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Reader Comments (90)

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 4:16AM Unverfied B said

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I'm not buying the whole "SWTOR failing will seriously harm the MMO market" rhetoric. We have seen big games floping for 6 years non-stop, one more isn't going to suddenly scare those who invested away.

That being said if SW:TOR flops (and no, i don't see it happening) it will be hard for me to go back to reading walls of badly written quest text, VOs are addictive...

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 8:44AM AceSteveC said

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Hands up who really wants the little guy to succeed! Ok now let's think this through: They've come up with this great game, but only in design. They just don't have the money for the execution. So it runs like a dream (probably because they didn't get enough subscribers to tax the servers), the graphics are nice, the gameplay fun, but...

Well frankly without the big budget the content just can't be there and without that they've just wasted their time and yours on a glimpse of what could have been if they'd had the big budget to do it properly. Surely they'll take the money they make and expand it - Not so much, you only get one chance to make a big splash and fill your boots with enough subscribers to fund significant later expansion and that's at launch, and without the big budget they won't have the marketing to make that big splash. Not only that, but without the big budget and long development time that goes with it they also won't have any long term testing, to really find the systems that don't work in the long run and I'm not talking about the stuff you can change later. I'm talking about the stuff that's ingrained or where the moment you put it in players are invested, so you just can't take it out without alienating your entire customer base. SWTOR has been in development a long time and for a significant part of that time it's been tested and, boring though that may seem, that's probably the second best thing about a huge budget.

There are no shortcuts in MMO creation or in other words when it comes to making a very successful MMO "No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try."

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 9:55AM Katt said

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Wow... an article who's logic is SO badly thought out and shambolic it is worthy of MMORGP.com. Never thought I'd say that here, even on a soapbox article.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 1:21PM Triskelion said

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Though I am bound by an NDA I can state the following:

1) There is a Game Testing Program for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
2) I am in the Game Testing Program for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Its not going to fail. Period.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 5:32PM fattybeef said

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I just want to mash things with a lightsaber and not have it get old after 2 weeks.

Posted: Aug 25th 2011 11:13AM (Unverified) said

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The Soapbox articles always seem to fail. Sorry, just terrible, terrible opinions are presented.

Posted: Aug 25th 2011 11:39AM NathanAllen said

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The biggest problem TOR will face will be the scarcity of non-Jedi in the casual group. If you're looking to draw in a non-gamer demographic to front load the sales of a game you're appealing to young adults who grew up watching The Clone Wars or adult non-gamers who grew up watching the movies. Why play a Jobber when you can play a Jedi. Its success or failure is measured in millions of subscribers, not hundreds of thousands. It will easily hit the five million sold mark, but how many will remain in the game to feed the monthly coffers of BioWare and investors?

Honestly there are only so many unpaid professional gamers out there willing to invest enough time in a MMO to form the static base, say 3 million people in the US. How many TOR will attract will be based on the end-game, how rate loot is and how many times you have to raid to be on par... until the next expansion.

Some like to compare IP to success or failure, why didn't SWG succeed as a MMO? It did, but not to the extent they expected. A non-Star Wars SWG would have been considered a huge success. Look at some of the marginal failures in the MMO world based on big IPs in the world of World of Warcraft: DC, Star Trek, SWG, and Conan. I can imagine the managing groups for each of these pitched WoW killer at some point during the development. They obviously didn't, but in their own right some of them succeded at creating a niche, a profitable niche.

Why such fervor for the game that kills the last game?

Simple; Meridian killed MUDS, Ultima killed Meridian, Everquest killed Ultima and in some people's minds WoW killed Everquest. Not to diverge too far, but there were numerous high development cost products nipping at EQ; AO, AC, SWG, DAOC, EQ2, etc.

So, is the current market like pre-WoW or Pre-EQ? Neither. There are many relatively successful low cost and many failure based expensive products that have been launched in the interim. The very idea of a single game that will kill the last King of Games is antiquated.

So, does the success or failure of TOR affect gaming budgets? Nope, even Waterworld couldn't kill the career of Kevin Costner; much less the idea of a summer blockbuster.

WoW dies because people stop buying and paying monthly for WoW, not because some other game came along. That is why EQ, UO and M59 went by the wayside, because the pool of people who played MMOs was small, and after a few months of paying for the next game you go ahead and cancel your beloved account on the last game. Event still, the measure to watch are new subscriptions and log-ins; not people maintaining an account just because they've invested a couple years in a game. For me that lag time was about 6 months. For half a year after I stopped logging into a game I continued to pay. In fact only an account hack convinced me to stop paying long after I had stopped playing.

The last few crops of games that have been successful in the US have appealed mostly to core MMO players, not casuals. TOR is part of the few games that will have shelf appeal to casuals in a long time. At the very least it will be interesting.

Posted: Aug 25th 2011 2:07PM heerobya said

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TOR is going to be massive.

If it's any good, they have multiple millions of subs after the first month.

After the 2nd or 3rd month? That's up to Bioware and how much content they REALLY were able to put into this game and how fast they can add more.

I have no doubts it'll be polished and it'll be fun and very intelligently designed and implemented.

But will it have staying power?

Bioware's first game they have to sustain and build on / reiterate constantly over time... can't just wash their hands of the product and start working on the sequel like a single player RPG.

Customer support, tech support, server maintenance, forum communities... everything that comes with a major MMO release.

Can they do it? Can they keep up?

Posted: Aug 29th 2011 8:07PM Koontzinator said

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The real problem if it is a success is that all MMOs that follow it will stick to the mold of dungeon grind, action-bar-spamming, themeparks.

Posted: Aug 29th 2011 8:10PM Koontzinator said

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@Koontzinator
With that said, I did pre-order the no-frills digital version, and I hope it pries me away from WoW for longer than any other game has to date (Rift and LoL combined to keep me away from WoW for 6 months, longest streak so far)
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