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News & Features Discussion  » General: Great Expectations - SW:TOR

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239 posts found
  Astralglide

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/03/07
Posts: 696

"Nothing says combat instancing like cleavage, nipples, and leather"
-Sanya Weathers, 2009

3/25/10 2:43:44 AM#121

I agree with the article, but not to the extent that many other posters do. I don't think that EA is going to "out-compete" other games or drive away the indies, if that were the case, Blizzard would have already taken care of that. EA is simply trying to be the next Blizzard, probably because it sees the incredible amount of money that company is still making on a 6 year old title. Here's where my concern is:

I played WAR and was so horrified by the unfinished garbage that was delivered I swore that I would wait 3-6 months before playing any new releases, especially those released by EA. If memory serves, EA was counting on WAR to take off and make a shit-ton of money after its release.

I'm not sure how much WAR cost, but it wasn't $150,000,000

Now, if you consider WAR to be a catastrophic failure to investors, try telling them that they only have 500K subs (I'm NOT saying that's all this game will get, this is just a hypothetical) and the company just pissed away more money than the GDP of a small nation- that will cause an investor- relations and Board of Directors nightmare which may lead to negatively affecting the industry as a whole. The best way to kill development of a genre is to have enough major flops that it makes all the big boys shy-away. Not that I don't love my Indie sandboxes, but sometimes I want to go to fucking Disney World.

A witty saying proves nothing.
-Voltaire

  User Deleted
3/25/10 3:12:57 AM#122

Maybe off topic a little here... the buisness model I could see happenning for this game is  a monthly fee ( maybe more than the now standard 15$ ) + pay for content.

They say they are making KoTOR 3..8, but what I think is going to happen is you'll get a basic package & then you'll have to buy DLC if you want more. For exemple, they'll sell optinal "Flash point" for the different classes in the game, stuff like that. Use your imagination... I'm really tired. lol

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5233

3/25/10 3:16:27 AM#123

WoW set a bench mark in production quality that MMO’s (if we can call STOR a MMO) have yet to see since. That’s what happens when you spend than much money. This is a gamble for EA and as such the likelihood of them looking to other means of revenue other than a subscription is worrying. I predict a Champions style cash shop which starts with Yoda dolls and escalates to gameplay altering before the year is out.

  Cinge

Novice Member

Joined: 3/25/10
Posts: 126

3/25/10 3:18:33 AM#124

You forget intial box sales. Figure 59.00 regular box, and im sure there will be CE that will sell out. So lets say Avg of 65 a box, times 1 million boxes, thats 65m right away to start working on that 150m rumored price tag. So really only about 9 months if not less of 1 million on going subs to cover all expenses and start making profit. IMO its going to get way more then 1 Million intial box sales, so numbers are even more iffy.

  Skuz

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/08
Posts: 1038

"If you can''t laugh at yourself there''s always someone around to show you how it''s done!"

3/25/10 4:17:16 AM#125

From my own digging around the game looks to be truly massive in scale, 13 worlds & the smallest, starter world, Ord Mantell, is already substantially bigger than WoW's Kalimdor, I've also heard rumours of well over 8500 quests in place already.

So far the only info we've had points at a heavily solo-focused story driven game, but what if that part is only the introductory first world & it then opens up into a much broader game? It's apparently going to have a very well developed endgame, much sidegame activity & includes the full gamut of MMO standard features, like exploration, crafting, PvP, raiding etc....it looks to me to be trying to do everything WoW does, only better, then having the extra stuff (the stuff they've actualy gone into any detail on) layered over it.

I think the investment is not "wasted" except perhaps the voice-overs, but the rest is being spent wisely in bringing a fully fledged content rich game intended to last a year or two till the next expansion, provided they go full out on marketing they could be in a very healthy position, though they'll be competing somewhat with Cataclysm, if they pump the market enough they may just bring non-mmo gamers into the genre in a not dissimilar way to how WoW did, though probably not in quite as big a way.

I do agree that EA are taking a pretty big gamble but the timing may be key, moreso if Cataclysm only offers "more of the same" gameplay, the market could be ready for a new polished top dog, though WoW was till now a fluke the market has grown directly as a result of it's success & gaming in general has grown as a source of entertainment through cultural shifting.

It might not hit more than a million subs in it's first year, but it may well hit 2 million I think, will depend as much on economic climate & job security as it will on a solid & encompassing media marketing campaign, how well it is recieved outside of the U.S. & EU and what other titles get released around the same timeframe, & Facebook may be popularising the home PC or at the least stimulating interest in it again as a platform, knock-on effect being even more exposure.

