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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: Free-to-Play and Schadenfreude

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170 posts found
  nuttob

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/25/11
Posts: 221

8/01/12 10:23:02 AM#41

I liked this game when I played it, but I decided that I did not want to pay a sub for any game, because there are just too many good FTP titles out there now.  If this game had come out in the early EQ days when it was sub or don't play any games, it probably would have been very successful.  I for one will go right back to playing the game now that it's FTP.  It's a lot of fun particularly going thru the storylines, and I am not much of an end game player anyhow.  I don't think any game is worth a sub any more mainly because there are just too many FTP titles out there that are actually fun.

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2720

8/01/12 10:43:18 AM#42

I suspect SW:TOR converting to F2P will have a much larger impact on the industry than GW2's B2P.

Seeing a AAA game (with a major IP) that was squarely aimed at the monthly sub model "failing" will do far more to industry attitudes than Anet's second B2P game.

 

SW:TOR has most likely delivered the deathblow to subscription games. From here on, every AAA MMO will launch with a Cash Shop built-in.

  Dakirn

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/04
Posts: 356

8/01/12 10:53:45 AM#43

The problem with MMOs?  It's the people who play them.  Why? Well..

 

Every time a publisher/developer looks at creating an MMO they are investing millions of dollars.  They can either "play it safe" which gets the "community" playing enough to make a profit or they can try something different.

 

Something different turns out to be a death knell with MMOs because as much as players want something different when it comes out everyone froams at the mouth saying "WHY IS THIS NOT LIKE WOW??"

 

With the amount of crazy, insane MMO players I'm not surprised they don't want to take a risk.  Either they play it safe and make a small profit or take a chance.. possibly losing their shirts and having personal death threats by people in the community.

 

If you want a thankless job it's an MMO developer.  Until the community stops scorning any game that tries to be different than nothing will be different.

 

This means if you don't like a game move on.  Don't spend hours trolling a forum for the game saying how it kills puppies and discouring any other sane person who wanders by against trying it because you have a vendetta against it.

  waits1972

Novice Member

Joined: 10/29/06
Posts: 46

8/01/12 10:56:33 AM#44

I like TOR and hope to contiune playing it.  F2p or not is not even an issue to me.  What concerns me the most is wether or not the game will continue to add new content at a faster pace, as promised, and whether or not the content is quality.  I have had fun playing the game and think it is often what you make of it.  Those that suggest that there is not a social element in the game are obviously not putting forth the effort to connect with people.   The in-game social community I have surrounded myself with is thriving.  Granted, I had to try a few guilds and find the right fit, but when isn't that the case? I played WOW for a year with very little social interaction simply because I didn't try.  As long as the game follows through with its promis to add new quality content regularly, I'll be happy.  If that comes to a halt, I will go find a new game.  l concede that the game really needs to make an effort to get creative at this point and make sure they don't continue to simply rehash what is already there.  I'm not bored with the game yet, but I definitely am not as enthusiastic as I once was.  You would think that these people would want to make an extremely strong effort to protect their investment.  Maybe it is time to bring some fresh talent in with some ideas about what can be done to significantly improve the game.  I'm still rooting for it.  I want this game to succeed. But I totally unerstand why some are discouraged with it at this point.

 
  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

8/01/12 11:13:53 AM#45


Originally posted by MikeB

This news, some would believe, is clear proof that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been an abject failure, validating the various criticisms that have been leveled at the game for some time now.

I disagree wholeheartedly.


EA calls it a "miss". Can't get any clearer than that I think. They expected multiple millions of customers at this point in time, they didn't get them, they missed their target by a wide margin.


Originally posted by MikeB

what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs


I always find things like this puzzling.

Where is this trend that you say EA missed so badly? Has there ever been a AAA MMORPG that launched as F2P title? I cannot remember a single title doing so. There are exactly zero examples for this trend. To this day we don't even have an example for a AAA MMORPG launching as B2P title, GW2 will be the first one, and whether that title will do better financially and will retain players better is still an unkown.

