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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Free-to-Play and Schadenfreude

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Comments

  • iceman00iceman00 Westland, MIPosts: 1,363Member
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    Originally posted by iceman00
     

    Damn, that kool-aid is awesome no?

    When a game launches with 2.4 million, and 6 months later is "above" 500k, that isn't a success!

    Nothing else to say.  That's a huge amount of kool-aid drinking.

    So, when you make more money in a month than you spend, you consider that an unsuccessful month?  It's easy to classify anything as a failure if you use a different definition of success for every product/service.

    I consider something a "success" if you recoup your investment and make a strong profit.  That they've lost 75% of their subscriber base in 6 months and are going to F2P, as well as EA's stock tanking, I think that's pretty concusive evidence we aren't looking at a success.

    Now there's a more subjective one, and that's did you get a good return on your investment.  I can't answer that question, but the market seems to have responded with not just no, but hell no.

  • WebferretWebferret AdelaidePosts: 82Member

    Never played SWTOR, as I never was interested even though a big SW fan, but.....

    Just another failed MMO going Pay2Win. Isn't there enough P2W mmo's out there now, let alone adding another one.

    Good luck to those who stay with it, I know the few friends that played left very quickly with a sour taste in there mouth, maybe it might get lucky and actually get more players. Time will tell.

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member
    Originally posted by iceman00
     

    I consider something a "success" if you recoup your investment and make a strong profit.  That they've lost 75% of their subscriber base in 6 months and are going to F2P, as well as EA's stock tanking, I think that's pretty concusive evidence we aren't looking at a success.

    Now there's a more subjective one, and that's did you get a good return on your investment.  I can't answer that question, but the market seems to have responded with not just no, but hell no.

    In my opinion, if we are going to measure based on total cost vs. total revenue, rather than cost vs revenue on a month to month basis, then one can't logically describe TOR as a success or as a failure, from a financial standpoint, until one of two things happens; they recoup all of their development costs and turn a profit, or the game shuts down.  It is highly unlikely tht anyone outside EA is going to be provided the necessary data to make that judgment.  We don't know for sure what they spent, we don't know for sure what they've made.  But technically speaking, the game won't be a failure unless it fails to make a substantial profit over the lifetime of the product.  The Freemium conversion is likely to substantially extend the lifetime of the product, giving it more time to become successful, if it isn't already.

    As for the market, TOR doesn't have it's own stock price, and it isn't EA's only product.  Trying to pin an entire company's stock woes on a single game is a little silly, compared to a lot of their other products, TOR is an absolute gem.

    EDIT:  It would be nice if people stopped treating "not as successful as people hoped it would be" as if it were equivalent to "not successful."  They are two different standards, and the word seems to get misused more often than not on these forums, not just in regard to TOR.

    Originally posted by Tanvaras

    Never played SWTOR, as I never was interested even though a big SW fan, but.....

    Just another failed MMO going Pay2Win. Isn't there enough P2W mmo's out there now, let alone adding another one.

    Good luck to those who stay with it, I know the few friends that played left very quickly with a sour taste in there mouth, maybe it might get lucky and actually get more players. Time will tell.

    Ah, one of the people who has clearly not played many Freemium games.  I have yet to see one that gives users of the cash shop any substantial gameplay advantage over anyone else.  Maybe try actually playing them before trash talking them?  Can you buy gear in some of them that is better than trash loot off of mobs?  Sure, you can grab +2 Swords from the Turbine shop in DDO.  Can you buy gear that is better than gear you earn at the same level from quests?  Not in any game that springs to mind for me.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    The schadenfreude on one side is opposed by massive cognitive distortions on the other. Take your pick as to which psych vocab word you find least maladaptive.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member

    Oh, and to those asking for SWG back; depending on which estimates you believe for current TOR players, SWG at it's peak had somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of what TOR has now, it's peak was many years ago, and it's engine is horribly dated.  Add to that, if a miracle occurred and they did bring it back, it would be the NGE SWG that virtually nobody actually liked, not the one that could have been described as innovative and worth saving.  But keep dreaming, it doesn't hurt anything.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 530Member Uncommon

    Wow that article was the biggest pile of biased dung I've read in a while.

