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MMORPG.com Videos - GAME FACE: SWTOR's Free Trial & Microsoft Activision Blizzard Deal?

In her latest Game Face podcast, Pokket turns her eye to SWTOR's unlimited free trial and the news that Microsoft might be in the market to snap up Activision-Blizzard. Check it out!

Duration: 6:19
Views: 7,295  62 comments
Game: General
Direct Link: http://youtu.be/MlBwbq1PuHo
Fadedbomb writes:

Actually, SOE coined the term "Soon(tm)" with Everquest & SWG, not Blizzard. This is known, and I'm quite shocked you got this wrong :/!

 

Also, I'm glad you brought up the point about account padding with unlimited free trials. I haven't trusted Blizzard's WoW numbers for years now ever since that unlimited free trial went in. SWTOR will most likely try to padd their numbers as much as possible, but it's always easy to ask the simple question "What're the number of players you currently have that are PAYING a subscription?".

Thu Jul 12 2012 12:06PM Report
NavyJackal writes:

The trial offered by SWTOR is not an 'unlimited' trial to level 15.  If you check the acual conditions Bioware and EA have put on the player one would easily see how limiting the experince will be.  The only thing 'unlimited' about it is the time you have to actually play it.  

Saying the free trial is 'unlimited' is not only false, it's misleading.

 

Thu Jul 12 2012 12:07PM Report
Zerei writes:

@NavyJackal

its always like that... and its never going to change

Thu Jul 12 2012 12:22PM Report
lotaparty writes:

having mickey mouse on your shirt and trying to show your skin with false stats ? lol i am impressed .the only thing i liked about the video was microsft blizzard deal thingy

Thu Jul 12 2012 12:40PM Report
Ryowulf writes:

I see how the trial helps a person on the fence and EA/Bioware with increased sub numbers.

How does it help >15 subbers? It doesn't add more people to your pool for raids/quests/pvp/etc.

I don't think its been proven that having an unlimited trial creates more subs. Warhammer sure doesn't seem to be doing that great.

It doesn't seem to me to be a move to retain Subbers, but just to look good to the shareholders.

Thu Jul 12 2012 12:50PM Report
jeremyjodes writes:

Microsoft Blizzard? The mayans might be spot on about the end being near.

 

Thu Jul 12 2012 1:05PM Report
Andelith writes:

Microsoft makes Windows umm, I'm pretty sure they understand gaming on the PC. They have scrapped several MMOs because they didn't consider them good investments. Blizzard and the sales of the games they make is an obvious good investment. It's the activision side of things that is crap.

Thu Jul 12 2012 1:48PM Report
Fadedbomb writes:

@Athisio, that's a little harsh, but i will agree she can be hard to listen to sometimes.

I'm not sure if she's doing it intentionally to be cute or not, but it's certainly entertaining. Worthy of news, maybe not.

Thu Jul 12 2012 1:49PM Report
TheNitewolf writes:

At least the rest of the web can cheer that this is an exclusive video. If that really is the case that is.

Thu Jul 12 2012 2:27PM Report
nycplayboy78 writes:

@ NavyJackal --> OMG...Your avatar pic is so cute...LOLCATS...Shipmate...

Thu Jul 12 2012 3:17PM Report
itsTort writes:

@Fadedbomb -- Pokket gets a lot of things wrong; as do most reviewers/podcasters/what have you.

 

I remember watching her TERA review/stream thing, and a mouth full of non sense came flowing out of her. It's generally why I don't watch 'too' much from her when it's actual game related infoz :P

Thu Jul 12 2012 3:39PM Report
Pratt2112 writes:

Wow. I never really watched your videos before, Pokket, but after seeing this vid, I am a fan

For one, it's so nice to see someone calling the TOR deal exactly what it is - a Free Trial. The same goes for the WoW deal. I get so tired of seeing people using the "Free To Play to level 20!" as a way to make F2P look better by claiming WoW is going that route. It's just another take on a free trial folks, nothing more. A rose by any other name and all that.