I dislike EA, but I love BioWare, this game will be make-or-break in many ways.

  rikwes

Novice Member

Joined: 9/08/08
Posts: 90

3/25/10 4:50:18 AM#126
Originally posted by Skuz

From my own digging around the game looks to be truly massive in scale, 13 worlds & the smallest, starter world, Ord Mantell, is already substantially bigger than WoW's Kalimdor, I've also heard rumours of well over 8500 quests in place already.

So far the only info we've had points at a heavily solo-focused story driven game, but what if that part is only the introductory first world & it then opens up into a much broader game? It's apparently going to have a very well developed endgame, much sidegame activity & includes the full gamut of MMO standard features, like exploration, crafting, PvP, raiding etc....it looks to me to be trying to do everything WoW does, only better, then having the extra stuff (the stuff they've actualy gone into any detail on) layered over it.

I think the investment is not "wasted" except perhaps the voice-overs, but the rest is being spent wisely in bringing a fully fledged content rich game intended to last a year or two till the next expansion, provided they go full out on marketing they could be in a very healthy position, though they'll be competing somewhat with Cataclysm, if they pump the market enough they may just bring non-mmo gamers into the genre in a not dissimilar way to how WoW did, though probably not in quite as big a way.

I do agree that EA are taking a pretty big gamble but the timing may be key, moreso if Cataclysm only offers "more of the same" gameplay, the market could be ready for a new polished top dog, though WoW was till now a fluke the market has grown directly as a result of it's success & gaming in general has grown as a source of entertainment through cultural shifting.

It might not hit more than a million subs in it's first year, but it may well hit 2 million I think, will depend as much on economic climate & job security as it will on a solid & encompassing media marketing campaign, how well it is recieved outside of the U.S. & EU and what other titles get released around the same timeframe, & Facebook may be popularising the home PC or at the least stimulating interest in it again as a platform, knock-on effect being even more exposure.

I dislike EA, but I love BioWare, this game will be make-or-break in many ways.

 

 

Don't forget there's other MMO's coming out except Cataclysm and SW:TOR and there is no way of knowing  if one of those won't be a surprise-hit .And also take into account Blizzard are also working on their next MMO - besides maintaining WoW - we pretty much know quality is assured because they can take all the time they want . a Luxury most companies - not even Bioware - don't have .

  AesonSeth

Novice Member

Joined: 8/13/04
Posts: 12

3/25/10 6:08:50 AM#127

Not sure if anyone has pointed this out yet, but im pretty sure the writer of the article didnt factor in the game sales. $50 x 1m subs + collectors editions - costs = close to $50m straight up right?

  TsukieU

Novice Member

Joined: 4/27/08
Posts: 579

There is a war going on for your mind.

3/25/10 6:34:47 AM#128
Originally posted by TookyG
Originally posted by Vestas

[. . . ] even the much hated Star Trek Online has over 200k subs making it profitable for what Cryptic spent on it.

Jack Emmert claims, well over 100k subs.  If they had over 200k he would have said over 200k.  Profitable for them supposedly, yes, but not successful.

 

If it's profitable, then it's successful.

 

Sorry, that is just a huge pet-peeve for me.  I don't know when the hook of, 'It's profitable, sure...but it's not successful!' came along.  It's contradictory and well...just plain dumb.

Mne eto nado kak zuby v zadnitse.

  Betaguy

Elite Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2625

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

3/25/10 6:39:40 AM#129

Two articles in less than 24 hours from MMORPG writers that are biased and class SWTOR as being subpar and not good for the MMO market? Seriously whose payroll you guys on? I am not 12 years old, I can see what is going on here.

  Psatiyah

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/09
Posts: 75

3/25/10 6:48:04 AM#130
Originally posted by sinjin

Two articles in less than 24 hours from MMORPG writers that are biased and class SWTOR as being subpar and not good for the MMO market? Seriously whose payroll you guys on? I am not 12 years old, I can see what is going on here.

TBH the fact that MMORPG.com posted that article about SW:TOR and how much money it's costing to produce this game ($150mil) has made me WANT to buy it...

 

I mean, of course I want to try out the most expensive game in history... yes, it's 50 bucks, but it's 50 bucks to take part in something which costed countless man-hours and 150 million bucks to produce...!

  Jounar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/11/10
Posts: 143

3/25/10 6:53:26 AM#131
Originally posted by seare

Scott,


In addition to my other comment, I'd like to add that I think you are understimating the marketing that can be put into this game.  Consider that Star Wars already has a popular animated series on the Cartoon Network that can be used to air comercials for the game.  In addition, Star Wars will have an adult focused, live action, TV show in the near future.  Another avenue to advertize directly to Star Wars fans.  And finally, there are all the books and comics. 

