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

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170 posts found
  Fadedbomb

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

8/01/12 8:50:27 AM#21
Originally posted by lifeordinary
Originally posted by Fadedbomb
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 of mmos these days.

 

Pretty much sums up my personal feelings. 

[mod edit]

 

I wouldn't... so who decides the pulse of the MMO industry since it varies from player to player? unless you somehow think that you and the person you quoted are somehow part of majority? GW2 is damn good but i wouldn't pay 50 bucks for it,  and i am glad it is B2P.

 


Taking the whole "See what I did there?" passive aggressive approach won't work. There are just some things you can look at and go "Yea, that car is on fire".

I've been around for quite some time in the Online market, and i've tested/played almost every MMO out there. Time after time I see the same complaints, or new ones formed, and I can tell you the current MMO market is sick and bloody tired of over simplified games that have no replayability, proper end-game, or depth whatseoever to them.

Developer designed content simply isn't sustainable in an MMO anymore. That stopped after 2005 being viable. You also have to consider than MMOs take 3+years to create for launch, if not MUCH longer.

GuildWars 2, for example, isn't necesarrily a "Damn Good" game, but it is a positive step in the right direction which is why most people are looking @ GW2 with Rose colored glasses simply because it's a break from the hysteria of clones that has been going on for years now.

Just because it's better than a WoW-clone doesn't make a God's Gift to Mankind. What it means is that the current market is so saturated with the same stagnant Developer driven content that anything broken from that mold is seen as pure gold.

 

The market's new direction is the "Sandbox" player driven content model with Subscriptions that are Cash-Shopless. Mostly, this will be driven by Indie developers until a smash-hit is created and then a AAA company might take that first "leap" into the Sandbox genre.

 

Themeparks are done being Sub model, and that isn't a good sign. It's a sign that if people want to play WoW they'll pay a sub for WoW or play your cheap knockoff for "free".

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  Robsolf

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 3990

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

8/01/12 8:52:07 AM#22

One thing we’ve heard consistently, and something I’ve even heard in my own circles, is that SW:TOR is actually a really fun game to play, many have simply felt that it wasn’t necessarily worth putting $15/month into.

That's pretty much it for me.  I loved the game start to finish, but that's the problem; it finished.  Had they stuck to their promise of a full team creating new content constantly, it may have been able to keep my sub past 4 months.  But as it turns out, that promise was nearly as empty as DCUO's was.

B2P definitely would have been the perfect model for this game.  Folks would have killed for KOTOR to have Xpacs every 4-6 months, and had they have done that here, methinx they'd have a pretty strong revenue stream.  We'll have to see now if they can do F2P right.  EA certainly gives me reason to doubt.

  SuperDonk

Elite Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 698

8/01/12 8:55:17 AM#23

While I have been a "hater" of swtor, I would not of uninstalled if it was B2P with a cosmetic shop from the beginning. Swtor was never going to be a long-term MMO for me like SWG or WoW has been, but it would be worth logging in once a week or so to catch a huttball match or something.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  lifeordinary

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 691

8/01/12 8:57:40 AM#24
Originally posted by Fadedbomb
Originally posted by lifeordinary
Originally posted by Fadedbomb
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.

Damn.. to think this game would have been a smashing success if only they had the visionary forward thinking of Michael Bitton.

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 of mmos these days.

 

Pretty much sums up my personal feelings. Michael Bitton hasn't a clue about the pulse of the MMO industry.

 

I wouldn't... so who decides the pulse of the MMO industry since it varies from player to player? unless you somehow think that you and the person you quoted are somehow part of majority? GW2 is damn good but i wouldn't pay 50 bucks for it,  and i am glad it is B2P.

 


Taking the whole "See what I did there?" passive aggressive approach won't work. There are just some things you can look at and go "Yea, that car is on fire".

Nope sorry but it is not as simple as watching a car on fire. Unless you have some data to back up that majority will pay 50 bucks for a game which is good (soemthing that is so subjective) i don't think you have any solid argument.

I've been around for quite some time in the Online market, and i've tested/played almost every MMO out there. Time after time I see the same complaints, or new ones formed, and I can tell you the current MMO market is sick and bloody tired of over simplified games that have no replayability, proper end-game, or depth whatseoever to them.

You are not the only special one.