Second, you point out the nifty word and number games developers will use to make their games look more successful than they necessarily are. This is huge in the F2P space for exactly the reason Pokket explains, and it's something I've been preaching for a while now.

Since you never have to "unsubscribe" to a F2P account, it's basically always active. So, if you tried a F2P MMO a couple years ago, but never touched it again? Guess what, you're still included in the "active account" numbers that developer/pubilsher is putting out in their PR. The truly telling numbers would be that of how many are actively playing the game, logging at least a few hours a week. You never see those numbers, though, do you. Why? Well, I'd be willing to bet that the number of "actively played" accounts is far less impressve than the "active" ones.

So, Kudos to you, Pokkett, for pointing that out. It's nice to see someone calling it as it is, and not simply toeing the PR line, taking everything at face value.

 

 

 

Thu Jul 12 2012 5:05PM Report
dotdotdash writes:

Actually, Tangent, you're wrong. Companies readily release active player numbers along side total account numbers. It is, in fact, the prevalent approach in the west.

Neither Bioware nor Blizzard, or any major MMO developers, count trial accounts towards "active accounts" when revealing player numbers in PR or investor releases. It's a fallacy for you to suggest otherwise. If you read the small print when they issue those releases, you'll notice that - and it varies, but this is generally the care - they ONLY count active accounts that have been accessed within a specific 7 day period, excluding trial accounts, "free pass" accounts, and accounts accessed from Internet cafes (in Asia).

With F2P companies, it varies. Most major players will release "registered accounts" and "active accounts" seperately once the game has settled. Riot, for example, releases average metrics for "registered accounts" and "active accounts" as two different figures, with "active accounts" being calculated from accounts accessed within a specifc period of time (generally 7 days). To highlight this, Riot says that 32.5 million accounts have been registered for the game, and that 11.5 million of those accounts are "active". When Frogster release RoM player numbers, they release total accounts (around 4 million), and active players (around 600,000) based on a similar measurement system (active accounts being accounts accessed within a specific monitoring period).

In later life, most developers tend not to release specific figures outside of investor material simply because it is not needed. The information is only released whilst it is relevant. If, for example, if a studio moves flagship status to another title they will invariably stop reporting specific information about their previous titles so readily. A good example of this is Funcom with the AoC to The Secret World transition, or Bioware with the Warhammer Online to SWTOR transition.

Obviously you're somewhat misinformed, but that isn't to say that you're totally wrong. Of course developers will bias figures as best they can, but due to the nature of the game media... it tends to be less of an exercise in outright lying and more of an exercise in light spinning of specific data.

There's very little "marketing trickery", and Pokkit only brings it up so that she can seem like she knows what she's talking about. She should be more like Pico from Curse, who doesn't pretend to be anything other than a very pretty piece of entertainment.

Hope that helps :)

Thu Jul 12 2012 7:12PM Report
Butch808 writes:

Why so serious?

Thu Jul 12 2012 7:56PM Report
Newmoon writes:

EvE Online tells you exactly how many are online total on the login screen, and it's been around for years. Shifty companies hide the sub numbers, or outright lie, as SWTOR was accused of.

I do remember Blizzard stating exactly how many were active accounts, and that trials were specifically excluded.

What I'd like to see is the actual numbers on each server. Not only does this give us an idea of how many it will hold, it lets us know if the server we are on are actually dead, or we are simply in a dead area.

What's the most frequently asked question on newbie forums in MMOs? After builds, it's usually "what's the most populated server?" Followed closely by "is it the duche/elite/RP/insert preference here- server?"

Thu Jul 12 2012 7:57PM Report
XPraetorianX writes:

@dotdotdash   You are %100 correct For investor reasons they cant count unsubscribed accounts. If they did count unsubscribed accounts it would all come to light once they did a Q.E.R (Qauterly Earnings Report). Blizzard its self is under the ticker ATVI as its part of Activision. Any way they do not count at all trial accounts they cant.