There is however a trend that games change their model from P2P to F2P when their subscribers dwindle, better performing games (like LotRO?) do this after many months, games that miss their target do it rather soon. In the case of SWTOR it is rather soon.


Originally posted by MikeB

The ideal result is that the cash shop (along with those who choose to subscribe) brings in enough revenue to justify more frequent and, more importantly, interesting content for players to consume. Dungeons & Dragons Online just received its first expansion in six years of service


Let's hope for the people that still enjoy SWTOR that it won't take EA Bioware six years as well, maybe the D&D example wasn't the best one in this case. Sorry, Mike. :)

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  Gaenjin

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/04
Posts: 16

8/01/12 11:20:07 AM#46

If Lucas Arts didn't have a vested interest in this game succeeding, especially since they shut down Galaxies for this game (regardless of what they want to claim), SWTOR would still be chugging along the same Tracks of Doom that Warhammer and DAOC are stuck on.

 

LA twisted EA's arm, plain and simple.  EA would never have gone this route, voluntarily.  They have a BoD that is solely focused on the success of their single player title sales, they could care less about their MMO products.  Just look at the reasons they voted to keep the current EA CEO, for example.

 

EA doesn't know how to do persistent world games.  I'm glad to see that LA turned their thinking around, because once SWTOR shows some success with the new model, maybe EA will see opportunities in DAOC and WAR and decide to change those games over to the F2P model as well.

 
  gaeanprayer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2360

8/01/12 11:28:47 AM#47

While I agree with the sentiment that it's "about time", I don't agree that the dip in subs is due to a design flaw. The subs dipped because people ran out of interesting things to do, because the existing content was a mix of shallow and easy, and that combined with the cost that went into making the game is the reason for F2P. It's not about $15 a month, players WILL spend $15 a month for a game they find worthwhile. It's a fairly nominal fee for something you're getting tons of joy out of. A game like EVE is still going strong with subs, as is WoW, Rift, AO, FF11, and so on.

Yes, some of those games run on smaller communities, but it's also true that needed a lot less time to make their money back and start turning a profit. It's also true that they offered more than simply rehashing WoW mechanics.

Personally, I have no love lost for P2P. But you'd be blind to think the only reason SWTOR is going F2P is because gamers are cheap.

"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  gaeanprayer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2360

8/01/12 11:34:23 AM#48
Originally posted by Larsa

 


Originally posted by MikeB

 

what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs


 

I always find things like this puzzling.

Where is this trend that you say EA missed so badly? Has there ever been a AAA MMORPG that launched as F2P title? I cannot remember a single title doing so. There are exactly zero examples for this trend. To this day we don't even have an example for a AAA MMORPG launching as B2P title, GW2 will be the first one, and whether that title will do better financially and will retain players better is still an unkown.

There is however a trend that games change their model from P2P to F2P when their subscribers dwindle, better performing games (like LotRO?) do this after many months, games that miss their target do it rather soon. In the case of SWTOR it is rather soon.

 

Whether a title launches as F2P or not is irrelevant. The trend is not launching as F2P, that's too shallow a target to narrow in on. The trend is that games are becoming F2P, market-wide, if they're not already avoiding the P2P mold entirely through some other means (B2P). In the future, several AAAs WILL be launching as F2P, both Marvel Heroes and NWO already stating they will and Arch Age and Blade & Soul reportedly "considering it". You'd have to be living under a rock to not see that this is the market norm, now. 

Do a search for P2P MMOs and, where 5 years ago it would have been the majority, today it's just a handful. Most, at the very least, have gone "Freemium"

"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  roby55

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/22/12
Posts: 11

8/01/12 11:39:19 AM#49

SWTOR  failed . It wanted to be 'the' mmo with the best storyline and story telling experience and it FAILED .  What we got is a mmo feeling like a single player rpg game.

 

The Secret World totaly  blows SWTOR out of the water when it comes to story telling .  The immersion of The secret world is incredible unlike SWTOR  while still feeling like a mmorpg. 

