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General: Great Expectations - SW:TOR

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  • AesonSethAesonSeth MelbournePosts: 9Member


    Not sure if anyone has pointed this out yet, but im pretty sure the writer of the article didnt factor in the game sales. $50 x 1m subs + collectors editions - costs = close to $50m straight up right?

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  • TsukieUTsukieU Nagahama, ShigaPosts: 559Member

    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.


     


    If it's profitable, then it's successful.


     


    Sorry, that is just a huge pet-peeve for me.  I don't know when the hook of, 'It's profitable, sure...but it's not successful!' came along.  It's contradictory and well...just plain dumb.

    Mne eto nado kak zuby v zadnitse.

  • BetaguyBetaguy Halifax, NSPosts: 2,590Member


    Two articles in less than 24 hours from MMORPG writers that are biased and class SWTOR as being subpar and not good for the MMO market? Seriously whose payroll you guys on? I am not 12 years old, I can see what is going on here.

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  • PsatiyahPsatiyah Vezac, BCPosts: 71Member

    Originally posted by sinjin


    Two articles in less than 24 hours from MMORPG writers that are biased and class SWTOR as being subpar and not good for the MMO market? Seriously whose payroll you guys on? I am not 12 years old, I can see what is going on here.


    TBH the fact that MMORPG.com posted that article about SW:TOR and how much money it's costing to produce this game ($150mil) has made me WANT to buy it...


     


    I mean, of course I want to try out the most expensive game in history... yes, it's 50 bucks, but it's 50 bucks to take part in something which costed countless man-hours and 150 million bucks to produce...!

  • JounarJounar DublinPosts: 142Member Common

    Originally posted by seare


    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. 


    The Star Wars franchise is indeed a huge boost to TOR but you need to take into account this isint the Star Wars that most people know or care about. The old Republic setting just dosent appeal to alot of Star Wars fans.

  • PinkCatPinkCat Halifax, NSPosts: 218Member


    Somebodys palms are being greased that is forsure.  Who in thier right fucking mind would say "OMG, they spent too much on an mmo, it is destined to fail?" MMORPG writers/staffers/owners built and run a gaming website, so quit trying to act like you know what the fuck your talking about. You guys should stick to reviewing games not trying to predict how economys will react. I was playing mmo's while you guys were all still just thoughts in your dads sac.  Do you know how stupid you guys look? I may look bad for cursing but at least I know what the fuck I am talking about.


    Everquest - 8 million dollar production, game was good for its time.


    WoW  - 80-100 million dollar production lasted 5 years strong but now is losing its flavor


    SWTOR - 150 million dollar production, see a trend here? The game will be good just becuase they didn't try to cut cost like any big player who wants to survive in todays mmo market.  So once again let me say someone was either dropped on thier head a few too many times or someones pockets are being lined to write this trash.

    -----------------------
    ...I'm in your panties

  • DstiveDstive ReadingPosts: 42Member

    Originally posted by Vestas


    What's horrible is that this is classic EA mentality.  They have yet to produce a successful MMO so they figure the problem is finances. Unfortunately I agree with Scott's findings here, 1 million subcribers is the holy grail of MMO's in a post WoW era.  Even Blizzard didn't calculate or expect their numbers to get that high, neither did Blizzard expect to make th eir money back in 1 year.    EA can't run projects with a long tail, it's not in their blood.  If they can't ship a game that makes it's money back in 1 year they consider it a failure, hence why they have failed at MMO's.




    However the realy crime here is that they are spending so much money on SW:TOR and from what has been shown so far, there is nothing about the game that indicates it is twice as good in gameplay as say, WoW was (and I'm not a WoW fan).  Sure their budget is huge, their team is massive and I bet their production values, such as full voice, are quite high.  But none of that fluff has ever made past MMO's successful.  Remember, Everquest 2 had full voice narration too and that feature was so... not cared for by the players that it has slowly worked its way out of the game.  Voice acting makes for interesting story telling but it doesn't make your gameplay any better and it doesn't retain customers.




