Rant: The Tortanic
The announcement that The Old Republic (TOR) is going to head down the F2P route finally happened, and a game that has now been nicknamed by many to be the "Tortanic" is finally en route to its destiny. The game lasted only seven month in the world of pay-to-play. It's been a hilarious journey to those of us who realized that this experiement had only one logical conclusion way back when this thing set sail. While myself and many others who saw this coming back in November were called "haters" and "trolls", I figured this would be a good time to point out the massive amounts of stupidity that helped fuel this debacle.
The Old Republic has been in developement for years and was granted quite possibly one of the biggest video game budgets on all time to spend on one of the most popular intellectual properties on planet Earth. With all of these factors going for you, the prospect of failing on this grand of a scale seemed almost impossible to comprehend.
The developers came out and told us that they finally figured out where all the other MMOs went wrong and figured out what players really wanted in an MMO, and it's story! So they spent all their millions of dollars for hiring voice actors to weave create these one-time consumable story content bits in the hopes that would sustain long-term subscribers. Frankly I am still in an internal debate with myself trying to figure out who the bigger idiot is here, the people who really thought one-time story content was the key to long-term MMO success, or the people who gave them hundreds of millions of dollars trying to make that happen. Regardless the entire conception of this project was a marriage of stupidity that cements the old saying that "a fool and his money are soon parted".
There were warning signs. Internal staff members warned us that the Tortanic was a recipe for fail on a scale never before seen in the MMO industry. We also can't discount the fact that any rational thinking person who played the beta or examined the premise of the game realized it wasn't going to work. Sure there were whines from former SWG fans, but we were told that they are living in the past and the new vision is what people wanted. I don't know about you, but I was thinking that what the next big MMO needs is to be is a cookie-cutter clone game that gets one of the biggest space operas of all time between two factions and turn it into a game of Hutt Ball.
There were the big game shows like E3 where the game was showered with awards for being the year's best MMO. After launch, we got to read reviews where people actually gave this game high scores in graphics when the rest of us were wondering why the game had no hi-res textures. The gaming media completely dropped the ball on this in a massive way, and frankly, should be ashamed of themselves for any accolades this game got. Stunning to rational-thinking gamers how so many publications and sites failed to remove the Star Wars from the equation and look at the actual gameplay and rate it on those merits. I'll wager you won't be seeing many if any of these reviewers or "professionals" man-up and admit they were wrong. It should be one of the biggest stories you'll never read, but you won't find any calls for accountability from these people anywhere outside here.
The gaming media truly are the passengers on the Tortanic, and the investors and developers are the crew. The entire lot of these people deserved to be soaked by the icy cold waters of gamer's opinion. As the water started to flood the decks, Bioware had the absolute audacity blame the players, because they made the game the players wanted after all! Just remember the next time a big company looks like it might be doubling-down on a failed formula under the guise of a famous IP to also remember who gave out all the awards and high reviews for the most-predictable massive failure this genre has ever seen.
So I hear there's going to be an Elder Scrolls MMO...
Co-Leader of Inquisition