Rant: SWTOR free month for 50's
It amazes me that I still get amazed at some of the happenings that go on in this genre. I am quite the grizzled old veteran in MMO terms considering all that I've seen and done. When I heard today that Bioware is giving only people with a level 50 character a free month, frankly I didn't believe it. So I went and looked on their website and sure enough there it is...
A SPECIAL GIFT FOR OUR LEVEL 50 PLAYERS – 30 DAYS OF PLAY TIME ON US!
As a thanks for being one of our most valued players, every active account with a Level 50 character as of April 12th, 2012 at 12:00PM CDT / 5:00PM GMT, will receive thirty (30) days of game time** in appreciation for your support and loyalty.
I'm going to keep this short and sweet, much like the average TOR subscription. This astounds me for a few reasons. I know what the TOR fan is already thinking..."Paragus, this is just another promotion! All MMO's do this sort of thing!" No, not like this they don't. Let's take a step back for a minute and think about this.
First and foremost, this is a giant slap across the face to what is probably a decent chunk of their player base. Yes, getting to max level in TOR is not a particularly difficult thing to do. But clearly they think that somehow the guy with a level 50 and the guy who might have several characters in their 40's are not equally valued. The guy with several level 40's probably has more hours clocked into the game, might have even been playing longer in terms of hours / months subscribed (fees paid), or maybe even invested the extra cash for the CE. Sorry buddy, since you never really "completed" the game, you don't get anything. Well that's not true, you get a kick to teeth, but that doesn't really count.
Secondly, doesn't this pretty much imply that they are admiting something the rest of us already knew? This game is bleeding out level 50s. Everyone I know who played this game terminated their sub shortly after reaching 50. Yes, I read the press release about the 1.7 Million or whatever nonsense they were spinning, but the facts on the ground just don't reflect that. I know a lot of people in a lot of different gaming communities. In those various communities I know quite a few people who bought TOR and popped once they hit the cap because the game felt over at that point. In fact, I don't think I know of a single person left still playing. Maybe I am living in some bizarro anamoly, I guess that's possible, but I'd wager from what I reading on various forums that this is not the case. Bottom line is that I think they see the bargain bin rapidly approaching and are trying trying to pull up as hard as they can.
Finally, doesn't this entire thing basically encourage people to adopt the very playstyle that is killing their subscribers? If the game is bleeding out at 50, and you are offering a monetary compensation bonus for reaching 50, you are basically trying to get people to hasten the death of their account. Someone is going to effectively pay me $15 if I rush to the endgame so I can realize the complete lack of one existing.
I wonder how many of these free month subs will be counted in their next report period? Just some food for thought.
Co-Leader of Inquisition