The Star Wars franchise is indeed a huge boost to TOR but you need to take into account this isint the Star Wars that most people know or care about. The old Republic setting just dosent appeal to alot of Star Wars fans.

  PinkCat

Novice Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 231

-[]The Guru[]-

3/25/10 6:58:19 AM#132

Somebodys palms are being greased that is forsure.  Who in thier right fucking mind would say "OMG, they spent too much on an mmo, it is destined to fail?" MMORPG writers/staffers/owners built and run a gaming website, so quit trying to act like you know what the fuck your talking about. You guys should stick to reviewing games not trying to predict how economys will react. I was playing mmo's while you guys were all still just thoughts in your dads sac.  Do you know how stupid you guys look? I may look bad for cursing but at least I know what the fuck I am talking about.

Everquest - 8 million dollar production, game was good for its time.

WoW  - 80-100 million dollar production lasted 5 years strong but now is losing its flavor

SWTOR - 150 million dollar production, see a trend here? The game will be good just becuase they didn't try to cut cost like any big player who wants to survive in todays mmo market.  So once again let me say someone was either dropped on thier head a few too many times or someones pockets are being lined to write this trash.

-----------------------
...I'm in your panties

  Dstive

Novice Member

Joined: 3/04/09
Posts: 43

3/25/10 7:02:46 AM#133
Originally posted by Vestas

What's horrible is that this is classic EA mentality.  They have yet to produce a successful MMO so they figure the problem is finances. Unfortunately I agree with Scott's findings here, 1 million subcribers is the holy grail of MMO's in a post WoW era.  Even Blizzard didn't calculate or expect their numbers to get that high, neither did Blizzard expect to make th eir money back in 1 year.    EA can't run projects with a long tail, it's not in their blood.  If they can't ship a game that makes it's money back in 1 year they consider it a failure, hence why they have failed at MMO's.


However the realy crime here is that they are spending so much money on SW:TOR and from what has been shown so far, there is nothing about the game that indicates it is twice as good in gameplay as say, WoW was (and I'm not a WoW fan).  Sure their budget is huge, their team is massive and I bet their production values, such as full voice, are quite high.  But none of that fluff has ever made past MMO's successful.  Remember, Everquest 2 had full voice narration too and that feature was so... not cared for by the players that it has slowly worked its way out of the game.  Voice acting makes for interesting story telling but it doesn't make your gameplay any better and it doesn't retain customers.


The real question becomes, what about SW:TOR makes it the second coming? What makes it the next holy grail? The Star Wars IP?  History h as already proven that's not enough.  Sure the market is different now, they'll get over a million in box sales in the first month easy.  It's retention that matters and there's been very little I've seen in the released gameplay shots that show it's got the kind of chops to retain those kinds of numbers.


Right now it looks like a heavily instance,d story driven MMO that will be  mostly a single player experience with some grouping options.  It'll be another MMO on rails, moreso than even WoW was at launch. And right now those kinds of MMO's just aren't doing well when it comes to breaking the 1 million barrier.  They are all successful, even the much hated Star Trek Online has over 200k subs making it profitable for what Cryptic spent on it.  But then, cryptic spent less than one sixth what Bioware/EA are spending.


EA should've learned their lesson by watching Warhammer ship with similar crazy wow-killer expectations.  I certainly hope they succeed, I'd like to see SW:TOR be a sustainable game, the kind you play for years like WoW.  But nothing about its currently released information indicates it has those kinds of legs.

What this guy said. Sums it all up nicely I think.

  Saerain

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/27/06
Posts: 945

3/25/10 7:31:28 AM#134
Originally posted by Jounar

The Star Wars franchise is indeed a huge boost to TOR but you need to take into account this isint the Star Wars that most people know or care about. The old Republic setting just dosent appeal to alot of Star Wars fans.

It may be far from movie-era when it comes right down to the timeline, but this era has a lot more in common, thematically and narratively, with Star Wars IV-VI than did I-III, the Clone Wars cartoon, or the future frontier that the Legacy material is venturing into.

Favorites: EVE, VG, LotRO | Playing: None | Anticipating: SC, ED, TD, EQN, CU

  therain93

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/06
Posts: 2047

"Racing to endgame is like racing to the end of your vacation."

3/25/10 8:55:38 AM#135
Originally posted by Psatiyah
Originally posted by sinjin

Two articles in less than 24 hours from MMORPG writers that are biased and class SWTOR as being subpar and not good for the MMO market? Seriously whose payroll you guys on? I am not 12 years old, I can see what is going on here.

TBH the fact that MMORPG.com posted that article about SW:TOR and how much money it's costing to produce this game ($150mil) has made me WANT to buy it...

 

I mean, of course I want to try out the most expensive game in history... yes, it's 50 bucks, but it's 50 bucks to take part in something which costed countless man-hours and 150 million bucks to produce...!