     

    Subscription based games are still very viable format, and will continue to be, also many players still prefer this format.

     

    HOWEVER, with good F2P games out there players are no longer willing to pay just to access the servers.  If you are a subscription game you must provide VALUE to the player.  SWTOR failed to do this plain and simple.  SWTOR failed to release content in enough quanity and quality to keep players subscribed.   WoW is the exception because of their massive existing player base that already has a huge investment in the game and are reluctant to quit.  Any game going against WoW in the subscription space however, must absolutely release content at least as quickly and of similar quality as Rift.

     

    My simple question to all the SWTOR FTP is the messiah people is as follows, if Bioware couldn't put out enough content to keep people interested when EVERYONE was paying $15 a month, what makes you think they will be able to when most players will be paying nothing?

     

  • iceman00iceman00 Westland, MIPosts: 1,363Member
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    In my opinion, if we are going to measure based on total cost vs. total revenue, rather than cost vs revenue on a month to month basis, then one can't logically describe TOR as a success or as a failure, from a financial standpoint, until one of two things happens; they recoup all of their development costs and turn a profit, or the game shuts down.  It is highly unlikely tht anyone outside EA is going to be provided the necessary data to make that judgment.  We don't know for sure what they spent, we don't know for sure what they've made.  But technically speaking, the game won't be a failure unless it fails to make a substantial profit over the lifetime of the product.  The Freemium conversion is likely to substantially extend the lifetime of the product, giving it more time to become successful, if it isn't already.

    As for the market, TOR doesn't have it's own stock price, and it isn't EA's only product.  Trying to pin an entire company's stock woes on a single game is a little silly, compared to a lot of their other products, TOR is an absolute gem.

    EDIT:  It would be nice if people stopped treating "not as successful as people hoped it would be" as if it were equivalent to "not successful."  They are two different standards, and the word seems to get misused more often than not on these forums, not just in regard to TOR.

    First, accept an apology.  I was treating you as just another blind fanboi, and yet you actually give a reasonable response here.

    You are of course correct, we will not have all the data.  Unless you are pretty high up the chain for the companies, chances are you never will.  You can only go based on the way certain winds are blowing, or if you've got an insane hunch that pays off.

    Here's what we know.  TOR had 2.4 mill in its first month.  7 months later, they have anywhere between 500k and 1 mill subscribers.  Best case scenario, they've lost around 60% of their baseline they started with.  Worst case, they lost 75%.  I wouldn't go around calling that successful.

    Now on the revenue front, we don't know for sure, but the fact that they've gone to F2P given their resistance to it before so quickly shows i think a bit of worrying.  Right now, the game isn't profitable.  Could it be profitable?  Of course.  Could it be successful?  Of course.

    Will the freemium model extend the life of this game?  Most likely.  Yet I believe the problem with this game wasn't that it was sub based.  I think the problem was the game didn't provide value, not for the 60 dollar box price (I'm honestly stunned the slicing it to 15 bucks didn't get anyone talking more), and certainly not for 15 bucks a month.

    Other Freemium games offer value. Other B2P games offer value.  Do I think TOR, as it stands right now, would be able to survive beyond 6 months?  No, I don't.  Was lack of revenue really the problem for delivering new content?  All these questions sorta impact how you think this will do.

    And then there's the return on investment question.  Let's just say theoretically, the game plus marketing cost 500 mill.  Was it worth tying up all that capital for 7 years, if it makes a two million dollar profit?  Certainly not.

    400?

    300 mill?

    200 mill?

    We can't answer these questions, but the market can.  And while you can't price EA's stock solely on the basis of TOR, it would be equally naive to say that EA's gutter stock price hasn't been affected by the rather poor ROI TOR is offering.

