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

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239 posts found
  Czargio

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 183

3/24/10 11:44:54 AM#41
Originally posted by darkpath19

"Does anyone believe you can throw a billion dollars at some hardware and software engineers, create a search engine, and compete with Google?" 

Actually yes....

Bing is up to 5% market share, so yea, you can compete with Google.

  seare

Novice Member

Joined: 12/09/08
Posts: 6

3/24/10 11:48:13 AM#42
Originally posted by parrotpholk

Good thoughts as always from Scott. I agree for the most part. EA put to many eggs in this basket. Yes it will be popular but where is all this money going. From what we have seen there just doesnt seem to be that much there. Its a solo game and will be regardless of the other 10 percent of the game that isnt. People will rush due to wow mentality to max level then complain there is nothing left to do and quit. Will be interesting to watch since people also said STO would be the next big thing.

 

Comments like this show you are not following the development of this game.  TOR will have 8 classes that have their own stories and content.  Within each of those classes, there will be different choices.  Name one MMO that offers that.  I plan on playing at least 6 of these classes.  That's like playing ME2 or KOTOR six times with a different story.  In addition, in resent interviews, they have stated there is content that requires a group.  They have also said that they understand how improtant end game is and are consentrating on providing that.    Do your research.

 

As far as this article goes, I respectfully disagree.  One of the chief complaints I've heard about resent launches is that the game was released too soon.  Why does this happen?  Mostly because the game needs to make money.  EA is investing the money needed to produce a comple and polished game.  Isn't that what everyone wants?  If not, then the MMO community are full it.

  TookyG

Warhammer Online Correspondent

Joined: 4/19/04
Posts: 1190

"...you mean three philippino women."

3/24/10 11:49:16 AM#43
Originally posted by GamerAeon
Originally posted by TookyG

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.

To get on topic though, I think EA's gamble is a terrible one.  Their MMO track record is awful and yet they're throwing money at this project, believing, as another poster said, that financing was the issue.  They're setting themselves up for failure.  You don't shoot to replicate the market anomoly.  Certainly not by throwing money around like a short order cook at a truck stop throws eggs around (RIP Chris Farley).  Does anyone believe you can throw a billion dollars at some hardware and software engineers, create a search engine, and compete with Google?

That's not to say that I don't believe SWTOR can be successful or that it can garner and sustain 1 million plus subs, I believe it can.  Money alone, however, will not bring them over a million subs.  A very well made MMORPG not just a very well made game and a lot of luck will.

only time will tell if SW:ToR will hit the bullseye or just get flushed down the tubes like a rotten turd.

As for the search engine thing...well Don't tell Microsoft that lol

MS knows already.  Bing isn't exactly soaring up the Alexa ranks.

I don't think SWTOR will "get flushed down the tubes like a rotten turd."  I just think that EA's expectations need to be tempered.  Unfortunately, even if they do temper their expectations, they can't take money back they already spent.

Until you cancel your subscription, you are only helping to continue the cycle of mediocrity.

  maskedweasel

Tipster

Joined: 9/24/07
Posts: 7254

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

3/24/10 11:51:47 AM#44

The funny thing to me is that I don't think people honestly equate money with development here. It appears most are saying you can't just throw money at the game and hope for something good.  Its not like they are packing content gaps with 5$ bills here.  They could easily have made this game less expensive.  Supposedly they have created so much content that it is like playing roughly 8 sequels of KOTOR in a single game (roughly their equation).  

 

Just pointing out, that they aren't stocking their lunch room with a golden microwave and a platinum refrigerator,  its not that they are purposely throwing money into this game.  They didn't say "Guys we have 700 million dollars lying around, create a game and use it all"  they are just creating a game, that happens to be extremely expensive, and they are looking for a return on that.  All companies do that to an extent.

"Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


  fyerwall

Elite Member

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 3126

3/24/10 11:51:55 AM#45
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.

To get on topic though, I think EA's gamble is a terrible one.  Their MMO track record is awful and yet they're throwing money at this project, believing, as another poster said, that financing was the issue.  They're setting themselves up for failure.  You don't shoot to replicate the market anomoly.  Certainly not by throwing money around like a short order cook at a truck stop throws eggs around (RIP Chris Farley).  Does anyone believe you can throw a billion dollars at some hardware and software engineers, create a search engine, and compete with Google?