 You're not the first to bring up box sales but you make the same mistake most people do -- you assume that a $50 retail box equates to a straight $50 in revenue for EA which isn't the case.  There's a wholesale price that is sold to the stores which is significantly lower and then there's retail price.  Do people really think Best Buy buys games from publishers for 49.99 and then puts them on sale the first 2 weeks for 39.99 at a loss ot 10 dollars per unit....? No.  Considering retailers have other merchandise competing to sit on the shelves, they can drive down wholesale prices forcing narrower margins...but considering store-shelving is the best marketing for games, game publishers have to suck it up and do it. 

Digitial distribution has better margins, naturally.

  LumTheMad

Novice Member

Joined: 11/04/09
Posts: 29

3/25/10 10:01:21 AM#136

Couple of comments:

"Who paid you guys to say that stuff" - why is it that whenever someone writes something that could be construed as remotely negative towards one's favorite game/developer that they're on the payroll of some EvilCompany? It's almost as insulting as the implication that saying something remotely *positive* implies some sort of payoff. Regardless I have been writing about MMOs for over 10 years now, since the first mass-market MMO (UO) was released, everything I've written is available online for review, and I have said *many* times, including here, that huge budgets are detrimental to creativity and risk-taking. This is not new.

"You forgot box sales" - box sales have so many slices taken out of them (retailers, distributors, publishers, manufacturing costs) that it's difficult to say what impact they have on a bottom line. It's not insignificant (especially in the case of a game that intends to move millions of boxes) but not nearly as profitable as recurring subscriptions, 100% of which go towards the developer (except for games like TOR which have licensing agreements, something else which I didn't cover simply because the terms EA and Lucasarts have worked out are unknown).

In any event, all of my numbers in the column are suspect. Of course. It's a "back of the envelope" estimate, which is all anyone not privy to EA's budgeting/production meetings can come up with. However the key number is not one which originated with me - the fact that EA has said that they require 1 million subscribers to begin to make a profit. Given that there has only been one MMO (WoW) that has posted those numbers, and a great many which have not, it's a fairly breathtaking prospect.

  maskedweasel

Tipster

Joined: 9/24/07
Posts: 7264

"Kids, try imagining how far the universe extends! Keep thinking about it until you go insane."

3/25/10 10:22:31 AM#137

I guess we should just leave it at, everyones entitled to believe what they want to believe.  I don't believe people are going to chastise a company for how much they are willing to spend on development.  The game will either break even, lose money, or make money... there is no fourth-weird thing that will happen.  When this game launches 150 million strong, you'll know they didn't throw 20 million at it and cross their fingers.  This will be BioWares showing of what their development team produced and if it fails THEN IT fails.  

 

Indie companies will still produce games, fire will not fall from the sky, and your tin foil hats will still be out of fashion.  Pink Cat may have been crass in his comment, but he's right.  You can't lose what you don't gamble, but you won't win anything either.  You can't have it both ways.

"Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


  Palebane

Novice Member

Joined: 10/18/04
Posts: 3247

3/25/10 10:39:50 AM#138

In my opinion they are going to need every penny of that $150 million to make this game what it should be. And the only way they are going to make thier money back is if they make this game the way it should be; the next step of evolution in the MMO world. Not everyone is going to like it, but unless most people like it, they are going to lose. I admit this is one of the few titles I'm actually looking forward to, but I also have to admit that EA has rushed/destroyed some of the other games, such as WAR, that I have looked forward to in the past. Time will tell.

Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  Palebane

Novice Member

Joined: 10/18/04
Posts: 3247

3/25/10 11:01:07 AM#139
Originally posted by Hrothmund

...if we look at MMOs hostorically after the release of WoW. So many heavy-weight, large-budget games have attempted a go at WoW and failed I doubt the trust in Bioware and the Starwars IP is significant enough to warrant that sort of budget.

If not a big name publisher, with a hugely popular IP, a dedicated and award winning development team, and hundreds of millions of dollars, then who? 

Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  gauge2k3

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/26/05
Posts: 461

3/25/10 11:04:16 AM#140
Originally posted by Palebane
Originally posted by Hrothmund

...if we look at MMOs hostorically after the release of WoW. So many heavy-weight, large-budget games have attempted a go at WoW and failed I doubt the trust in Bioware and the Starwars IP is significant enough to warrant that sort of budget.

If not a big name publisher, with a hugely popular IP, a dedicated and award winning development team, and hundreds of millions of dollars, then who? 

WoW has the market cornered on WoW games...shocker.  Now if some major company would want to make something other than a WoW game...perhaps we might be having a different discussion.

gauge2k3 Xfire Miniprofile
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