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

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170 posts found
  Paragus1

Highlighted Blogger

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 1748

Co-Leader of Inquisition
www.inqguild.net

8/01/12 3:31:47 PM#81

I respectfully disagree.  The fact that the biggest budget MMO ever made is going free to play in only 7 months after release can't not be interpretted as anything short of a massive failure. 

Consider this blog post my counter-point.

 

  adamch29

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/05
Posts: 71

8/01/12 3:31:51 PM#82
Originally posted by Mors-Subita
Originally posted by lifeordinary

By the way SWTOR still hovering around 500K subs, did WAR had same after 6+ months of release? how many P2P themepark MMOS you know right now holding half a million player base?

 

There is marketing and then there are actual facts... and math...

Facts: there are currently 16 live servers.

Marketing: There are more than 500k subs(they said they are under 1000000 but over 500000)

Math: 500k/16 is more than 30k.

Conclusion: There is no way their servers are supporting more than 30,000 players each... Especially not with their stated concurrence... Without people seeing queues. Have we heard anything about login queues for SWTOR since they dropped down to 16 servers? anyone?

 

Fact: Just because they are subs doesn't mean people are playing. Maybe they only play on weekends, or after 10:00 when the kids (or wife) is asleep. Maybe they are early risers. You have to know that even if there is an average of 30,000 players per server, there would likely never be more than 5000 on per server at peak times. And they still have queues if things get too crazy, but it's not likely. This is a standard server model for MMO's. You need X amount of servers based on the average at peak times, not based on subscriptions.

  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 3:36:10 PM#83
Originally posted by Paragus1

I respectfully disagree.  The fact that the biggest budget MMO ever made is going free to play in only 7 months after release can't not be interpretted as anything short of a massive failure. 

Yes.  But the massive failure isn't that it is going Freemium too early, it's that it didn't do so from day one.  It's the most appropriate fit for the way the game is designed.

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.

  adamch29

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/05
Posts: 71

8/01/12 3:37:30 PM#84
Originally posted by Paragus1

I respectfully disagree.  The fact that the biggest budget MMO ever made is going free to play in only 7 months after release can't not be interpretted as anything short of a massive failure. 

Consider this blog post my counter-point.

 Consider that there are obviously people on this board like myself that don't consider it a failure with those reasons. I'm in Marketing. When the market is changing I have to be agile enough to respond to the market change. That can be the over all economy. The F2P model is probably better considering half the world is in recession. When they started making this game things were a lot brighter. It can also be that due to a large number of quality F2P games out there it's a lot more competitive now then it was 5 years ago. Keep making your point though, that it can only be failure that caused this decision. I say you are completely wrong in your assesment. Lot's of other factors are invovled. The fact that the player base has dropped (as all player bases do in MMO's) is a contributing factor, but may not even be 50% of the reason.

 

 
  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3117

Veni, Vidi, Converti

8/01/12 3:40:25 PM#85

I don't know anything about SWTOR. I always thought that a space & guns mmo would need more FPS-design to it and not tab-target fantasy? Anyway that's besides the point, here's a graph from MMO Data:

Subs comparison of big mmorpgs

So the general pattern for these (with WoW being a raging exception):

http://www.mogstat.com/

mogstat mmo peak-crash pattern

So the KEY PATTERNS:

  1. Highest point of the peak
  2. Total size of the mountain
  3. Speed of the peak and crash
The TREND might be observed to be that sub mmorpgs are peaking lower, total size of mountain is smaller and speed of peak and crash (mmorpg in it's prime) are all becoming MUCH MUCH shorter. This is statement and question.
 
So it seems to make these sub mmorpgs something is changing FAST!
  Khayotix

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/08
Posts: 222

If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.

8/01/12 3:48:47 PM#86

Originally posted by Fadedbomb

It's about companies abusing terms in order to generate more profit. Simply because you call a car a boat doesn't mean it won't sink any faster because it's a CAR.

 

Similarly, simply because Bioware said SWTOR was an MMO didn't mean it'd generate the retentionrate & subscriber base than an MMO is capable of doing. They abused the StarWars IP for an "easy sell", and failed miserably to do so. I'm not saying it HAD to be a sandbox to be an MMO (as i played DAOC for YEARS), but an MMO is hardly what I could try to glue to SWTOR.

 

The announcement that SWTOR is going F2P is a sure sign that it has failed miserably. Everyone and their brother knows that a HEALTHY MMO can easily be far more profitable with a subscription plan than F2P. F2P is where MMOs go to die due to old age or being failures.

 

I wholeheartedly, DISAGREE with everything you said.