That's not to say that I don't believe SWTOR can be successful or that it can garner and sustain 1 million plus subs, I believe it can.  Money alone, however, will not bring them over a million subs.  A very well made MMORPG not just a very well made game and a lot of luck will.

 Aye.

Most of these companies look at how much Blizzard spent on the development of WoW and think that by spending the same amount or even more, they could easily replicate Blizzards success.

Thing is, Blizzard took that money and spent a lot on making a game they thought a lot of people would want to play. Not just the theme of the game, but mechanics, polish, systems, etc. They looked at the titles in the genre and culled through feature sets and player input. They built a game around that research and made sure it worked. Then they released it.

All the other companies look at what Blizzard made, how much they spent and the popularity of the IP and go from there. In the last few years its like all they did was take WoW, slapped some popular IP on it (WAR, etc) aimed the game to a specific player theme (PvP, PvE) and spent tons of money on it (mostly on advertising and hype) and assumed it would be an instant success. Then those games released, most hobbled along for a few months, turned players off and entered a state of gaming life support where a lot are still laying in bed in some MMO ICU.

As for EA, they should know better by now. Sure TOR could have a chance to make 2 million concurrent subs, but they should know that aiming lower than that '1 million players to break even' figure could help protect them from pulling a WAR all over again. And with EA's track record for MMOs (EnB, WAR, UO2, UOX) I wouldnt be making such assured statements.

There are 3 types of people in the world.
1.) Those who make things happen
2.) Those who watch things happen
3.) And those who wonder "What the %#*& just happened?!"


  seare

Novice Member

Joined: 12/09/08
Posts: 6

3/24/10 11:55:32 AM#46

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. 

  Fdzzaigl

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 1866

3/24/10 11:55:56 AM#47

First off, these numbers are, in my eyes, rather speculative; as different values are being thrown around here and there.

Secondly, I don't completely agree with your Indie love; whilst Indie companies might do some risky stuff like full loot pvp, they have less money to make their games; less money means less scope (as written in an article on this very site), meaning they can't do all that much outside these small different factors.

While Indie companies might be good to try out what the big boys don't risk, it isn't likely they'll hit the big numbers or produce an interely different game experience like some seem to think they do.

 

The number you throw out there and put on the game might actually come close to what the real cost is, but I think you really speculate too much about the rest of the scheme; these guys have brains, they have planned out all of this; there's no way they'll give a game like this only a year to break even.


And while EA might have made serious blunders with Mythic, Mythic itself was also responsible for quite a bit imo (quality of design team).

Mythic is also not BioWare.


You've left a last factor completely out of the equation btw: Lucasarts, who also have a shitload of money, I'm quite sure the cost of the game is spread out between both EA and them, taking a good bit of strain away.

  Czargio

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 183

3/24/10 11:59:34 AM#48
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl

While Indie companies might be good to try out what the big boys don't risk, it isn't likely they'll hit the big numbers or produce an interely different game experience like some seem to think they do.

Ahem, EVE, one of the most popular MMOs to date.

  Fdzzaigl

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 1866

3/24/10 12:05:55 PM#49
Originally posted by Czargio
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl

While Indie companies might be good to try out what the big boys don't risk, it isn't likely they'll hit the big numbers or produce an interely different game experience like some seem to think they do.

Ahem, EVE, one of the most popular MMOs to date.

Talking about millions here dude.

  Delvie

Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/06
Posts: 463

3/24/10 12:05:59 PM#50

I think the major problem EA has is expectation on when they will get the subscribers.  WOW didn't start out with 11 million, they worked up to it.

EA's track record with MMOs isn't great when it comes to long term - and MMOs need long term nurturing.

Will SWTOR lack content at launch?  Yep no matter how much they have or how good it is - there will be a group who slam through the content so fast that it will make the devs heads spin.  Folks that burn through the content are who you aim for initially because they create buzz, problem is they are not usually long term subscribers.

I think the biggest challenge facing EA and Bioware after launch is managing the community - it's a different kind of business for both.  I'm not sure either has successfully managed a subscription service of any magnitude in the past - it's another animal entirely when compared to box sales and expansions.

Check out our blog: http://www.ticklemetyria.com

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

3/24/10 12:08:36 PM#51

Hurm... in the Force we must put our trust! Clear your mind must be from doubt! XD

 

..