    The real question becomes, what about SW:TOR makes it the second coming? What makes it the next holy grail? The Star Wars IP?  History h as already proven that's not enough.  Sure the market is different now, they'll get over a million in box sales in the first month easy.  It's retention that matters and there's been very little I've seen in the released gameplay shots that show it's got the kind of chops to retain those kinds of numbers.




    Right now it looks like a heavily instance,d story driven MMO that will be  mostly a single player experience with some grouping options.  It'll be another MMO on rails, moreso than even WoW was at launch. And right now those kinds of MMO's just aren't doing well when it comes to breaking the 1 million barrier.  They are all successful, even the much hated Star Trek Online has over 200k subs making it profitable for what Cryptic spent on it.  But then, cryptic spent less than one sixth what Bioware/EA are spending.




    EA should've learned their lesson by watching Warhammer ship with similar crazy wow-killer expectations.  I certainly hope they succeed, I'd like to see SW:TOR be a sustainable game, the kind you play for years like WoW.  But nothing about its currently released information indicates it has those kinds of legs.


    What this guy said. Sums it all up nicely I think.

  • SaerainSaerain Barrington, RIPosts: 944Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Jounar


    The Star Wars franchise is indeed a huge boost to TOR but you need to take into account this isint the Star Wars that most people know or care about. The old Republic setting just dosent appeal to alot of Star Wars fans.


    It may be far from movie-era when it comes right down to the timeline, but this era has a lot more in common, thematically and narratively, with Star Wars IV-VI than did I-III, the Clone Wars cartoon, or the future frontier that the Legacy material is venturing into.

    Favorites: EVE, VG, LotRO | Playing: None | Anticipating: SC, ED, TD, EQN, CU
  • therain93therain93 Winthrop, MAPosts: 2,039Member

    Originally posted by Psatiyah

    Originally posted by sinjin


    Two articles in less than 24 hours from MMORPG writers that are biased and class SWTOR as being subpar and not good for the MMO market? Seriously whose payroll you guys on? I am not 12 years old, I can see what is going on here.


    TBH the fact that MMORPG.com posted that article about SW:TOR and how much money it's costing to produce this game ($150mil) has made me WANT to buy it...


     


    I mean, of course I want to try out the most expensive game in history... yes, it's 50 bucks, but it's 50 bucks to take part in something which costed countless man-hours and 150 million bucks to produce...!


     You're not the first to bring up box sales but you make the same mistake most people do -- you assume that a $50 retail box equates to a straight $50 in revenue for EA which isn't the case.  There's a wholesale price that is sold to the stores which is significantly lower and then there's retail price.  Do people really think Best Buy buys games from publishers for 49.99 and then puts them on sale the first 2 weeks for 39.99 at a loss ot 10 dollars per unit....? No.  Considering retailers have other merchandise competing to sit on the shelves, they can drive down wholesale prices forcing narrower margins...but considering store-shelving is the best marketing for games, game publishers have to suck it up and do it. 


    Digitial distribution has better margins, naturally.

  • LumTheMadLumTheMad Round Rock, TXPosts: 29Member


    Couple of comments:


    "Who paid you guys to say that stuff" - why is it that whenever someone writes something that could be construed as remotely negative towards one's favorite game/developer that they're on the payroll of some EvilCompany? It's almost as insulting as the implication that saying something remotely *positive* implies some sort of payoff. Regardless I have been writing about MMOs for over 10 years now, since the first mass-market MMO (UO) was released, everything I've written is available online for review, and I have said *many* times, including here, that huge budgets are detrimental to creativity and risk-taking. This is not new.


    "You forgot box sales" - box sales have so many slices taken out of them (retailers, distributors, publishers, manufacturing costs) that it's difficult to say what impact they have on a bottom line. It's not insignificant (especially in the case of a game that intends to move millions of boxes) but not nearly as profitable as recurring subscriptions, 100% of which go towards the developer (except for games like TOR which have licensing agreements, something else which I didn't cover simply because the terms EA and Lucasarts have worked out are unknown).