Thu Jul 12 2012 9:07PM Report
Hokie writes:

I would like to see Microsoft buy before someone like Nexion. Althought I wouldnt put it past MS to focus more on mirco transactions and nickle and dime stuff. And your very right that they tend to like to push their console over PC.

So we'll end up seeing these crap hybrids, that is if someone like MS buys.

Which is kinda odd anyway when you consider that they are THE number #1 OS for PC's. Guess being Xbox exclusive allows them to...well let be 100% honest, LORD over game companies because its all proprietary software/hardware. MS can dictate more so than they can over a PC release.

Which is why them being interested is a scary thing. That is if they are.

 

On a side (and not so serious) note- What happened to the all growed up Pokkets in this video? That was like a WOW! moment. http://www.mmorpg.com/showVideo.cfm/videoId/2513

 

And speaking of what happened to stuff. What happened to outtro's? They were kinda funny cause it looked like you made a fart-face when you ended.

 

 

Thu Jul 12 2012 9:57PM Report
Pokket writes:

Fadedbomb writes:

Actually, SOE coined the term "Soon(tm)" with Everquest & SWG, not Blizzard. This is known, and I'm quite shocked you got this wrong :/!

 

Blizzard copyrighted the term :P

http://www.wowwiki.com/Soon

Ryowulf writes:

It doesn't seem to me to be a move to retain Subbers, but just to look good to the shareholders.

That was the point.

dotdotdash writes:

Neither Bioware nor Blizzard, or any major MMO developers, count trial accounts towards "active accounts" when revealing player numbers in PR or investor releases.

Oh, how wrong you are. Technically if an account has an "endless free trial" then it basically never goes inactive. Therefore EACH account counts as ONE player. A WoW player with 3 accounts (like me) counts as 3 players... even though I don't even use 2 of them anymore.

Now basically you sub to get the benefits of going past the level cap. Wording is EVERYTHING in these press releases. Developers doing any and everything they can to pad the numbers of players they have or have had. Developers/marketing lies like politicians lie. That's life.

 

 

Thu Jul 12 2012 10:30PM Report
Fadedbomb writes:

"This article is silly. Coming from a source other than the computer games, trading card game, novels, RPG, or manga, its content is not part of official Warcraft lore, but nevertheless has become part of the culture belonging to the World of Warcraft community."

 

At the top :P! So, still hasn't shot down the fact that SOE coined it and trademarked it so to speak. That's where "Soon" came from, and people took it to WoW after EQ :3!

Just because WoW was your first MMO doesn't mean all the stuff that came before is invalidated <3.

Thu Jul 12 2012 10:41PM Report
Pokket writes:

UO was my first MMO. I didn't play Everquest, though, sadly... I wish I had. I just haven't been able to get into it since I moved from UO to WoW.

Thu Jul 12 2012 10:45PM Report
maplestone writes:

If the Ultima Online forums from stratics had not died a hideous death a few years back, I might have been able to offer some prior art on the use of "Soon(tm)".

But I think it's probably fair to say that many gamer communities have independantly learned to fear seeing the word.

Thu Jul 12 2012 10:52PM Report
Souldrainer writes:

Do you guys think Microsoft could actually bring Blizzard back from the moro-ethical dead?  Though they are quite unscrupulous in their own way, Microsoft's development methods seem to embody the philosophy that Blizzard used to. 

Why is Pokket indicating that Blizzard still takes their time to polish games; though, when their last 3 releases launched with less polish than competitors? 

After their last release, I am boycotting Blizzard, but if M$ does buy them, I would eventually come back to see what they have made, even if it's console-exclusive.

Fri Jul 13 2012 12:18AM Report
Woopin writes:

Pokket writes:

UO was my first MMO. I didn't play Everquest, though, sadly... I wish I had. I just haven't been able to get into it since I moved from UO to WoW.

 

 

 

You should play EQ1 when you have time.

 

And you are right on how developers word things I have noticed this in the past, developers always love to use active accounts over the word subscibers just to pad the numbers up. 