Seriously, I mean its sorta frightning, yes, but so both game and film expenses have all constantly risen. And I have the greatest respect towards EA for daring such a really big gamble! I mean, big things need big money. I dont believe we really can return to the days of indie gaming. Sorry, I just dont buy that. No pun intended. ;)

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  Czargio

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 183

3/24/10 12:14:24 PM#52
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl
Originally posted by Czargio
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl

While Indie companies might be good to try out what the big boys don't risk, it isn't likely they'll hit the big numbers or produce an interely different game experience like some seem to think they do.

Ahem, EVE, one of the most popular MMOs to date.

Talking about millions here dude.

So, WoW is the only game that has ever been a success to you?

  SealJuice

Novice Member

Joined: 10/29/04
Posts: 8

3/24/10 12:14:51 PM#53

Hi Scott. Good article.

I have to disagree with your final sentence, though. I was at EA.com for the third and biggest layoff as they began closing shop on the whole studio. I never saw the spreadsheets, but from what I heard we had spent half a billion dollars and had nothing to show for it. This was right in the middle of the original dot-bomb correction.

EA just shrugged and closed shop. No big deal. Didn't even take much of a hit in the stock. My opinion is that EA can easily afford to fail on this project and won't blink an eye if they do. They will probably just try again with twice as much money, ha!

  Fdzzaigl

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 1866

3/24/10 12:20:04 PM#54
Originally posted by Czargio
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl
Originally posted by Czargio
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl

While Indie companies might be good to try out what the big boys don't risk, it isn't likely they'll hit the big numbers or produce an interely different game experience like some seem to think they do.

Ahem, EVE, one of the most popular MMOs to date.

Talking about millions here dude.

So, WoW is the only game that has ever been a success to you?

Notice how I never talked about success, I only used the words "big numbers" as that's what is being discussed in this article.

  User Deleted
3/24/10 12:22:40 PM#55

I doubt the budget for SWTOR is over 100 million USD. Getting that number past the board is something I do not see happening, 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.

  Czargio

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 183

3/24/10 12:32:51 PM#56
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl
Originally posted by Czargio
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl
Originally posted by Czargio
Originally posted by Fdzzaigl

While Indie companies might be good to try out what the big boys don't risk, it isn't likely they'll hit the big numbers or produce an interely different game experience like some seem to think they do.

Ahem, EVE, one of the most popular MMOs to date.

Talking about millions here dude.

So, WoW is the only game that has ever been a success to you?

Notice how I never talked about success, I only used the words "big numbers" as that's what is being discussed in this article.

For a game that has been running since 2003, has had a growing subscription base since then, and is making a spinoff game, I'd say it's hard to argue that CCP hasn't made 'big numbers.' Long term, maybe, not the explosion onto the scene that TOR wants, but it counts IMO. WoW didn't explode onto the scene, it had to grow from a buggy game with massive downtime to the polished game that it is now. Expecting an MMO to be a massive success right out of the gate that rivals WoW is very wishful thinking.

  Vagrant_Zero

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/07
Posts: 1257

3/24/10 12:36:15 PM#57


Originally posted by Czargio


Originally posted by Fdzzaigl


Originally posted by Czargio



Originally posted by Fdzzaigl


While Indie companies might be good to try out what the big boys don't risk, it isn't likely they'll hit the big numbers or produce an interely different game experience like some seem to think they do.



Ahem, EVE, one of the most popular MMOs to date.



Talking about millions here dude.

So, WoW is the only game that has ever been a success to you?


When we're talking about a budget around or over 100 Million EVE's 300k subs would be a massive failure. TOR would never recoup its costs if it settled at that level, let alone turn a profit.

So yes, in that context, WoW would be the only truly successful game.

  Nifa

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 327

You can get more with a kind word & a 2x4 than you can with just a kind word

3/24/10 12:38:06 PM#58
Originally posted by xaldraxius

It's all about advertising. EA needs to break the usual boundaries of MMO advertising and do TV spots and celeb endorsements right out of the gate.

They need to hype, hype, hype then hype some more and then... they have to deliver on that hype.

2 million + box sales shouldn't be a problem. It's retaining those numbers that will be the hardest part.

Well, you're half right in the first sentence, but you hit the nail on the head in the next part.

EA needs to break the usual boundaries, yes...and then they need to deliver on the hype.