    In any event, all of my numbers in the column are suspect. Of course. It's a "back of the envelope" estimate, which is all anyone not privy to EA's budgeting/production meetings can come up with. However the key number is not one which originated with me - the fact that EA has said that they require 1 million subscribers to begin to make a profit. Given that there has only been one MMO (WoW) that has posted those numbers, and a great many which have not, it's a fairly breathtaking prospect.

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,277Member Uncommon


    I guess we should just leave it at, everyones entitled to believe what they want to believe.  I don't believe people are going to chastise a company for how much they are willing to spend on development.  The game will either break even, lose money, or make money... there is no fourth-weird thing that will happen.  When this game launches 150 million strong, you'll know they didn't throw 20 million at it and cross their fingers.  This will be BioWares showing of what their development team produced and if it fails THEN IT fails.  


     


    Indie companies will still produce games, fire will not fall from the sky, and your tin foil hats will still be out of fashion.  Pink Cat may have been crass in his comment, but he's right.  You can't lose what you don't gamble, but you won't win anything either.  You can't have it both ways.

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


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  • PalebanePalebane Tucson, AZPosts: 3,225Member


    In my opinion they are going to need every penny of that $150 million to make this game what it should be. And the only way they are going to make thier money back is if they make this game the way it should be; the next step of evolution in the MMO world. Not everyone is going to like it, but unless most people like it, they are going to lose. I admit this is one of the few titles I'm actually looking forward to, but I also have to admit that EA has rushed/destroyed some of the other games, such as WAR, that I have looked forward to in the past. Time will tell.

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • PalebanePalebane Tucson, AZPosts: 3,225Member

    Originally posted by Hrothmund


    ...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.


    If not a big name publisher, with a hugely popular IP, a dedicated and award winning development team, and hundreds of millions of dollars, then who? 

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • gauge2k3gauge2k3 Edinboro, PAPosts: 442Member

    Originally posted by Palebane

    Originally posted by Hrothmund


    ...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.


    If not a big name publisher, with a hugely popular IP, a dedicated and award winning development team, and hundreds of millions of dollars, then who? 


    WoW has the market cornered on WoW games...shocker.  Now if some major company would want to make something other than a WoW game...perhaps we might be having a different discussion.

  • AryasAryas LondonPosts: 337Member


    MMO win/fail checklist:


     


    1. Is it a famous brand?

    Yes - Everyone knows Star Wars, but brand alone won’t sell a product.


     


    2. Does it have a good name?

    No - SWTOR is too much of a mouthful and doesn't say much about the type of game.


     


    3. Can people identify with the game content?

    No - How many people in the street could tell you what elves and warriors are? How many people in the street could tell you what Sith Thingumyjig is?


     


    3. Will it appear to male and female players alike?

    No - Guys might like it but there is nothing to appeal to girls. There is no 'cute' and overall the game is likely to be inaccessible to anyone other than nerds.


     


    4. Will is appeal to a variety of age ranges?

    No - Young children in particular will be totally confused by the convoluted Star Wars lore and won’t have a clue what's going on.


     


    5. Will it appeal to a variety of playstyles?

    No - Hardcore players will dislike the lack of sandbox and well, 'hardcoreness', but everyone else will likely be happy.


     


    6. Does it have features that are both innovative and value-for-money?

    No - Doesn't appear to offer anything new and the fancy features it does provide aren't of particular value to players, e.g. full voicing.


     


    7. Will the core game play be good?

    Yes - Likely to follow in the footsteps of every other mainstream MMO, which is what the majority of gamers want and allows the game to be enjoyed with minimal skill.


     


    8. Will the game be polished?

    Yes - Bioware seem to know their onions and will likely turn out a very slick product with such a huge budget.


     


    9. Will it have a steep learning curve?

    No - Likely to be easy to pick-up and enjoy from a functional perspective but again, the complexity of the Star Wars is likely to put people off.