Developer designed content simply isn't sustainable in an MMO anymore. That stopped after 2005 being viable. You also have to consider than MMOs take 3+years to create for launch, if not MUCH longer.

It never was, people have always been consuming content as long as they have laods of free time. This is not a new problem and we had lot more hardcore players back in old days.

GuildWars 2, for example, isn't necesarrily a "Damn Good" game, but it is a positive step in the right direction which is why most people are looking @ GW2 with Rose colored glasses simply because it's a break from the hysteria of clones that has been going on for years now.

Nice so you just proved what i was saying. 'Good' is subjective. You can not decide the pulse of MMO gamers on basis of just that.

'I will pay 50 bucks a month as long as MMO is solid and good'..do you see the fallacy of that statement?

Just because it's better than a WoW-clone doesn't make a God's Gift to Mankind. What it means is that the current market is so saturated with the same stagnant Developer driven content that anything broken from that mold is seen as pure gold.

 Again subjective opinion.

The market's new direction is the "Sandbox" player driven content model with Subscriptions that are Cash-Shopless. Mostly, this will be driven by Indie developers until a smash-hit is created and then a AAA company might take that first "leap" into the Sandbox genre.

A big 'IF'. We will see when that will happen..yet no basis to come to a conclusion that majority will pay 50 bucks in sub for it.

 

Themeparks are done being Sub model, and that isn't a good sign. It's a sign that if people want to play WoW they'll pay a sub for WoW or play your cheap knockoff for "free".

 

 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10375

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

8/01/12 8:58:14 AM#25

I had to look up schadenfreude. It is a pretty apt description for a lot of posts on these forums. It's not enough to find fault in a game, but people seem to need to find fault in the people who may like a game.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Scalpless

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1259

8/01/12 9:03:04 AM#26

The problem with F2P is that it doesn't generate as much income as successful P2P. Yes, several games have become more profitable after going F2P, but that's because those games weren't successful P2P titles in the first place. With TOR's humongous budget, it NEEDED the P2P model to be profitable enough.

  remyburke

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 2984

I liked MMOs better when gamers didn't play them, and just geeks did.

8/01/12 9:10:01 AM#27
A mmo going free to play isn't in and of itself an admission of failure, but when you drop 300ish mil on a game that goes F2P in less than a year...ya your game is shit.

Playing: ESO

Played: AC1, AC2, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

8/01/12 9:14:09 AM#28

I disagree wtih Michel Bitton article.  

 

Basically whole article is "EA-Bioware made a good game, but it is player's fault".

 

What game corporations don't get is that making a game that is more similar in design to either single player game, co-op game or lobby game will get them millions of players paying a subcription.

 

WoW had this enourmous success cause it was first mmo game that creted a world, was accessible and released at a time when internet was spreading to mainstream gamer population. Prices of internet dropped, broadband connections started to be avabile in many locations in multple countries and there was boom in economy.

For many of players WoW was first mmoprg and it is always special AND players tend to be able to go on painful compromises with their first mmorpg.

 

Now WoW is just like train that was going at extremly high-speed. It is slowing down but it take a long time for it to actually stop.

 

NO mmoprg in future will be able to capture so big PAYING population.  Becasue mmorpg playerbse when playing another mmorpg do NOT want to go on compromises anymore like with their first mmorpg.

 

That's why aiming for millions of players paying sub in one game in NA  & EU is just crazy.  Won't happen. It might happen in mmofps or mmorts game in future first one that will provide good enough really unique experience. Planetside 2 has this potential (Trion one and Dust won't be able to compete they are too much like lobby instances games, too much like CoD, BF3 or TF2 to compete with P2 unique experience).

 

===================

 

Anyway - failure of Swtor was NOT because of business model but because it was and is BAD game. That's so simple.

 

=================

Schadenfreude  accusation - another proof why some of media and devs don't get why there is so much hate.

Most "I told you so" people are not content because they want other people suffer or 'watch the world burn', but because community is saying same thing for 5 years alrady.   "Don't follow variation of one gameplay  model only" ,  "don't try to capture every single gamer for catering for common lowest denominator", "be relistic".

Instead game corporations try to repeat WoW success with using same template with bit diffrent, instead ACKOWEDGLING that mmorpg playerbase IS FRAGMENTED.

