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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: A Bittersweet Week

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83 posts found
  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

5/23/12 4:34:25 PM#41

The only sad thing about this story is that its those that are NOT in charge that either lost their jobs or were taken off the project.

I just hope the game goes F2P with some sort of cash shop before they lose so many players they have to shut it down.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  firefly2003

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/16/08
Posts: 2580

I miss you Star Wars Galaxies...:(

5/23/12 5:11:53 PM#42

edit

  Nergle

Novice Member

Joined: 6/01/07
Posts: 246

All other Warsites>Only-War

5/23/12 5:55:52 PM#43
I usually don't say anything negative, but I hope the people who got fired were the ones who made those shitty looking armor sets for the last update. I also hope this scares the rest of them into actually putting some thought into the next "Star warsy" content (not more WOW in space).
  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

5/23/12 6:31:22 PM#44
Originally posted by Trol1

I love how everybody goes like "oooh, EA has fired just about everybody on SWTOR, yeah, just confirms that SWTOR sucks and that EA is just a stupid joke in itself!"

As of right now we have not seen an offical BW or EA statement giving exact numbers!

So that "huge number" of layoffs could turn out to be just 100 guys.

Which one could argue may still be a large number. But what if it's 45 CSRs in the US and 45 CSRs in the EU? How are being let go for potentially a number of reasons including the fact that the Xmas rush is now over and the number of CSR that are required for efficient opperation can be cut by 50%?

Frankly, we are all guessing... except of course about Stephen Reid who has confirmed that he was laid off.

Which may well be considered a sound professional choice.

I mean seriously, would you really leave a guy who only can give 75% at best in his position (and I'm not looking at SR here, just speaking in general) if you can give the same responsibility to a guy who has prooven that he can give 110%?

And yes, there is also the fact that the future course of SWTOR may come into play: 1.2 offered new content, 1.3 doesn't...

IF BW were to re-foucus the devellopment of SWTOR rather on features (as so many people had been crying for) over new content (which was also an issue for other people), it's a bit like having a load of buckets filled with water at hand when the weather has just changed from dry season to wet season: you very likely don't need them! Them obviously being a full content provider team. ;-)

Let's wait and see...

Uh....... you do realize that letting only 100 people go would still be a ton of people right?

Yet you give the case for managed decline, not expansion.  When you are trying to manage a decline, yes, you lay off the person who is only giving 75% and keep the person who does 110%.  Yet even then Mr. 110% is still overworked, doing all of his work, and some of somebody else's.  Under that constraint, you aren't going to expand.

 

  User Deleted
5/23/12 6:33:41 PM#45
Originally posted by Beyorn

Do they not have 1.3 million players anymore?  That is still a boatload of money if each one is paying $15.00 a month. 

I am sure that is a bloated number but I still think they have a pretty good base. The biggest problem is the voice acting. They will have to unload a lot of that stuff and revamp to the game to make it affordable to run and I personally didnt think they could continue with the voice acting. It was nice to have but I do think it will be limited to possible player class storyline at this point. Who knows either way reductions without announcing new development team is bad news.

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

5/23/12 6:35:02 PM#46
Originally posted by Zylaxx
Originally posted by mmoDAD

I feel bad for thinking this. I really do. I want to see everyone do well. However, I'm glad SWTOR is becoming the laughing stock of MMOs. Maybe now future games will actually start to think, "You know what? Maybe we need to think of something new."

I don't want anyone to lose their jobs, though.

This game is just not built to retain interest. There have been countless threads pre-development on their forums and they all went completely ignored.

 

You want a single-player story? Okay. It's worth 50 bucks. No doubt about that. But a monthly fee? Not even close.

It would've been worth a monthly fee had they included social elements, e.g., larger worlds fit for housing and guild structures, a true world pvp conflict between light and dark, incentives to dwell in all areas of the game (no need to go to tattooine after you leveled through it etc), deep space content etc.

As of now, you are paying monthly to play KoTOR 1 & 2. What did they think was going to happen? I cannot believe how stupid their team was/is. Worst planning EVER.

 

 

I can almost hear them all thinking "Warzones will keep them occupied."

 
 

Didnt work with Warhammer, Didnt work with Rift and didnt work with any other WoW clone thats came and gone over the last 7 years.  Plus not to mention that TESO and Copernicus seem to be following the same WoW model.  In fact as long as WoW continues to garner 100+ million scubscribers you're gonna have greedy studio executives trying to emulate Blizzards success.

I don't like RIFT as a WoW clone, but I'm also not going to put them in the same category as Warhammer.  They are actually growing their game, and those playing it have an extremely high level of satisfaction with it.  They were in the danger zone, but they've passed out of it.  And they are a lore more profitable than TOR is, when you consider the ROI involved in both.

