said

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I've had nothing but bad experiences with anything that has EA on the box. Same with SOE. Actually I'll say that I've had decent/good initial experiences that dwindled into horrible nightmares from both. So at least from a consumer stand point I'm very very skeptical of anything EA has their hand in.

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 3:35PM Taawa said

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There seems to be a category error repeating in the responses to this post.

Bioware and Mythic are wholly owned and controlled by EA. So the developer and publisher distinction isn't so clear cut so far as EA's responsibility and culpability in WAR's failure.

And past performance of Bioware RPG's isn't a good predictor of SWTOR's eventual performance. Ongoing support and development for a live online game is very different than, and much more expensive than supporting an RPG. For SWTOR to succeed EA is going to have to pony up enough resources and implement correct management to satisfy the subscribers. Important management and financial decisions will be happening high up on the corporate level. Bioware won't exist in a vacuum from the rest of EA. Unfortunately EA's track record in regards to supporting live online games can be seen in Warhammer's mishandling.

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 4:01PM MuchmoreGaming said

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@Alluvian EstEndrati
"As a friend of mine said when they heard about SW:TOR

"BioWare is making an MMO, awesome!"

And when they heard EA was involved:

"Damn, I will just have to wait and see. Don't want to buy another failure of a MMO." "

LOL - those were my feelings as well. I am really really hoping this game is great. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

-Muchmore
http://www.muchmoregaming.com

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 4:13PM SaintV said

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Bioware has always had a good track record. I hope they don't mess this up!

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 4:34PM Epiny said

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@SaintV
Maybe I missed the boat but it feels like all of BioWare's games are basically the same story just set in different genre's. They are good at making one game. They are succesful because they reskin it and change some little things to make it into 3 or 4 different games.

I think TOR will have very good box sales, I wouldn't be surprised if it breaks 1 million. I just don't think it's going to last and I think the investors feel that way too.

Other than "hope" what market history do investors have to go on? Nearly every MMO that has come out in the last 5 years has flopped. EA is one of the leading producers of these flopped titles. Other than KOTR the Star Wars franchise has been a flopped gaming IP for years.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2011 4:34PM Pojoh said

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If an investor knows diddly and squat about MMO's or gaming history in general, than yeah, it would seem like a risky venture, especially considering how much the cost of SWTOR is costing. Gamer investors probably less hesitant, because of the rep. of Bioware, and the whole Star Wars fandom. MMO strength is built on longevity.

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 4:56PM chuckasucka said

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I'm skeptical regardless of who is publishing the game. The Bioware that is developing the game aren't the droids you're .... I mean isn't the Bioware that you can necessarily associate with KOTOR, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc. Like has been said, they are from other MMO teams. That might mean that within the Bioware/EA environment they will be able to take their knowledge and revelations that they have come to over the years and put them into this new game, and we might see something very innovative, but it might also mean that they will just pump out a generic MMO with a rich story and an attractive IP/setting. That is all we can count on.

Everything that I personally have seen looks like WoW with a Star Wars skin on top, to put it very bluntly. I can't recall anything offhand that this game will bring to the table that will set it apart from anything else out there. If there are enough players in the MMOsphere who are content playing a very typical MMO, mechanically, and who are excited about the Star Wars universe, then the game will succeed. But my concern is that MMOers nowadays don't want another game that plays just like the ones that they have been playing, but only involves different characters, different storylines and different settings.

That's all.

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:15PM RogueJedi86 said

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@chuckasucka

The space combat part is being developed by BioWare Edmonton, the ones who did the ME games, so how about that? Part of TOR is being made by the KotOR/ME team. :P
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Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:18PM chuckasucka said

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@RogueJedi86 Good call. The space combat may be something that this game will bring that is new and exciting. And good on Bioware Ed. for taking that part at least. :)
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Posted: Jan 25th 2011 9:50AM DancingCow said

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@RogueJedi86

How ironic. The only bit being worked on by the original team is by far the least impressive.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:22PM DemonXaphan said

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SW:TOR will have to go thru at least 2 or 3 years of play and development to know if it will be a disappointment or a lasting investment.
NCSoft made Tablu Rasa and that was over 100 million+ development that closed.
It all depends if Bioware can pull off developing content patches and bug fixes to keep the game interesting in the long run and still keep their customers happy by listening to feedback and good customer support.

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:34PM Lenn said

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I for one hope SWTOR will be successful, if only because WoW could use a good de-throning.

Who knows, a few years from now you could play a random MMO and see people filling the chat box with "this sux SWTOR is much better" and "SWTOR was the first MMO!"

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:37PM Donau said

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Earth and Beyond
Never Forget!

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:46PM Liltawen said

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I'd be worried about EA supporting an MMO if i was an investor. They tend to go for the quick rpg buck.
I'm alot more worried about 'The Secret World' tho. Funcom really got in bed with the devil this time.

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:53PM Interitus said

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I would be more worried about Lucasarts then EA. Yes EA fubs MMOs but I think (hope) they are not meddling with TOR. LA on the other hand is probably sitting over Biowares shoulder making sure it's all "iconic" enough. Lucasarts isn't foolproof, they have made some really terrible games. Lets hope they keep tampering to a minimum

Posted: Jan 24th 2011 5:54PM Graill440 said

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Investors also need to know what an MMO is, the majority, and i do mean majority do not. They look at one thing, a new venture with the potential to make money. Check online sometime (there are even a few on youtube) or better yet attend some of these investor promotions or reports (if you invest), the entertainment value is up there with being in a 3 ring circus or your favorite stand up comic trying to explain a demographic joke to another demographic 180 degrees opposed. And if you are an investor, you may become slightly worried. (grin)

The amount of pure garbage and outright lies the pitchemen throw at investors to make the potential sound worth giving away cash makes the political spin doctors look like kindegartners. Still fun to watch.

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