IT IS AND IT WILL BE.

Trying to unite hordes of players under one game roof and competing for same crowd will not work long-term anymore.

 

Try to USE playerbase fragmetation for your own benefit. 

Cut down a bit on ridiculous budgets and provide diffrent games to diffrent niches and gain long-term players or forget about mmorpg and try to catch huge audiences by making other non rpg mmos or non mmo multiplayer games or even single player games.

 

=============

 

Meh who I am talking to...

 

Propably I will just hear that I am bitter, old or it is my fault that most modern mmorpg's cannot capture big amount of players for long-time.

Close your ears and kept singing lalalala more with articles like this. 

  User Deleted
8/01/12 9:14:36 AM#29

The blame for TOR's less-than-successful performance was totally BioWare's the minute they got into bed with EA.

 

Associating with EA is like asking Carrie White to the prom.

 

You think that ultimately you're doing the right thing but the truth is that it will turn out very, very badly...

 
  Lanfea

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/19/04
Posts: 187

8/01/12 9:14:40 AM#30

 

free to play will not rescue sw:tor because its not that people are afraid of paying something for a good game its because people don't pay for a boring game. don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people out there who love sw:tor and the game like it is now, but the gamedesign of sw:tor is mostly like any other mmo(rp)g we saw in the aftermath of a - back at the beginning in 2004/05 - very average and low on features but successful world of warcraft. for the same reason the elder scroll online gets no credit ('just another wow-clone' to quote the opinion of the majority) and gw2 and archeage gets hyped (maybe overhyped).

if you substract gear grinding endgame features like raids, dailies and pvp (and its always the same) from games like world of warcraft, warhammer, aion, rift etc. what is left? yes, only a month or two playtime for a casual gamer like me with 2hr average playtime a day. these features, once motivation enough for those who never were in this before, are growing old, boring and meaningless. 

sw:tor showed us that the time for 'the same old concept' we experienced in mostly any mmo(rp)g in the last decade is over, especially the endless repetitive gear and questgrinding in pve aswell in pvp. and i belive that sw:tor will soon show us something else: f2p isn't the holy grail and the solution for everything publishers and developers did wrong with the design of their product.

in my opinion the industry does have to realize that there aren't many 'first timers in mmogs' left they can attract to a concept that is boring to 75% of the existing mmog playing crowd. the industry now have to satisfy the needs of players who are into mmogs for years. and the first game which is able to give us all the great features we like in mmogs and add new features for a longterm motivation to it will win the jackpot.

 

p.s.: dear ea/bioware employees, i really advise you not to have a booth on the gamescom in cologne. either you will be avoided like a leper colony or your booth will be filled with angry and dissapointed customers.

  Kuppa

Novice Member

Joined: 9/24/10
Posts: 3443

The problem with censorship is ********

8/01/12 9:24:01 AM#31
So you would agree that Tera, Rift, FFXIV and TSW all are doing it wrong also? Do they suffer from the same problem? The failure to recognize that the market is changing(maybe because of arrogance too)


  erictlewis

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3057

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

8/01/12 9:24:09 AM#32

I have to totally disagree with Mike on this one, it is not the players fault,  It is not the fault of the folks saying I told you so.

If ea/bioware made a great quality game,   we would not be where we are currently at.

The problem was once you finished your main characters story arc, you were finished.  After you do about 4 of them you were sick.  Unfortunately for us they did not make a quality game.   It was fun for the first couple of alts after that it became boring repetition.

For all those saying free to play is going to save the game. I would not be to sure about that either. Just because it worked for Turbine and semi worked for SOE does not mean it will work Ea/Bioware.

You have to make a fun game that folks want to play in order to hang onto those folks.  So that is yet to be seen.  I think player retention will be the huge issue, and I think we might be in for another I told you so moment later.  After all everybody said hey if we merge up the servers that will fix the game,  well guess what that did not fix anything.

 

 

 

  Adiaris

Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/08
Posts: 382

8/01/12 9:26:51 AM#33
Smells (and reads) of PR spin tbh... That said I agree that F2P is a better model for swtor, but it's clearly (they said it themselves) not what they had planned and I seriuosly doubt that at EA they're as happy about it as the author of this editorial is.
  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16937

8/01/12 9:30:28 AM#34
Originally posted by erictlewis

 

If ea/bioware made a great quality game,   we would not be where we are currently at.