Fri Jul 13 2012 12:29AM Report
RadionZ writes:

"World of Warcraft® Subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees’ territories are defined along the same rules."

source:http://eu.blizzard.com/en-gb/company/press/pressreleases.html?id=2443926

- Even though "expired prepaid cards" are mentioned, the cards in fact never expire. In China, for example, the cards are consumed by the minute. So if you have five minutes left and throw it away: subs for ever and always growing.

- "Game Rooms" are where players can pay for an hour of gameplay. Any user counts as a sub. So you can create a character, chat for a bit, then log out: +1 sub. Someone else logs in on same computer after you leave: +1 sub. Do it again next saturday at another game room: +1 sub. Game Rooms are extremely popular in China.

Fri Jul 13 2012 12:32AM Report
dreamsofwar writes:

I don't see the point in insulting her appearance as that is shallow and has nothing to do with the content of the video. 

Fri Jul 13 2012 2:39AM Report
Rosha writes:

What about the constant cycle of banning gold farming accounts?

Account is bought, subbed and then eventually banned.

Another account is bought, subbed, rinse repeat.

I have guilded with American's that run some stuff on the side and when they pull in 1400-2000 a week selling ingame items, gold and characters, resubbing a new account is nothing financially to him (time sink is a different story), and it's not as often as the "Big Boys in PR" claim he might lose an account every 4 or 5 months, and typically has a dozen or so on the go at any given time (well with WoW he did)

 

That's a perpetual loop that really helps pad some numbers for a few games I'm sure.

Fri Jul 13 2012 6:11AM Report
Hejiet writes:

I know what she meant, but I still giggled when she said:

"Microsoft does not understand PC..."

Fri Jul 13 2012 7:59AM Report
Dren_Utogi writes:

Great video cast .

Fri Jul 13 2012 9:21AM Report
Nepharrius writes:

@dreamsofwar writes:

"I don't see the point in insulting her appearance as that is shallow and has nothing to do with the content of the video. "

Then write a Blog instead of doing a Vlog if appearance doesn't matter. The cutoff shirts were 80's madonna-wanna-be/b-girl street wear.  It's a little gratuitous imo for a news piece.

 

 

 

Fri Jul 13 2012 10:52AM Report
jeremyjodes writes:

I like pokkets videos. she's a gamer we need more ladys stepping up and talking shop. they have had to hide behind male avatars far to long to avoid males from asking for "pics" or and "OMG your a real female! will you have hawt sex wit meh!"

 

Keep going pokket!

Fri Jul 13 2012 1:13PM Report
Arakane writes:

pokket, poor kid, you look as if you aren't getting enough sleep of late-tc.

Fri Jul 13 2012 1:28PM Report
Pokket writes:

Nepharrius writes:

Then write a Blog instead of doing a Vlog if appearance doesn't matter. The cutoff shirts were 80's madonna-wanna-be/b-girl street wear.  It's a little gratuitous imo for a news piece.

Them shoulders, too revealing. I've worn a lot of cut-off shirts in former videos. I don't like collars to fit tight around my neck, I find it irritating and uncomfortable. I like cut-offs with tank tops underneath. It is so comfortable. You should try it ~.^

 

PS - I do write a column for this website. You should check it out! http://www.mmorpg.com/features.cfm/view/columns/show/37_Pokket-Says


Arakane writes:

pokket, poor kid, you look as if you aren't getting enough sleep of late-tc.

Such is the life of a gamer. I'm getting my sleeping schedule back on track though! One day at a time...

 

 

Fri Jul 13 2012 3:59PM Report
Suntastic writes:

pokket, I don't consider you a real gamer since you hop from game to game and never really invest time into any except maybe WoW. It seems you stay in games long enough to give a 5 minute video on what you thought of your play time.

Nevertheless, I was able to tolerate most of your vids. I actually like your Hillary Nicole Channel cause it's so random it makes me laugh. 