Why are many MMOs failing?  Because they're not delivering on expectations and hype.  STO is a fine example of not delivering on expectations or hype.  But also, many MMOs are simply copying each other without considering what does and doesn't work.  Everyone's so busy copying UO or EQ or WoW that they don't stop to think about the fact that there are large numbers of gamers today who only know UO by name, not by what the game was, or who only know EQ as "EverCrack" but who wouldn't touch it because of that, or who only know WoW as "11 million subs and possibly the worst community ever to curse gaming."

11 million subs is huge, don't get me wrong - but it's an anomaly that a lot of people don't want anything to do with.  One thing about WoW (and, yes, I do play from time to time) is that, in terms of skill, it's quite accessible because it really doesn't require much to play for 90% of people.  It does require gear and it does require a tremendous amount of patience to be able to put up with jerks, but it really doesn't require much skill.  If you think you are an exceptionally skilled WoW player, I invite you to strip down to your boxers/bikini, put away your sword of unrelenting doom, turn off all your macros, and go into the level 80 non-heroic dungeon of your choice to prove your skill.  Or at least wear greens or blues instead of farming the place in your T9-T10 with wowwiki up to tell you how to get through the place as fast as possible without beating every boss and trash mob in there.

Everyone wants WoW numbers and to do that, they sacrifice game quality and storytelling to get them.  They sacrifice community and skill-based gameplay to get them.  EA/BioWare needs to break the boundaries and break out of this kind of thinking to get these kinds of numbers.  SOE fell into this rut of thinking and started bleeding subs - they sacrificed the expectations of the playerbase for WoW numbers, they rolled the dice and they lost the gamble.  Players looking to play a Star Wars game expect a certain atmosphere, a certain kind of storytelling.  When they do not get that, they will be disappointed.  Players playing a BioWare game expect a certain standard of storytelling and when they do not get that, they will be disappointed.  It is not that EA needs to make a Star Wars WoW clone.  We have enough of those already.  EA needs to let BioWare do what BioWare does best and they need to let LucasArts do what LucasArts does best (aside from moneygrubbing, Lucas did actually come up with the original Star Wars story) and EA needs to just stay out of the way  and write the checks understanding that if they can manage to do that, they will more than likely get a remarkable return on their investment.

 

edited for typos

Firebrand Art

"You are obviously confusing a mature rating with actual maturity." -Asherman

Maybe MMO is not your genre, go play Modern Warfare...or something you can be all twitchy...and rank up all night. This is seriously getting tired. -Ranyr

  grimfall

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/25/07
Posts: 1148

3/24/10 12:38:52 PM#59

It should be pointed out that Scott totally forgot about box sales when calclulating his development cost.  If his other calculations were correct, and they're not but probably not horribly bad, then you actually need to add on anther $20 million in profits from box sales (and also subtract a significant forecasted adverstising spend) to figure out what the break even point was.

To all the nay-sayers, this game has everything going for it that WoW did + a TV series and a more recognized IP and a larger company behind it.    It doesn't guarantee success, but if you are saying "I guarantee it won't reach X subs", you're speaking from your behind.

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

3/24/10 12:44:09 PM#60

This discussion has turned a lot into what is success for an MMO. Silly people say it has to have millions of players for an MMO to be counted as a success, that is of course utterly wrong and silly to say.

 

Success comes from making a profit, one could also think of how long the game runs as a measure of success since it has staying power.

 

Games like EQ, UO, AC, SWG, EvE all were success, and very much so. They didn't have millions of subs on at a time (most of them capped out at 250k give or take) but their investments were significantly smaller then modern MMO attempts. As such they are all still running, all still profitable, and all became profitable rather quickly.

 

WoW invested much more money into making an MMO, but they pulled off the largest subscriber playerbase and became a huge success. Other games like WAR invested more then WoW did but didn't pull off a sustained subscriber base to even rival the original big 3 at their peaks. As such WAR was a major failure.

 

So does it take millions of players to make an MMO a success? No not at all. Does it take millions of players to make an MMO a success if you spend over 150 mil on it? Yes it does. And that is the issue. They invested way too much into this MMO, and sure it has some fans but it doesn't have what it takes to be a success.

 

It will be a failure because it will cost them money (and I wouldn't be shocked if the business model changed a few months after it launches to try and make up for the lost money). But it could still have 350K+ subscribers when it hits month 2 or 3. The one thing I can tell you for certain is that it will NOT have 1 million steady subscribers let alone 2 million.

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