 

Originally posted by Tayah
Originally posted by Denambren

Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO but more on Electronic Arts’ failure to recognize (and perhaps significant levels of arrogance) of what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs. I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.ri

 

 

You hear that, guys? The writer is telling us, as fact, that EA's biggest mistake with their MMO was their subscription model.

[mod edit]

Quite hilarious, if the game had been a solid mmo, people wouldn't mind paying $15 a month for it. I'd pay $50 a month for a solid game. Money isn't the issue, it's poor quality/mediocrity of mmos these days.

I whole heartedly agree with both of these comments. Subs don't make games fail Bad games make games fail.  Subs dont succeed in bad games.  the majority of the MMO market is willing to pay subs for a GOOD SOLID game, But none have come out as of late.

  maji

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/15/04
Posts: 1859

8/01/12 3:52:24 PM#87

Duh, all newly released subscription games are planned to go F2P sooner or later.  That way you just get the best money/effort value.

Build a mediocre game, hype it up like crazy, sell it for a high initial cost to the people, including, of course, lots of special and limited and deluxe editions. But sell all that before the game is released, as preorder, so that the people don't really know what they're buying.

Then you already made a large chunk of money, and for a while, the subscription model will give you a lot of money too. Then people realize that it's just a mediocre game like 99% of the others, and start dropping. Once enough dropped, open the game up as free to play, and people will come back. And those with rich parents or who just have enough money, will then play pvp with the equipment they bought in the shop.

Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)

Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)

  Tardcore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/13/09
Posts: 2370

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to post."

8/01/12 3:53:35 PM#88

STO, DCUO, and now SWTOR. All three championed and defended heavily by members of the staff here in the face of massive criticism, and yet all three games have gone over like a lead balloon. Maybe, just maybe, it isn't the so called "Schadenfreudes" who are having an issue of clarity.

I'm sorry but three strikes and you're out. Might I suggest you turn that angry finger of insight on yourself for a bit. Because personally I don't feel the hysterical blindness about this game has been completely one sided.

 

 

 

 

 

"Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

8/01/12 3:57:06 PM#89

Actualy I think the real title of this piece should be "Lowered Expectations - and how to pretend it's something else."

Here's a dumb thought....

Maybe the REAL problem is that they designed a game that most people didn't feel was WORTH $15 per month to play....

but instead of admiting that the quality was TOO LOW...they spin it as "the price being too High"..... cute but functionaly equivalent.

$15 per month is DIRT CHEAP as far as entertainment dollars go.  I probably loose more then that to pocket change falling into the couch each month.  I'd gladly pay 3 to 4 times that for a decent MMO....unfortunately they simply aren't building any these days. It's sad when the closest thing availble to a quality MMO experience is a 1980's text based MUD (and I can't quite bring myself to go back to that).

No Mike....the problem isn't the pricing model....the problem is that Dev's these days seem to have failed to get the barest grasp on how to build a half-way decent game actualy WORTH playing.....and TOR is just another sad example of that.

 

The real news flash here.... F2P is neither the Solution, NOR the problem.... it's the SYMPTOM.

Symptom of industry who's products for the most part aren't really WORTH BUYING..... and when no one thinks your products are worth buying....the only choice you have is to give them away for FREE.

I've been sitting here for years now with money buring a hole in my pocket....just waiting for a half-way decent,  half-way fun MMO to spend it on.... and it's still just sitting there....because all I keep seeing is one piece of badly over-hyped dreck after the next.... TOR being the latest iteration.

THAT's your problem, right there.

 

 

 

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5575

8/01/12 3:57:50 PM#90
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by Paragus1

I respectfully disagree.  The fact that the biggest budget MMO ever made is going free to play in only 7 months after release can't not be interpretted as anything short of a massive failure. 

Yes.  But the massive failure isn't that it is going Freemium too early, it's that it didn't do so from day one.  It's the most appropriate fit for the way the game is designed.

That is it exactly.  The same can be said for most P2P games at this point.  What I'll be watching is how many more shift to F2P and how many stick to remaining P2P.  I can see TSW moving this way and RIFT too.  I just don't see people sticking with the sub model anymore with so many game options available now that don't require a sub and more are on the way.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  adamch29

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/05
Posts: 71

8/01/12 3:58:50 PM#91
Originally posted by Saryhl

Originally posted by Fadedbomb

It's about companies abusing terms in order to generate more profit. Simply because you call a car a boat doesn't mean it won't sink any faster because it's a CAR.

 

Similarly, simply because Bioware said SWTOR was an MMO didn't mean it'd generate the retentionrate & subscriber base than an MMO is capable of doing. They abused the StarWars IP for an "easy sell", and failed miserably to do so. I'm not saying it HAD to be a sandbox to be an MMO (as i played DAOC for YEARS), but an MMO is hardly what I could try to glue to SWTOR.