I tell my wife all the time to watch your vids because you were not like the other female gamer vloggers or w/e who always had to show some skin. It seemed you were more interested in  getting your opinion out and taken serious without the need to flash some skin.

After today I will never tell her to watch your vids again. I'm not sure if it was your decision to show so much skin or someone elses...but damn you look scandalous! 

I thought the outfit from the swtor guild summit was a fluke, but nope it was a sign of things to come.

Sad

Fri Jul 13 2012 4:01PM Report
dorksmetal writes:

they should make developers cut off accounts after a certen number of days inactive to be fair to the public. or something.. still free to re activate your acount till the trial cap. but really they should only give you one chance to try the game. like the old school 10 day free trails. you tricky tricky devs

Fri Jul 13 2012 5:36PM Report
rdrakken writes:

Very smart on Biowares part...let people play the good part of the game for free, then charge them before it starts to go downhill...which is where SWTOR does, lvl 15 ish.

Fri Jul 13 2012 6:48PM Report
ganbee writes:

blah blah blah

 

Fri Jul 13 2012 7:10PM Report
J2Khouri writes:

I'm* Lol.

Fri Jul 13 2012 8:11PM Report
Varking writes:

All these people pick on Pokket but they all continue to at least click her articles and watch the videos. Also, its just shoulders people. Absolutely silly to try to belittle her over what she is wearing.

Fri Jul 13 2012 10:07PM Report
Nepharrius writes:

@pokket - I was commenting on the post about why people were so concerned with your appearance.  It does matter, and that's why you choose your clothes, makeup and hair is done ;)  I like your eyeliner btw

Fri Jul 13 2012 11:50PM Report
Weretigar writes:

 

Suntastic writes:

After today I will never tell her to watch your vids again. I'm not sure if it was your decision to show so much skin or someone elses...but damn you look scandalous

 

I'm not one to take up for Pokket, but your joking right. That's not her hair going down her shoulders it's a second shirt. Seriously girls wear less then that at krogers when I go food shopping. I do not know what country you are from but i feel sorry for you.

 

Also the actual TOPIC of the video which i why were supposed to be here was very informative. Thank you for your information about inflation of active subscribers lots of companys especially F2p do this to game companies like mmo hut to inform them of a playerbase they don't actually have.

Sat Jul 14 2012 12:58AM Report
DaezAster writes:

If microsoft buys out activision that would suck for ps3 heads who love them some cod. Don't think they would rush the big games though. they let halo take its time as well as gears of war which are always well polished.

Sat Jul 14 2012 1:09AM Report
Fluxii writes:

For the love of all that's holy, please stop saying "in regards to"... you say it repeatedly and it's wrong.

 

Then again, no-one seems to care on the net anymore; just say whatever.

Sat Jul 14 2012 1:27AM Report
Kost writes:

Lay off guys, honestly, giving her a hard time over a clothing preference? That is about as ignorant and disrespectful as one could possibly be. Let's lose the schoolyard bully mentality and go back to being adults, shall we? Excellent.

Good vid Pokket, and frankly I think you look great and the shirt is dead sexy. Haters be damned!

Sat Jul 14 2012 4:18AM Report
ramdy writes:

lol

Sat Jul 14 2012 8:40AM Report
SinfonyPrime writes:

I love you!!

Sat Jul 14 2012 12:51PM Report
Fireside286 writes:

On the Microsoft not having pc games in wrong. 

Back when MMO's first started  Asherons Call was purchased by Mircrosoft from Turbine.  They did a great job with the game. 

I remember when MechWarrior was only ran on Microsoft games website along with Asherons Call.

Microsoft may have not been the front runner but it sure had a hand in getting PC Online gaming going and it had a great relationship with Activision.