  Trol1

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/23/12
Posts: 184

5/23/12 6:37:29 PM#47
Originally posted by Zylaxx

...  In fact as long as WoW continues to garner 100+ million scubscribers you're gonna have greedy studio executives trying to emulate Blizzards success.

Seriously? You know the numbers go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10... not 8, 9, 100... right?

Or maybe check your data...

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

5/23/12 6:48:52 PM#48
Originally posted by Illyssia

Actually 1.3 is a very good thing. Patch in game play enhancements, then hit with a big content patch later in the summer. Reality is a lot of SWTOR players haven't for example done Denova hardmode or the flashpoints hardmode, so enhcancements like PvE LFG will be very good.

 

Server merges and transfers is nothing WoW, for example, hasn't seen before. I remember on my original server in WoW Vanilla how at launch there were 60 min queues then 6 months later the pop was sort of lightish. Blizzard allowed transfers and merges and it picked up from that point onwards. 

 

What MMOs need to be persistent is gameplay features to keep you trying for the content. Bioware are clearly on the right lines here.

Putting content out in the dead of summer is the wrong time.  Less people play during the summer.  You put content out in summer, it is done by fall, when people become bored..... and all those shiny freaking MMO nextbigthinggames launch.

And stop trying to rewrite history about a game 8 years ago.  WoW didn't lose subs after 6 months.  On the contrary, they experienced solid growth for several years.  WoW wasn't offering transfers for people from dead servers to populated ones.  Rather, some servers were becoming so heavy, they were going out of their way to transfer you to the less populated ones, as a way to increase pop on that server.  Why?  Because they knew their game was growing, but in the meantime, this server needed a temp boost.  That worked, and they added even more servers.  TOR is different.  They have so few people playing, they need to conslidate servers.

And yes, some people haven't done "hardmodes."  Yet by the time you are doing hardmode, you likely aren't doing it in a pick up group.  You wanna do it with people you know, since they are less likely to cause a wipe.  They aren't doing hardmode because they didn't find the normal version terribly compelling.  and the only thing "hardmode" about it is it becomes a raw DPS race.  Again, for all the ways the game sucks, WoW does this sorta stuff better.

Voices like this are why TOR is in so much trouble.

  User Deleted
5/23/12 6:51:40 PM#49
Originally posted by colddog04

WTF happened to ranked Warzones? Was that just axed like Ilum?

 

They do need to fix Ilum but who gives a F about ranked warzones. What a friggin waste of development. I hope they scrapped that so they can concentrate on something to fix Ilum or important.

  sgtalon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/30/04
Posts: 115

5/23/12 6:58:00 PM#50

It is pretty sad. This game did have a lot of promise. I find it amazing that 200 people got fired instead of working on more content. I mean 200 people should be able to pop out new content pretty fast.

I actually saw an interview or something that said that they are going to add more space battle equipment or something... FOR WHAT?!?!

 

They really screwed up this game by not slowing down the exp. They could have bought themselves so much time if they would have made it so you DIDN'T level out of the content long before you finished the planet. If people were still working on hitting max level.. at least the casual players, they would have been so much better.

 

The other HUGE problem was the lack of PVP. Arena battles suck. Thad built in faction warfare. All your missions were already fighting the other faction. IF we would have been doing the same quests it would ahve made the game amazing.

 

I spent about 3 weeks at max level and it sucked. There was almost an entire planet of quests i had to go through and gained no exp because i was already level 50. It was stupid. And that was just so i could get to the Ilum to do stupid repeat crap.

 

It is obvious that the people working on the game were NOT gamers. Definitely not PVP MMO gamers.

 

And honestly, it was not that great of graphics or animations. 

 

Too bad , so sad.

  Hopscotch73

Tipster

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 972

Urgle blurgle geflurgle.
Need more coffee.

5/23/12 7:11:58 PM#51

I don't see much of the sweet either to be honest. It was weird that EA were so dismissive of the game in that last earnings call, and I guess yesterday's events will only reinforce that. 

As a player, I don't know what to expect or when I can realistically expect to see whatever I should be expecting in-game. 

They need to stop being quiet and give dates for 1.3, ranked wzs and server transfers - and then meet those dates or people will just figure that they've given up on the game altogether. The community when they're not clamouring for blood (they certainly got some yesterday) are pretty clear about priorities - and now it's time for BW/EA to listen and respond.

Unless they do that, the assumption that the game has just entered life-support mode is going to be a very difficult one to refute. 

 

  Drakxii

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/08
Posts: 599

5/23/12 7:16:47 PM#52
Originally posted by Hopscotch73

I don't see much of the sweet either to be honest. It was weird that EA were so dismissive of the game in that last earnings call, and I guess yesterday's events will only reinforce that. 