 

The announcement that SWTOR is going F2P is a sure sign that it has failed miserably. Everyone and their brother knows that a HEALTHY MMO can easily be far more profitable with a subscription plan than F2P. F2P is where MMOs go to die due to old age or being failures.

 

I wholeheartedly, DISAGREE with everything you said.

 

Originally posted by Tayah
Originally posted by Denambren

Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO but more on Electronic Arts’ failure to recognize (and perhaps significant levels of arrogance) of what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs. I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.ri

 

 

You hear that, guys? The writer is telling us, as fact, that EA's biggest mistake with their MMO was their subscription model.

[mod edit]

Quite hilarious, if the game had been a solid mmo, people wouldn't mind paying $15 a month for it. I'd pay $50 a month for a solid game. Money isn't the issue, it's poor quality/mediocrity of mmos these days.

I whole heartedly agree with both of these comments. Subs don't make games fail Bad games make games fail.  Subs dont succeed in bad games.  the majority of the MMO market is willing to pay subs for a GOOD SOLID game, But none have come out as of late.

 

So...How long did you play? Did you resub? if so why? All the people saying how bad it was, did you think so for the first 20 hours you played? how about the second 20 hours? If you only played an hour, good. You made a wise choise if you didn't like the game. When are people going to realize that the obsessive "I have to play this game at least 4 hours a day and love it more than pizza!" attitude about MMO's was based on people never having played anything like it before. After the party ends, well people just treat them like any other game, which get's old an boring if you play too much. If this game had been released as a single player game I think there would have been a lot less complaining. Games are just not meant to be played as obsessively as some people think they should to be successful. It ruins the game and you end up with a bad taste in your mouth when you finally quit.

  KyngBills

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/06
Posts: 452

8/01/12 4:02:00 PM#92

"Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO..."

"Huh? Seriously???...Have you played the Game? This is absolutely a ridiculous statement...It's also incorrect and ill-informed...And lastly, it's surely not going to help the Devs realize what they need to do to fix this complete mess...

Come on now...

  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 4:10:02 PM#93
Originally posted by KyngBills

"Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO..."

"Huh? Seriously???...Have you played the Game? This is absolutely a ridiculous statement...It's also incorrect and ill-informed...And lastly, it's surely not going to help the Devs realize what they need to do to fix this complete mess...

Come on now...

It's not at all a ridiculous statement.  In many ways, TOR is better than the average themepark MMO, and in no way is it *substantially* worse than any of them.  The problem is too many gamers coming to the decision, for a wide variety of reasons, that *no* game is worth $15/month for any substantial length of time.  If you ignore the example of WoW, as you should since it's pretty clear at this point that it is a total fluke, the subscription only model just doesn't bring in large numbers.  It actually never has, outside of WoW, but it's even less now than it used to be.

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.

  bingbongbros

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/21/10
Posts: 568

8/01/12 4:32:44 PM#94

Ok, you lost me at "It isn't Bioware's fault for creating a bug riddent craptastic WoW clone with Star Wars skins slapped on, it's EA's fault for choosing to make it a subscription based game instead of F2P right out of the gate."

 

Honestly, I don't know what it is with you Mike B but you seem to have a veil over your eyes when it comes to this game.

 

The game failed because of what it is, not how you pay for it.  If the game had launched TODAY with every single feature it has right now intact and working the game would explode and be the most successful thing in recent years!!!!  People would gladly pay their monthly subs and BW would have their full staff and everything would be candy and rainbows.

 

But they didn't, they launched a year to early and it showed.  I played every single class on each faction to experience the stories since I was a KOTOR fanatic.  And the stories were alright, some better then others.  But the game itself was a dull and pointless mess. 

 

This game is going f2p in less then a year because of that.  People have left because the game was a pos, not because they didn't want to pay a monthly sub.  Well hand in hand I guess lmao nobody wants to pay a sub for a pos.  So they make it f2p and people can play a pos for free!!!

 

124 US servers reduced to about 8, yeah... free to play in less then a year, ok... Have fun with your Cartel Coins, buying content for more then a monthly sub.  Mike B, take off the veil and see your disfigured god for what it really is.

Playing: Smite
Played: Nexus:Kingdom of the Winds, Everquest, DAoC, Everquest 2, WoW, Matrix Online, Vangaurd, SWG, DDO, EVE, Fallen Earth, LoTRo, CoX, Champions Online, WAR, Darkfall, Mortal Online, Guild Wars, Rift, Tera, Aion, AoC, Gods and Heroes, DCUO, FF14, TSW, SWTOR, GW2, Wildstar, ESO
Waiting On: Nothing really, though Black Desert looks pretty amazing so far.

  KyngBills

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/06
Posts: 452

8/01/12 4:46:25 PM#95
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by KyngBills

"Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO..."