The problem was once you finished your main characters story arc, you were finished.

 

 

Except that I think they did make a great quality game.

The problem with that is this "other sentence" that is spot on.

Considering I only tried SWToR out of curiosity (love the star wars movies [well, the original first two] I would still be playing SWToR if it wasn't for your second sentence.

I put all my criticisms of the game in that little survey they sent out.

I loved all the story stuff. Including the story stuff in the regular quests. Problem was that there wasn't much else to do after that.

  noblood

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/12
Posts: 12

8/01/12 9:31:15 AM#35

Besides the bad implementation, lot of bugs, etc they failed miserably to keep the game updated, look at trion and rift.

Still love the IP and maybe in a few year we can have a good mmo with it.

  Pyuk

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/05
Posts: 655

8/01/12 9:32:26 AM#36

SWTOR's failure lies in the fact that it is a linear single player game with MMO elements with the (wrong) intent to retain players by providing souped up alts. When a player plays through content once, they rarely want to play through the exact same content a second time, even with a alledgedly different character AND pay $15/month for it. If Bioware didn't pour all their cash into VO on every little thing and instead put $$ into creating a broader range of content that included functional exploration, alternative paths (the dialogues never actually offered alternative paths, only alternative replies), action combat similar to DCUO or Tera, and plain did not actively try to make an even more linear WoW with a Star Wars skin, they might have reached their $$ and retention goals. Instead, EA and Bioware put their faith in the bozos that initially broke SWG (all the Bio execs at Austin were from the early days of SWG & the NGE) and expected a hit from them. Way to look at previous dev history, Bio.

The industry's big problem is that they never learn from their mistakes. It incestuaously retains all the insane egomaniacs in controlling positions and lets them - even celebrates them - continue to make the same crap and mistakes over and over again, all the while expecting different results after each try. This is the true definiton of insanity. Case-in-point: The media is all happy that Brad McQuaid is back at SOE working on Vanguard, even though it's common knowledge that Brad screwed so many devs at Sigil that he created a whole new strain of virtual VD, in addition to overspending and releasing a completly broken and (at the time) unplayable game. It won't be long before he's put back into a command position (if he's not already) and history will start to repeat itself. We'll see it in any and all failing MMOs, actually. It's like a disease in the industry - short term memory failure.

I make spreadsheets at work - I don't want to make them for the games I play.

  Robsolf

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 3990

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

8/01/12 9:35:32 AM#37
Originally posted by lizardbones

I had to look up schadenfreude. It is a pretty apt description for a lot of posts on these forums. It's not enough to find fault in a game, but people seem to need to find fault in the people who may like a game.

Schadenfreudian slips abound, here...

  Wickedjelly

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/09
Posts: 5064

The Dude abides

8/01/12 9:50:27 AM#38

You can reason it out however you want but this game going f2p in less than a year is a pretty big indication the game is hemorrhaging subs. As for War, it hasn't gone f2p because by the time they realized it was a valid pay model it was too late for the game. Not worth the cost for the transition. Same reason you'll never see DAOC or UO go this route.

Smart move on their part. Still, considering the ip and the company behind the game this is rather amazing and frankly from a gaming perspective a rather historical moment. This has to have the people making "TESO" rethinking some things.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is going to increase anything from a content perspective. After the content they had already in the pipeline is released this game is going to flounder in that regard.

 

1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

  korvass

Novice Member

Joined: 5/29/06
Posts: 630

Has successfully forgiven SOE/LA for the NGE.

8/01/12 10:06:08 AM#39

This is a nice article and all, but one simple truth remains:

If the game were doing so well, surely they wouldn't be moving into free-to-play territory.

No paid service makes such a drastic move unless there's a problem.

Let's be honest here, EA and Bioware took a shot and missed. Notice I didn't say 'fail'. I count a MMO as failed when all the servers shut down. But now they're having to shift into retention and recovery mode, and I think to many, who look at it logically, with such an IP this situation should never have happened so early.

  Amana

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 1/03/11
Posts: 2326

8/01/12 10:14:59 AM#40

Just a reminder that our writers are also a part of the community here and attacks on them will be handled as any other. The ideas are what's up for debate here.

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