     


    10. Will it be fun?

    ? - Can't say. Despite all the plus and minus points, if the game can attract players, only fun will retain them.


     


    My conclusion: It will fail, although I'd rather it didn't.


     


    Aryas

      

    Playing: Ableton Live 8
    ~ ragequitcancelsubdeletegamesmashcomputerkillself ~

  • BaleoutBaleout Grande Prairie, ABPosts: 141Member


    For me i WONT touch anything that has ea attached to it.


     I hope for the peps who do play its a good game but i know my family wont spend a penny on this game.

  • LonestryderLonestryder Tampa, FLPosts: 169Member Uncommon


    I see it a bit differently.


    - the more they spend, the more they need to make


    - the more they need to make, the more customers they need


    - the more customers they need, the less likely it will be a game I will personally enjoy


    - the more they spend, the less I am liable to play


     


    I'll entertain myself by reading the reviews and watching the pretty videos while I play other games to satisfy my MMO hobby.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,441Member Uncommon


    Not been feeling well,bu i finally did some real homework on this game.


    Several things i don't like,maybe one i do like IF it it is done well.


    What i do like is the mention of 7 planets to visit,that is a ton of extra work to be done right there,we will have to wait and see if any quality comes of that at all,or will be just some ,real cheaply done planet content.If we can actually spend time on each planet and feel like it is a planet ,containing it's own sort of game world,then big time kudos to Bioware,this is what i have been waiting for,if not,then BAH !


    That is about all i see so far that i actually like,now what really seems scary bad is this...


    I do not like their so called FAKE grouping xp,that is as cheap/lame as it gets,something i have seen Korean F2P games do.All you do is enter your party,then each player can go on their merry way and solo,and just get freebie xp.I am sorry but i like to play a game,i NEVER whine about grind,i don't need to be bribed with any cheap handouts.


    Next on the list,companions,umm already done that in KOTOR,why are they repeating it again?Nobody is going to group unless some boss is absolutely impossible to beat without a large group,like i said the ywil lonly register as a group just to get freebie xp,in other words free levels.Final Fanttasy gave us 3 players in their console games,but they did not copy what we have already seen and done,they implemented a unique MMO for FFXI.


    Now maybe the WORST part is their real push for story.From what i have read,your stories will be based on the NPC's you choose to companion with,meaning ,pick a NPC then you get pushed into a linear path of quest after quest after quest,so yep you got it ,a single player game.They go so far as to even claim that your game will change depending on how you interact with your NPC,i am to assume this means if you go killing what the NPC consideres friendly ,it might leave you or something along that lines.


    Now for the yet to be determined part...


    DIALOGUE...This part will really show how much thought they put into the whole game,or they are just making a linear story that forces you into a direction based on what NPC's you hang with.


    It all sounds good on paper,but if you do not follow a distinct linear path ,then what?Does the NPC not say anything?Does the NPC spit out random gibberish that won't even relate to where you are in the story so far?If i am not making sense,then just imagine ,you are following a story as they claim is the BIGGEST part of this game.If you are reading a NOVEL by some famous author,you don't just jump from chapter 20 to chapter 5 then back to chapter 15,get what i am saying now?So to have such a push for story ,equates to total linearity ,you can bet on it.


    I had high hopes of enjoying FFXIII,but myself and MANY others,rejected the game as it pushed for that inear story,it really does ruin a game.FFXI did it right ,it created a backdrop story for the whole game,but there was no linear push to play it.I am not alone on this,just google and read all the reviews that did not like a linear story at all.


    Samoan Diamond

  • skepticalskeptical cleveland, OHPosts: 357Member


    My guess is this game is gona be the biggest failure yet. They just can't figure out that slapping a brand name on something like an MMO doesn't work. Sony tried it with swg and hows that star trek mmo doing? Oh yeah they all failed miserably. I would be thrilled if this game turns out to be great but after so many failed games from other developers trying to do the same thing it's hard to get all excited about another game like this. They need to focus on making a solid game and forget all this hype and marketing crap mmo's dont make money unless people keep playing them. Selling a million copies to people that quit the first month doesn't do you much good. Ask the people over at conan and warhammer.