"Huh? Seriously???...Have you played the Game? This is absolutely a ridiculous statement...It's also incorrect and ill-informed...And lastly, it's surely not going to help the Devs realize what they need to do to fix this complete mess...

Come on now...

It's not at all a ridiculous statement.  In many ways, TOR is better than the average themepark MMO, and in no way is it *substantially* worse than any of them.  The problem is too many gamers coming to the decision, for a wide variety of reasons, that *no* game is worth $15/month for any substantial length of time.  If you ignore the example of WoW, as you should since it's pretty clear at this point that it is a total fluke, the subscription only model just doesn't bring in large numbers.  It actually never has, outside of WoW, but it's even less now than it used to be.

It's a ridiculous statement...The Game does not stand up as is...And it won't either...The vote in my Guild was 15 against, and 2 for, and there is not a single person who had a problem paying $15 a month...The Game is lacking severely in many areas...And it's not like I wanted that...I was looking forward to this Game and talking about it since before the actual announcement on the old BioWare Forums...So...Sorry...Disagree...

  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 4:55:21 PM#96
Originally posted by KyngBills
 

It's a ridiculous statement...The Game does not stand up as is...And it won't either...The vote in my Guild was 15 against, and 2 for, and there is not a single person who had a problem paying $15 a month...The Game is lacking severely in many areas...And it's not like I wanted that...I was looking forward to this Game and talking about it since before the actual announcement on the old BioWare Forums...So...Sorry...Disagree...

Different games are designed to serve different niches.  TOR was clearly, and this was obvious from before it launched, designed for people who wanted more RPG in their MMO.  And judged as an RPG, it is at *least* as good a game as most of BioWare's other offerings, and BioWare is one of the best RPG creators in the business (even if the ending of ME3 does suck.)  The areas in which the game could be perceived as "lacking" are exactly the areas which a game needs to focus on in order to justify a subscription, which is why the game never should have launched without a free option.  

The core of the game is an excellent single-player experience, eight of them in fact, but charging a subscription for single player content is just bad business, and most of the type of people who want to spend the majority of their time in a MMORPG doing single player content aren't going to get enough value out of the multiplayer portion of the game to justify 15/month, even if that content was up to the same quality standard as the single player story content.

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.

  Arawnite

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/04
Posts: 162

8/01/12 5:07:12 PM#97

This whole article just feels like one huge rationalization. SwToR failed...face it.

And I really dislike the tendency on this website to push for the F2P model in MMO's. I prefer subscriptions, always will, and generally avoid MMO's that have gone F2P.  When an MMO that was designed to be a sub and it goes free, it's a failure. End of story.

Games fail because they are BORING, not because you pay $15 a month. I can't remember ever quitting an MMO because of the subscription amount. Every single time it was because I wasn't being entertained, or disliked certain game mechanics.

  TheBigDRC

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/17/12
Posts: 160

I popped too many blood vessels to give a damn anymore.

8/01/12 5:07:43 PM#98

It has nothing to do with trend or sub choice or whatever. Going from a sub based game to F2P is not because of any of those, it's because the game is hurting.

Going from sub to F2P is life-support.

They spent a fortune to create a mediocre, co-op multiplayer, believing that because it has "Star Wars" on it that it would sell. Now, while at first it did sell good, it started to drop in a hurry because gamers wanted, stay with me here, a good game.

Had it have been a worthwhile game, people would gladly pay a sub, as it has already been mentioned here. But developers, or more importantly, publishers don't bloody care.

They want money, that's all it comes down to now. And with what's happening with SWTOR, this could very well be a wake-up call that a good well-made game brings in more money than a piece of shit product.

If it was really about the "trend", then WoW would've gone that route long ago. But it' hasn't, because it's not a damn trend, it's a result. A result of pathetic, blind money grab attempts.

I thought the same way about those who hammered the game at the beginning. Brushed them off as trolls, I bought into the hype. Last mistake I make. I knew what they were going on about now after hearing about how beta went and the PTRs after the first 4 months.

There was a point in Skyrim with a quote that best describes this, "Don't give me goat piss and call it mead!"

You know what's fun about chaos? I do, but I won't tell.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 2927

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

8/01/12 5:14:28 PM#99

I guess I see this announcement as a way that I can experience the storylines I started in the beta weekends :)

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  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 5:22:08 PM#100
Originally posted by TheBigDRC

Going from sub to F2P is life-support.

Ok.  So explain why converting to Freemium always results in increased revenue, often to the point where previously stagnating games are able to release frequent updates, and on occasion even well received expansions.  Why do so many subscription worshippers insist on ignoring the reality that Freemium has been a more effective business model for every game that has tried it?

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.

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