 

In TSW i was focused on every cut scene because  It MADE me focus by giving hints on where to find the quest objective

  Cursedsei

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/07
Posts: 1019

8/01/12 11:49:37 AM#50

Star Wars: The Old Republic didn't fail because it wanted to be a subscription-based MMO. The Old Republic didn't fail because of missing some opportunity to go F2P at the start.

The game failed because Bioware/EA was far too busy trying to play catch-up that they completely and utterly failed to provide any substantial content for the end-game. Instead they wasted several months trying to fix something that couldn't be fixed, and just in general chase their own tails.

 

And with the move to F2P and its limits, it is obvious they still don't get it. Those operations aren't going to be worth $15 a month for any period of time. By forcing the community to be split between free players and subscribers for that one instance, its just going to hurt the game. Heck, limited access would of been a far better choice then outright blocking it.

 

Maybe that's just a symptom of my hatred for those games that try to claim they are free to play, yet lock chunks of actual content behind an enforced pay-wall though. I don't like the idea of downloading games labeled "Free 2 play", only to find that entire zones are locked, that if I want to participate in X I gotta pay Y amounts of cash. Its why I've always preferred the "Buy it once" model. Or if you're going to have us pay subs only for a game, make sure its actually worth the price (like Trion has been trying to do with Rift).

  Beyorn

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/08
Posts: 231

8/01/12 11:50:58 AM#51

I really wanted a KotOR game but I thought I would still like it as an mmo.  I made it to 50 on my first character and I thought the game was great UNTIL I hit 50 and was done with my story.  After that it went down hill fast for me.

 

I wish they had included the option to have your companions in a group like KotOR ;(.  I guess I will just have to keep hoping we get another KotOR game in the future ;(.

 
 
 
  sancher36

Novice Member

Joined: 11/05/07
Posts: 455

8/01/12 11:58:22 AM#52

I knew sooner or later this was going f2p now if only eve online went that way too I would be happy.

  Svarcanum

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 344

8/01/12 12:09:17 PM#53
I have feelings of schadenfreude due to so many clueless games journalists praising this game while at the same time being very hard on tsw. To me swtor is the proof that too many journalists are easily bought. And this is not meant as criticism of mmorpg.com but as criticism of the whole business.
  adamch29

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/05
Posts: 71

8/01/12 12:28:43 PM#54

I rarely way in on conversations here, but I thought I would with this one. I don't play this game anymore, but definately will when it goes free. I occasionally play EQ2, DnD, and other FTP MMO's and love that there is no pressure. I agree with everything said in this article. It amazes me the manufactured outrage that is always present in the MMO community. My opinion is that there are many people that should just stop playing MMO's. They don't like them. That's fine. Plenty of other genres. 

The funny part is, with other genre's while they don't have subscription models, they do have a beginning, middle, and end with occasional DLC. Average single person RPG might have 50 hours worth of playing before it's done, with the exception of massive titles like Skyrim. Many are replayable, but it's the same basic content. 

With SW:TOR there is at least 50 hours per class, and a real story. Plenty of nonsense and boring quests, but that's true in other types of games too. Overall an enjoyable single player experience, and lots of multiplayer action too. I fail to see what was so horrible other than the bizzare expectations that people had for it.

Enjoy the game or stop playing. And please stop trying to convince people to hate something. Hate is very contageous and even the most level headed person can find themselves getting caught up in it even subliminally. Maybe someone should do a psychological study on the minds of MMO players. I'm one, and proud, but our minds may just tick at a different speed than most.

  Tolair

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/09
Posts: 1

8/01/12 12:29:41 PM#55
Originally posted by GrumpyCharr

As much as I respect MikeB's opinion, all I will say is this: if the game was better, I would have kept paying the sub.  

I have to agree. My friends and I maxed out 50 fairly fast, and at that point, after a few endgame runs, we realized there was a significant lack in endgame content. I realize more has been added since, but the first two months became so dull, I haven't wanted to play badly enough to sub again.

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

8/01/12 12:42:48 PM#56

Sorry you can spin it any way you want, but you don't spend 200+ million dollars just to BREAK EVEN on your investment. EA/BIoware's own financial people claimed they needed a sustained 500K  subscriber base over the long term, just to BREAK EVEN (and many outside analysts had it MUCH higher).  The way things are trending....they would be lucky to bottom out at that 500K threshold.