  • forktongueforktongue DoncasterPosts: 23Member


    This is the game that will come close to brankrupting EA this will FAIL big time...............


    Me and my friends are big MMORPG players and even bigger FPS players and if EA are going to run this MMO anything like they do with FPS they will lose subscribers quicker than a prostitute with a dose of the clap........


    For instance EA login server always down or crashes.


    Patches always take to long to be released.


    Has for the game itself  Star Wars is a massive world of adventure so it shouldn`t take long for expansion ideas to start floating around the makers office !!!!!!  but yet again EA staff are not the quickest workers to solve problems even if you do have a beta running for 1-2 yrs (instead of months).


    So alas I do look forward to it being released but I already know there will be a host of issues so I will probably play it in free mode and leave well alone for about 6 months before I even contemplate paying for Membership

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  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,277Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Aryas


    MMO win/fail checklist:


     


    1. Is it a famous brand?

    Yes - Everyone knows Star Wars, but brand alone won’t sell a product.


     Star Wars is a famous brand, yes.


    2. Does it have a good name?

    No - SWTOR is too much of a mouthful and doesn't say much about the type of game.


     Most people will know this as  TOR or The Old Republic. Not that it matters as this is an opinion.


    3. Can people identify with the game content?

    No - How many people in the street could tell you what elves and warriors are? How many people in the street could tell you what Sith Thingumyjig is?


     I don't think a star wars fan could tell you what a Sith Thingumyjig is.  Go ask someone what a Jedi is and more people will know that then what a Night Elf is.


    3. Will it appear to male and female players alike?

    No - Guys might like it but there is nothing to appeal to girls. There is no 'cute' and overall the game is likely to be inaccessible to anyone other than nerds.


     Yes actually, if you ever go on the SWTOR forums you'll know that there are plenty of female posters on there, all of which will become female players.


    4. Will is appeal to a variety of age ranges?

    No - Young children in particular will be totally confused by the convoluted Star Wars lore and won’t have a clue what's going on.


     Children won't care about lore, they will care about a fun game. They will care about playing a jedi from that cartoon they watched, or that other video game they played.  Nice opinion though.


    5. Will it appeal to a variety of playstyles?

    No - Hardcore players will dislike the lack of sandbox and well, 'hardcoreness', but everyone else will likely be happy.


     Does any game appeal to a variety of playstyles?  Just because its full loot PvP doesn't mean its and RPG style combat system. Just because its class based doesn't mean that it will appeal to players that love twitch based combat.  


    6. Does it have features that are both innovative and value-for-money?

    No - Doesn't appear to offer anything new and the fancy features it does provide aren't of particular value to players, e.g. full voicing.


     Opinion, the story in MY opinion is something that has never been done to this extent. We have no way of knowing what other things they will implement as not all information has been released.


    7. Will the core game play be good?

    Yes - Likely to follow in the footsteps of every other mainstream MMO, which is what the majority of gamers want and allows the game to be enjoyed with minimal skill.


     Just because it follows the footsteps of other RPG style games doesn't automatically make the core gameplay good. We have no way of knowing how the combat will pan out for each class.


    8. Will the game be polished?

    Yes - Bioware seem to know their onions and will likely turn out a very slick product with such a huge budget.


     150 Million, I dare say it will be polished.


    9. Will it have a steep learning curve?

    No - Likely to be easy to pick-up and enjoy from a functional perspective but again, the complexity of the Star Wars is likely to put people off.


     There will be no steep learning curve, from hands on testing they've said how easy it was to get into.


    10. Will it be fun?

    ? - Can't say. Despite all the plus and minus points, if the game can attract players, only fun will retain them.


     Noone can say, other then those that have played it. Even then its subjective.