    F2P can fix this.  But I think the successes of DDO, LOTRO aren't really applicable to TOR.  But I think I'm getting a little too far down the rabbit hole here,.

  • iceman00iceman00 Westland, MIPosts: 1,363Member
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    Oh, and to those asking for SWG back; depending on which estimates you believe for current TOR players, SWG at it's peak had somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of what TOR has now, it's peak was many years ago, and it's engine is horribly dated.  Add to that, if a miracle occurred and they did bring it back, it would be the NGE SWG that virtually nobody actually liked, not the one that could have been described as innovative and worth saving.  But keep dreaming, it doesn't hurt anything.

    I don't want SWG back but cmon, that's a clown comparison bro.

    The MMO market around the time of SWG when it had 250k was vastly different than today's MMO market.  That doesn't mean SWG was a success, but by saying it is "between 1/3 and 1/2 of what TOR is now", as if that's an apples to apples discussion, is just, in the words of Charles Barkley, "turrible'

  • wizyywizyy Novi SadPosts: 629Member

    You may disagree with an honest opinion that this game doesn't deserve to be succesful, but some of us still remember how you sacked one of your regular writers over his honest opinion that SWTOR is a pretty lousy attempt at making a MMORPG.

    SWTOR is a nice reminder of how arrogant developers and publishers can be in search for more money - copy/paste games won't cut it anymore, also not listening to their fanbase.

    Space-on-rails in probably the most expensive MMORPG ever made is one of the most laughable aspects of this FAILURE of a game.

  • markt50markt50 DarlingtonPosts: 132Member

    Future ? This game has no future, it has failed, right now the ink is still drying on the pages of the Guinness book of World records for the 'Record for the biggest MMO flop ever goes to: SWTOR' entry.

    The game will get put on life support, we will see miniscule updates spun to the players as 'content' updates whilst they manipulate the gameplay mechanics and microtransaction store in order to maximise the fleecing potential of the game.

    Wow, thanks F2P, I'm so glad this wonderul payment model is here to save every one of these games that fail /sarcasm.

    F2P is a blight on MMO games and the sooner the F2P bubble bursts, and it will, the better.

    All just my humble opinion.

  • KyuzoS8KyuzoS8 Oxford, MAPosts: 13Member

    sadly i knew this would happen even before the game released... so there!

  • TheFirst109TheFirst109 Lincoln Park, NJPosts: 179Member
    Originally posted by wizyy

    You may disagree with an honest opinion that this game doesn't deserve to be succesful, but some of us still remember how you sacked one of your regular writers over his honest opinion that SWTOR is a pretty lousy attempt at making a MMORPG.

    SWTOR is a nice reminder of how arrogant developers and publishers can be in search for more money - copy/paste games won't cut it anymore, also not listening to their fanbase.

    Space-on-rails in probably the most expensive MMORPG ever made is one of the most laughable aspects of this FAILURE of a game.

    Couldn't agree more!

    Ever since a few years ago when there was a dev panel by some major devs who said they foresaw the future of MMOs going toward a f2p model, this site has been all about putting a positive spin on f2p, as if it's the god send cure for a shit game. LOTRO did it right, after years of subs and tons of consideration to everything involved. Now you have other MMOs who are true failures on a sub basis try to save a sinking ship by switching over to f2p.

    Guess what? You have other powerhouses coming out soon (one that is designed not to have a sub) and one that is a WoW expansion. SWTOR is DEAD, trying to spin any other story is pure stupidity.

  • karmathkarmath Posts: 828Member Uncommon

    A 200-500 million game bleeding subs and going ftp in just over half a year cannot be spun in any other way than catastrophic failure, sorry.

    However its a good thing. It sends a clear msg to developers to create original mmo's that have longevity in mind.