As a player, I don't know what to expect or when I can realistically expect to see whatever I should be expecting in-game. 

They need to stop being quiet and give dates for 1.3, ranked wzs and server transfers - and then meet those dates or people will just figure that they've given up on the game altogether. The community when they're not clamouring for blood (they certainly got some yesterday) are pretty clear about priorities - and now it's time for BW/EA to listen and respond.

Unless they do that, the assumption that the game has just entered life-support mode is going to be a very difficult one to refute. 

 

It's far to late for them to start listening to their players, it's just not how EA or BioEA works.

 

Also it's dead Jim.

I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  jacklo

Novice Member

Joined: 7/29/09
Posts: 582

5/23/12 7:22:21 PM#53

Considering they mentioned the upcoming LFG tool late February and it's 6 weeks since update 1.2, I think development is so slow on this game.

If a team was working on LFG only since 1.2 and they're yet to set a release date, what hope does the game have when they're trimming staff already?

  Trol1

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/23/12
Posts: 184

5/23/12 7:24:50 PM#54
Originally posted by SlothnChunk
Originally posted by dronfwar
Originally posted by sbarra1x


So... 200 odd layoffs apparently. Any idea of what the initial “team” size was?

It’s hard to gauge it when you don’t know the exact numbers (and when you know very little about MMO development,) but 200+ sounds pretty devastating for the future of the game, to say the very least.

800

http://www.gamezone.com/products/star-wars-the-old-republic/news/new-estimates-suggest-swtor-development-cost-200-million


In June 2010, Ray Muzyka stated they had 800 employees total at Bioware...and that included all employees not just developers : "There’s people focused on… we have like, I don’t know, 800 people in our group, now, or something like that. Four locations: BioWare Edmonton; BioWare Austin; BioWare Montreal; BioWare Mythic, and they’re all doing different kinds of games. "

 

Sometime it helps to actually follow the link and read what is said there:

"LA Times blog Hero Complex speculates the game cost around $200 million to develop, thanks to its "800 people on four continents" working on the game for around "six years". Included in that are "nearly 1,000 actors" who have voiced-over "4,000 characters in three languages" LA Times blog Hero Complex speculates the game cost around $200 million to develop, thanks to its "800 people on four continents" working on the game for around "six years". Included in that are "nearly 1,000 actors" who have voiced-over "4,000 characters in three languages" 

So, if you are thinking SWTOR is BW Austin, you are wrong!

Also you may want to look at the careers on offer by BW and Austin is pretty much just Marketing, QA and the ever required Network Operations (a temp) while Edmonton is actually actively looking for Character, Concept and Environment Artists (even especially for the SW franchise), Animators, Producers, Programmers, etc.

Considering that a) all base material for SWTOR is already pretty much in place - don't expect BW to not recycle textures, models just because every other MMO does it - and b) people are forcing BW to go away from new content and rather want new features, and c) that Edmonton IS BW's home, I would assume that we are looking here is a simple shift, a restructuring for SWTOR regarding its base of operations with Austin becoming maybe more of the administrative side and Edmonton as the "tool box".

Plus, do yourself a favor: google Bioware Galway

See if you find ANY news regarding people being laid off there.

Now consider that a) Galway was created exclusively as a service center for SWTOR (EU), and b) has an estimate staff of 200 people.

Don't you think that IF EA or BW was to cut off SWTOR that cutting down the support staff would also be high on their agenda? I mean why waste money on CSRs when you don't care about customers and are fully aware that the ship is on fire, has sprung a leak, has hit the iceberg, and is made of cardboard anyways, so in short will be a goner shortly? Just to keep up faces? When gamers claim they already know everything?

And believe IF BW was to announce staff being laid off bigtime in Galway, IT WOULD MAKE THE NEWS!

  Trol1

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/23/12
Posts: 184

5/23/12 8:06:27 PM#55
Originally posted by sgtalon

 

They really screwed up this game by not slowing down the exp. They could have bought themselves so much time if they would have made it so you DIDN'T level out of the content long before you finished the planet. If people were still working on hitting max level.. at least the casual players, they would have been so much better.

 

Thank you Sir, you just pointed the blame at the right party: the casual gamer! The gamer who needs to feel that he can be one of the "big boys" without having to invest 100s of hours into the game.

But sadly THAT is what MMOs are made for these days. Just look at GW2 where PvE becomes completely optional as in PvP you are fully geared/maxed and in WvW you are out of the door "just" HP maxed, you can easily enough level just being on the Battlegrounds.

TSW also takes away most of the clear "my level is higher than yours so I'll own you" scenario instead the character's progress is just via his progress in the story. (We'll have to see how PvP actually fits into this)

Fact remains that if making your character topdog takes more than 2-4 weeks, it will be considered a grind by most gamers (as sadly the casual gamers are the majority).