In absolute terms.....TOR may not be a horrible game ....in terms of the resources sunk into creating it and the cost of the IP.....it's an ABJECT failure.

It's like paying the largest salary in baseball history for a guy that's only batting .235 and hitting 20 homers a year. Then turning around and trying to say that the "real" problem the team is struggling to get fans is that it isn't offering $5 discount tickets.....not that you've produced the most expensive "bench warmer" in history.

That's exactly what you are doing here, MikeB.  If have a team full of guys that you are paying league minimum...then yeah, you can say that not offering $5 tickets is a mistake. But when you are paying the highest salary in history...you AUGHT to be able to fill the stands at full price.

For the resources sunk into it, TOR SHOULD have had no problem getting Millions of players willing to spend $15 per month over the long term. What they ended up with is spending $200+ million to produce a $40 million value game...... and the choice of business model has no bearing on that.

  adamch29

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/05
Posts: 71

8/01/12 12:42:48 PM#57
Originally posted by Tolair
Originally posted by GrumpyCharr

As much as I respect MikeB's opinion, all I will say is this: if the game was better, I would have kept paying the sub.  

I have to agree. My friends and I maxed out 50 fairly fast, and at that point, after a few endgame runs, we realized there was a significant lack in endgame content. I realize more has been added since, but the first two months became so dull, I haven't wanted to play badly enough to sub again.

This kills me. You don't like the game. But you played to level 50? How many hours did it take? You wanted a better game? It took you 50 levels to decide that? End game content is one thing. I'll agree there should be more. And when you are finished you stopped subscribing. Perfect. But why say it wasn't a good game if you put that much energy into playing it? Seems like you must have been punishing yourself for some reason.

 

 

  Spiider

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/15/05
Posts: 418

8/01/12 12:42:57 PM#58

Dear op you might disagree or not, you might even do headstands but it will not change the fact that SWTOR is failure. "Schadensfreude"? This word can not be used righteously for this game, as this game trully deserves to be f2p. A 100 million dollars single player online game? If this was one by an indie studio or 5 people then I would have taken my hat off for them. Yet karma is a biatch.

You try to milk the cow too many times and the cow dies on you. A 100 million dollar cow... HOLY COW!

You conclude your emotionally charged and emotionally split text with "I’m more encouraged than ever that the future of Star Wars: The Old Republic is brighter for this announcement than some would seemingly like to believe." Wrong. It will continue to die a slow death, like SWG did. The mistake is not just financial, the mistake is also in design.. of pretty much everything in the game. Not even graphics is good compared to today's standards.

This game is toast. Face it and move on. EA will not learn anything from it, EA is a lost company with current leadership. Their cows keep duying on them and they will not stop until they don't lose them all. Their market price proves it. EA, and most big gaming companies are not run by gamers, they are run by accountants. It's all about how much money can you squeeze out of something rather than anything else.

You can write any amount of words here, praise, give advice, waste your intellect, dream of electric sheep, yet they will not listen. They never do.

 

No fate but what we make, so make me a ham sandwich please.

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

8/01/12 1:11:11 PM#59

The story in TOR (depending on which class you pick) is just as good as in any other BioWare game.  The gameplay is no worse, the company has never been known for exceptional non-story elements.  Judged against other RPGs on the market, it is of well above average quality.  It's only major mistake, as a RPG, was having a mandatory subscription even for those who only wanted access to the single player content.  The decision to go Freemium should have been made before launch, because it is the correct business model for the way the game is designed, but better late than never.  

People who think the problem is TOR, not the subscription model, are missing the point.  The problem isn't actually with either by itself, it's with the combination of the two.  Different business models fit different games, and TOR was always best suited to a Freemium model.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  Fearum

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/15/11
Posts: 1087

8/01/12 1:16:36 PM#60

Going F2P isnt going to make the game fun, it wasn't fun when it was P2P so why would it change if it was free?

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