     
  • vieplis666vieplis666 RigaPosts: 33Member

    Shame on them pure LIES! FAKE FREE TO PLAY with locked level like fake world of warcraft, like fake dungeons and dragons and conan and few more, games with locked content etc, dont waste your time if you look for real free game where you not forced to buy anything, try runes of magic, there you even can earn chash shop money and get anything like anyone,use google and you will find tonns of real free games!

  • Einherjar_LCEinherjar_LC MelfiPosts: 1,055Member
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

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

    Here's a dumb thought....

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

    THAT's your problem, right there.

     

     

     

    This post hits the nail squarely on the head.

     

    Well stated and closer to the truth than what this article portrays.

     

    I actually had to take another look at the OP because I was certain this was more "F2P is the bestest and you suck if you don't agree" ramblings of Mr. Aioshi.

     

    I've been around here for awhile and I'd have to say I haven't seen an article that has made me question MMORPG's reputation until now.  This article screams we're getting a ton of revenue from EA/BW/LA to push this game...true or not, it's the impression it gives, at least to me.

     

    Mikey B., I'm afraid I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one.

     

     

    Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    Oh, and to those asking for SWG back; depending on which estimates you believe for current TOR players, SWG at it's peak had somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of what TOR has now, it's peak was many years ago, and it's engine is horribly dated.  Add to that, if a miracle occurred and they did bring it back, it would be the NGE SWG that virtually nobody actually liked, not the one that could have been described as innovative and worth saving.  But keep dreaming, it doesn't hurt anything.

    You can take a deep breath and relax, it's not coming back. I personally just put that out there to express my dismay that SWG was pushed out needlessly by LA when they attempted their WoW killer.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,144Member Uncommon

    F2P is the worst disease to ever hit gaming industry. Wondering why would any company invest any decent ammount of money for quality gaming if cheap people would like to live for free whole life.

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member

    poo game from a poo company (EA) = failed mmo.

     

    atleast with a f2p model they can bring in some cash from noobs who dont know anything about EA.

    here is the best advice i can give concerning EA:

    DO NOT SUPPORT THEM!!

  • MahavishnuMahavishnu BerlinPosts: 336Member

    This is obviously their last attempt to save this game. But maybe some guys at mmorp.com are still blind to the obivous. Not all of course. Just read this: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/367/view/reviews/loadUR/120

    And so many issues had already been discussed during beta! Aside from the solo-missions it is a bad experience. MMOs are about playing together, but this game does not deliver any interesting idea to bring players together. It copied some stuff from WoW and that's it.

    When SWTOR came out, a huge amount of players were ready to pay a monthly subscription - and they still would be! So the question is, why did they leave the game? Not because of the payment, because that was never a problem for them!

    Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,641Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robsolf

    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. 

     

    But they would invest their precious leisure time into if it was 'free'?

     

    I don't get that at all. Why is fun now, but wasn't then? Whats changed, except the tiny £2.50/wk it cost?

     

    Personally speaking, If it isn't worth my money then a game certainly isn't worth my time.

     

    If devs want to retain players they need to just make better games, rather then making the same old shit and then giving the client away in the hope that they snag some addicted impulse buyers. 'F2P' is really such a seedy revenue model.

  • solarinesolarine IstanbulPosts: 1,203Member
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by Robsolf

    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. 

     

    But they would invest their precious leisure time into if it was 'free'?

     

    I don't get that at all. Why is fun now, but wasn't then? Whats changed, except the tiny £2.50/wk it cost?

     

    Personally speaking, If it isn't worth my money a game certainly isn't worth my time.

     

    If devs want to retain players they need to just make better games, rather then making the same old shit and then giving the client away in the hope they snag some addicted impulse buyers. 'F2P' is really such a seedy revenue model.

     

    Yeah. Me, I can't see how something is fun but not worth $15 a month, either. Those players probably mean "it's fun to level, but not fun to stick around for the mediocre endgame". And I'd agree with that. 