Sat Jul 14 2012 1:09PM Report
Brizlyn writes: @suntastic I thought pokkets outfit was pretty conservative and who doesn't love Mickey mouse? Keep doing your thing pokket you're getting better every time! Briz Sat Jul 14 2012 1:49PM Report
Po_gg writes:

Just a hunch and not hard-core fact, but I can't picture Microsoft as a "c'mon, hurry, let's release it, now, asap" type of a company, they were always like some slow-turning tanker type for me... definitely not another <cough>EA like you said. :)  And as Fireside wrote, they also participated in a few decent games before.

I like how you use "you know" a lot, the best one was the in the first part (unlimited trials in several games), like "you know... i don't know" :)

Sat Jul 14 2012 2:23PM Report
cukimunga writes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_games_published_by_Microsoft_Studios Yeah M$ hasen't published as many games in the past but I'm sure that is because they focus more on the 360 because there are more console gamers than PC gamers. 

Oh yeah Boooze

 

Sat Jul 14 2012 6:48PM Report
Hallowel writes:

Love your eyeliner job!  Deffinately need to see more women gamers giving their opinions.

I loathe it when big companies that rush things buy up MMO companies then ruin them with their deadlines and cash cow gimicks.  Just like EA needs to stick to sports games, Microsoft needs to stick to non-mmo games.

Sat Jul 14 2012 9:08PM Report
Hallowel writes:

@Fireside286 I'm pretty sure it was Turbine that bought Asheron's Call from Microsoft, not the other way around. For one, I had to convert my Microsoft AC accounts into Turbine Accounts and for two, the game is still listed as being Turbine's: http://ac.turbine.com/

Sat Jul 14 2012 9:10PM Report
Hallowel writes:

In December 2003, Turbine purchased the rights to the Asheron's Call franchise from Microsoft and assumed full responsibility for content development, customer service, billing and marketing in 2004.

Sat Jul 14 2012 9:15PM Report
iamrta writes:

i won't touch a blizzard game UNLESS microsoft buys them. 

if it weren't for ms publishing aoe i would probably not be a pc gamer today. they know their shit. this could put them AND pc gaming in excellent position going into win8.

Sun Jul 15 2012 12:13AM Report
Artymus77 writes:

hey for one i enjoy watching well listening to Pockett and her pod/vcast who cares what kind of shirt shes wearing. 

Sun Jul 15 2012 2:32AM Report
palulalula writes:

Best mmo out there is going f2p, super super awesome .Pokket you are amazing :)

Sun Jul 15 2012 6:08AM Report
Betaguy writes:

The better question is why does Vivendi want to sell when they have titan being worked on? It could be the next MMO phenom like WoW? It makes me kind of think that Vivendi doesn't like the look or concept of titan and wants out? What do you think?

Sun Jul 15 2012 8:19AM Report
Islanska writes:

Why are your ear lobes atached to your head ? ... thats realy odd.

Sun Jul 15 2012 11:24PM Report
oubers writes:

at least she's hot, ripper X is even worse imho (nothing personal ripper) when it come to reviews.

 

Mon Jul 16 2012 3:06AM Report
ignore_me writes:

 

Man, amazing hair and make up.

I agree oubers, I can't hang with ripper x, his narration is awful.

Mon Jul 16 2012 3:36AM Report
Souldrainer writes: I really don't agree with slamming her clothing choices. A lot of guys think she is good looking, but personally, I could care less what some e-famous game journalist looks like. Since #1 I will probably never meet her. #2 She probably is married or something and #3 and -most importantly - it's all about the games! Mon Jul 16 2012 5:26AM Report
oubers writes:

Souldrainer you freak......hehe....i never say'd anything about boinking her or meeting up with her......yeah she prolly has a guy (damn shame if she didn't :p hehe).

Looking at a girl is ok you know ;)

Just saying that imho there are people who can bring these reviews better then some of the staff here at MMORPG.COM

just mho

 

Mon Jul 16 2012 6:48AM Report
Phry writes:

pretty, but uninspiring,  hopefully she understood what she was saying but the way she kept saying 'like' and waving her hands about.. im not so sure..  probably would have been better if they'd used someone with a bit more confidence, and a good voice.

Mon Jul 16 2012 7:56AM Report

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