    My conclusion: It will fail, although I'd rather it didn't.


     


    Aryas

      


    How about:  11. Created by BioWare, a company that sells millions of copies of pretty much every game it produces.


    How about 12. The most hyped game in development right now


    How about 13. Swtor.com has over 500K forum accounts created and the game is still a year away from launch.

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


    image

  • MoiraeMoirae New Orleans, LAPosts: 2,746Member Uncommon


    How interesting....


     


    1. EA created The Sims line of games, which is widely considered the best series of games ever released since almost everyone has played it at one time or another.


    2. Its Bioware, which is widely considered one of the best gaming companies in the world (especially for role playing type games).


    3. The game has been in production at least 4 years already, and the estimated release isn't until 2011. 


    And yet the writer of this article chose to dismiss this out of hand.


    EA isn't trying to spend everyone else out of the market. They are trying to do what SWG and STO should have done. Spend the time, and yes the money, to create a proper MMO game. The rest of the industry has gotten complacent. They don't try anything new. Most of the games out there are like carbon copies of each other with different graphics. 


    This company is giving Star Wars the honor it deserves. The honor that Star Trek SHOULD have gotten, but instead got a company thats actually proud of the fact that they can churn out a generic MMO in a year and a half, with nothing different but the graphics, call it by any name they want and then they call it a success.


    So along comes a company with the guts to TRY to be more and different, and somehow a bunch of fear mongers come along and start screaming about how horrible its going to be due to rumors they have heard, or extrapolations they have decided to make from three paragraph tidbits released every month or two for the last year. And if they aren't complaining about how its going to suck, they're complaining about how the company (its THE COMPANY'S MONEY, guys. Their money to waste if they feel like it) is overspending.


    This is getting aggravating.

  • BelegStrongbowBelegStrongbow Pasadena, MDPosts: 281Member


    This game could very well be the biggest EPIC FAIL the game industry has ever seen.  


    Or it could be the greatest game we have ever seen.


     


    I hope its good,   I just get the feeling its not gonna be epic enough.  

  • RudyRaccoonRudyRaccoon SwadlincotePosts: 473Member


    I think EA are a bunch of idiots. In today's world they are the worst game publishers in the world, first they shut down one of my favourite game developers, Westwood Studios (the creators of Command & Conquer) and now they are over spending themselves with mostly bad games (I said mostly because Dead Space was good), these newer Command & Conquer games are a joke and now they are over spending SW:TOR?




    I never realised making an MMORPG could be so expensive but personally I think Bioware shouldn't have picked EA as the game publishers for SW:TOR. When you come to think of it, EA is like the equilvent of Atari back in the 1970's, they were making so much yet they soon ended up bankupt and bang, you just got yourself the video game crash of 1983.




    EA is going to fall down in a nasty way one day...

  • rikwesrikwes PuttePosts: 90Member


    "And yet the writer of this article chose to dismiss this out of hand.


    EA isn't trying to spend everyone else out of the market. They are trying to do what SWG and STO should have done. Spend the time, and yes the money, to create a proper MMO game. The rest of the industry has gotten complacent. They don't try anything new. Most of the games out there are like carbon copies of each other with different graphics."  


     


    No, what he disputes ( and rightly so) is the fact spending this kind of cash guarantees a good or even succesful game ( he doubts the viability of EA's strategy  , he uses TOR as an example because it's the most expensive one too date ) . I also question the strategy as used by EA : pour enough resources - i.e. money - into a  game and it will be succesful.That is short term thinking and we all know that might work with an offline title- even that's open to debate though -  but most definitely not with an MMO .The very essence of the MMO-genre requires long term thinking . By setting these huge expectations/goals so high EA is pretty much 100% certain the game won't meet those expectations. What remains to be seen is what they will do when that happens ( note : I didn't say IF that happens , for me  it is a foregone conclusion they won't reach the goals they set for SW:TOR ) .Will they do an "NCSOFT " and shutdown servers or will they persevere and give Bioware a chance ??

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