    To me, SWTOR up until the cap was fun. And yes, it was worth the sub - as long as I was still leveling. So, if SWTOR was a game where quite impossibly the leveling & storyline & flashpoint progression content went on endlessly all together, I'd keep subbing. But it's not, and, you know, this is what happens.

    I guess they'd be OK if they could keep a continuous flood of new subscribers that came in for the story - probably meaning a lot of newcomers to the MMO genre as well - but they've probably found Blizzard has already hit the ceiling on the MMO player numbers and it's not really going to go up by that much.

     

    Oh, and again, on that note.... Giving away what to many players are the sole attraction of the game and expecting them to pay for the stuff people didn't like enough to pay to play in the first place? 

    That's like cutting the rose's thorns away, giving the rose for free and expecting people to pay for the thorns! :)

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member

    Isnt it weird that just some strange terms like Schadenfreude, Weltanschauung, or Blitzkrieg made it from my mothers language into english?

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • shantidevashantideva bongholmPosts: 186Member

    --message deleted--

     

    "Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night, all day!"

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,536Member Uncommon

    Wow, Mike. You really seem to have a sort of "Protective Parent" thing about you with TOR.

    Last time it was taking people to task over their opinions that TOR plays more like a single-player RPG with multiplayer, than a true MMORPG. Now you're taking them to task over the predictions it would go F2P and trying to shoot them down on that. One might almost think you have a deep love for the game or something :).

    Saying a MMORPG is going to go F2P at this point is almost a guaranteed safe bet these days. There are few MMOs remaining that haven't gone that route, some fail outright and, of course, there's GW and GW2 which have a different revenue model altogether.. "Buy To Play with a Cash Shop".

    However, some of the "I told you so's" are vindicated, I think. Very much so. Look back to the hype around TOR before its launch. Look at all the bold declarations being made about it. How, fail or succeed, it would forever change the face of the industry. How it would bring a sea-change to the genre and forever alter what MMO gamers expected and demanded from the genre. How it would be THE MMO - for real this time - to finally take on and possibly topple the mighty WoW. The hyperbole was flying, from EA/Bioware, from the media, from the fans and even from folks here at MMORPG.com. I seem to remember a particularly gushing article from yourself during that period.

    This was "The One MMO To Rule Them All", and almost everyone, it seemed, was on that bandwagon. Those who maintained a position of cautious optimism or outright skepticism were often scoffed at for not seeing the obvious truth unfurling before them. The irony being, of course, that they were.

    Then, reality happened. The game launched and, just like many of those skeptics and cautious folk had warned (and were promptly boo'd and hissed at for), the game turned out to not be all it was proclaimed to be. In fact, not even close. Not even in the same ballpark. Challenge WoW? Not at all. Change the face of the genre? Not even close. TOR's predicted game-changing tidal wave of a splash turned out to be a rather small and mostly unimpressive splash in the pond.

    Some have tried to now go back and revise history, to claim that no one was really ever hyping up the game, that it was all the fans' doing. To try and sweep the unbridled pre-launch love-fest under the rug like it never happened. Only it did, and those of us who were around to see, and endure it remember it all too well.

    TOR did not do nearly as well as it was expected to, by almost everyone, at every level, in every corner of the MMO community.

    It was only a matter of time before the announcement of F2P would come because the subscription model was too much to ask for a game that was not delivering the experience it boasted for so long, nor for the rate at which new content would be released. Lower people's expectations by removing the sub-fee, and suddenly all those complaints go away. Happens every time.

    If TOR was maintaining 2 million-plus active subscriptions, nevermind the millions upon millions it was assumed they'd have, I don't think you'd have seen this F2P announcement so soon. In fact, I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't have.

    So, are the people saying "told you so" vindicated? Yes, I think they are.

     

     

     

  • DolmongDolmong KowloonPosts: 515Member

    Good Move ! So Now they can attract more people to play the games.

    I hope the Cartel Coin actually worth for buying!

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