Interestingly BW actually put in a solution to this problem: finish your character and then start your alt. Followed by the next. And the next. And the next.

issue is just that BW dropped the ball by not making a bigger "overall-class-quest-complex" i.e. instead of doing generic quests that are open to all 4 classes of a faction (and thereby turn into rinse-repeat once you have done them once) SWTOR should have a set of pure class-storyline quests as well as a (large) range of quests that are exclusively available to individual classes, not all of them.  Knowing that they get to play everything new again and not just a few story quests, I bet this would have kept gamers going with alts.

Except of course of those gamers who have no patience for storyline/voice-over quests in the first place and just spacebar thru every dialog. High time that a game designer actually gives out a "reward" for not reading the quest information: Start quest - You take a step - You are dead. - Had you read the quest information you would have known that you should NOT take a step. Please come again.

And of course that some gamers don't even want to see any replay value: "Finished the game once, bring on the next one, no matter how much more stuff there is"

  Trol1

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/23/12
Posts: 184

5/23/12 8:19:39 PM#56
Originally posted by iceman00
Originally posted by Trol1

I love how everybody goes like "oooh, EA has fired just about everybody on SWTOR, yeah, just confirms that SWTOR sucks and that EA is just a stupid joke in itself!"

As of right now we have not seen an offical BW or EA statement giving exact numbers!

So that "huge number" of layoffs could turn out to be just 100 guys.

Which one could argue may still be a large number. But what if it's 45 CSRs in the US and 45 CSRs in the EU? How are being let go for potentially a number of reasons including the fact that the Xmas rush is now over and the number of CSR that are required for efficient opperation can be cut by 50%?

Frankly, we are all guessing... except of course about Stephen Reid who has confirmed that he was laid off.

Which may well be considered a sound professional choice.

I mean seriously, would you really leave a guy who only can give 75% at best in his position (and I'm not looking at SR here, just speaking in general) if you can give the same responsibility to a guy who has prooven that he can give 110%?

And yes, there is also the fact that the future course of SWTOR may come into play: 1.2 offered new content, 1.3 doesn't...

IF BW were to re-foucus the devellopment of SWTOR rather on features (as so many people had been crying for) over new content (which was also an issue for other people), it's a bit like having a load of buckets filled with water at hand when the weather has just changed from dry season to wet season: you very likely don't need them! Them obviously being a full content provider team. ;-)

Let's wait and see...

Uh....... you do realize that letting only 100 people go would still be a ton of people right?

Yet you give the case for managed decline, not expansion.  When you are trying to manage a decline, yes, you lay off the person who is only giving 75% and keep the person who does 110%.  Yet even then Mr. 110% is still overworked, doing all of his work, and some of somebody else's.  Under that constraint, you aren't going to expand.

I wouldn't call it "managed decline" - it's simply business smarts: a wheel that doesn't run smooth will potentially hinder your cart more than not having it.

So most smart business managers will try to get rid of those people who fail to deliver to the max. No matter if you are cutting down or are expending. Because what good is a person not giving his all for expending a product? Nothing... unless he was in the wrong position in the first place i.e. should naver have been the designer for the new wiener box but instead has great potential develloping the new flavors for the next wiener products.

You are pretty much saying "BW has cut the fat, no matter if this was done to compensate for losing sub numbers or for other reasons, and in turn they have lost any chance for expansion."

Which in turn means : sometimes, for expansion, you need to bring in new people, no matter if you try to expand your base material (seeing things with new eyes) or if you try to come up with something all new.  

  UBaked

Novice Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 7

5/23/12 9:28:45 PM#57

im currently subbed for another week or so -   spent 15 to punch out warrior story while waiting for tsw,

 

lucky i was oceanic and got a free transfer-

 

id be highly surprosed if they dont charge for transfers to generate a little more revenue with all the cancels as of late.

  Scalebane

Novice Member

Joined: 10/28/06
Posts: 2240

5/23/12 9:53:36 PM#58

I actually don't see this news as doom and gloom for SWTOR,  Lots of companies start off with tons of staff then reduce after launch.  hell Blizzard layed off people they didn't really need and they have plenty of cash so i don't think it's worth panicking about.

Really does suck for those that did get let go...i really hate EA lol

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
- Lewis Thomas

  dwarfus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/11
Posts: 88

5/24/12 12:35:19 AM#59
Originally posted by MoeMoeKyun

i can't wait to play this as free2play... :3

Wouldn't hold your breathe.

  stayontarget

Guide

Joined: 10/04/08
Posts: 6132

Girlfriends come and go but Epic battles are Soulbound

5/24/12 12:41:02 AM#60

Sorry but I just cannot get past the 8.7 rating this game received.

 

~shakes head~

Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

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