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Desperate for new players, SWTOR is giving cashshop related stuff away? .. or money grab against cur

KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member

Refer your friends and collect new Battle Droid pets!

08.08.2013

http://www.swtor.com/info/news/news-article/20130808

With a growing galaxy of exciting multiplayer adventures, there’s never been a better time to invite your friends to join or rejoin Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!

Our newly enhanced Friends of SWTOR program now offers more rewards and benefits for you and your friends:

  • All active Subscribers can refer new friends or invite back previous Subscribers by using a simple referral link.
  • Referred friends who join receive new exclusive benefits:
    • New Players receive the Jumpstart Bundle for faster leveling.
    • Previous Subscribers receive 7 days of subscription access, one Complimentary Character Transfer for the lifetime of the account, and the Preferred Friends Bundle with special convenience and customization unlocks.
  • Referrers earn Cartel Coins, the Kurtob Alliance Speeder, and adventurous Battle Droid pets when their referred friends become Subscribers within 14 days of joining.
 
Traditionally in WoW, Blizzard would give away a free month + a perk (like a mount) for those who refer a friend.
 
EA seems to be getting rather desperate if they are giving away not only free time, a mount, a pet, and Cartel Coins to spend, but also a transfer + Cartel Market convenience / customization unlocks.  Unless I'm not reading this correctly.
 
 
Since the emphasis is still on getting people to subscribe, I wonder if the cashshop is losing some of it's gas.  1/4 of a month free, compared to WoW's 1 full month places that emphasis on a paid subscription, with just barely enough free time so the official forum dwellers can say "you get free game time, don't be a whiner".
 
I wonder if this subscription push is because a subscription constitutes a dedicated stream of revenue, whereas the cashshop content is not guaranteed (and it's a safer bet to use a model that generates the highest cash return - no longer the cashshop).
 
 
It seems like this is a desperate cry for more players, since EA put so much stress in past earnings calls about how successful the cashshop is.  If the cashshop is so successful why give so much away for free, just so someone can sub a month @ $15?
 
 

Alternatively, EA could be relying on existing accounts to create a 2nd fake account in order to get the mount and pet?  But 1 free lifetime transfer? sheesh...better to transfer by referring yourself?  Perhaps they are foreseeing a closure of more servers to make transfers eventually obsolete, or they realize that most people who wanted to transfer have already done so (and likely will not do so again)?  Or it just looks nice to investors to have 1 account open a new account everytime they want to do a transfer .. or a new account for each character they have, such that each toon can receive the rewards?

 

So it's either (1) a cashgrab against existing players, or (2) evidence that the cashshop isn't generating as much money as monthly sub's, or (3) a cry for help .. or () = ?

 

 

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

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Comments

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,600Member Uncommon

    F2P  will save it...

     

    but really, how long did you thin the f2p bubble will last ?

     

    when f2p's were competing against subscriptions, they had teir unique appeal. when f2p's compete against other f2p's it gets very ugly. it will only get worse. when you can't make a game better, you have to make it cheaper, and when you bottom out, the bubble bursts.

     

    it's about to burst. give it another 6-12 months.

    image

  • TraugarTraugar Robbinsville, NCPosts: 183Member Uncommon
    This game is continuing to crash. which sucks for the people that actually enjoy the game.  After this I don't know if another Star Wars MMO will be attempted.  I loved SWG, but it didn't meet expectations.  I hated SWTOR, and again it has failed to meet expectations.  I just have doubts about gaming companies trying a third time when the first two attempts didn't meet expectations.  
  • DoogiehowserDoogiehowser ParisPosts: 1,873Member

    Al this stuff could already be bought from GTN with in game money so i have no idea how giving this away is being desperate or money grab?

    [mod edit]

    "The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: 'We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.'
    -Jesse Schell

    "Online gamers are the most ludicrously entitled beings since Caligula made his horse a senator, and at least the horse never said anything stupid."
    -Luke McKinney

    image

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by Doogiehowser

    Al this stuff could already be bought from GTN with in game money so i have no idea how giving this away is being desperate or money grab?

    [mod edit

    Only if someone refers a friend or a fake account to "create" it.

     

    It is exclusive to refer a friend.

     

    STAR WARS: The Old Republic Friends Trial Reward

    07.10.2012

    http://www.swtor.com/info/news/news-article/20120710

    BioWare and LucasArts are excited to announce the addition of an in-game reward for the Friends of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Trial*! You can earn the exclusive Kurtob Alliance Speeder by meeting the following requirements:

    • Referred one or more of your friends through the Friends Trial Referral Form.
    • At least one of your friends purchased the game and paid for a recurring monthly subscription or redeemed a Game Time Code.
    • You must be opted-in to receive emails from The Old Republic.
    • You and your friend’s account must not be banned.

    All players who have already referred a friend through the Friends Trial and meet the requirements listed above will be retroactively granted a Kurtob Alliance Speeder via in-game mail.

    • Level: 25
    • Quality: Artifact
    • Requires Speeder Piloting: Rank 1
    • Speed: 110%
    • Excellent protection against being knocked off
     
    Come back to reality.  Someone has to obtain it [meaning 1 new account regardless of who opens it].  So your auto defense response does little to contribute to this thread.  You may need to reread the thread.  Who said anything about complaints regarding having or not having it?
     
     
    With your quote, for a second, I thought I was on the SWTOR official forums misdirection central..
     
    Feeling dizzy ..

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • DoogiehowserDoogiehowser ParisPosts: 1,873Member

    Defense? mis direction? you confuse me for some SWTOR fanboy i think. But since i know how you try to spin every news about SWTOR into some 'game is dying, devs are desperate, cash grab and so on..' do i even need to go in depth to understand what youa re trying to say here?

    And my comment was in general about the cash shop related stuff and not just the items which one could obtain through refer a friend programe.

    God forbid they giving some stuff away as a promotion.... it has to be because game is dying. image

    Only because i see through your personal agenda doesn't mean i am defending SWTOR. (now that is what i call mis direction).

    "The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: 'We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.'
    -Jesse Schell

    "Online gamers are the most ludicrously entitled beings since Caligula made his horse a senator, and at least the horse never said anything stupid."
    -Luke McKinney

    image

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by Doogiehowser

    Defense? mis direction? you confuse me for some SWTOR fanboy i think. But since i know how you try to spin every news about SWTOR into some 'game is dying, devs are desperate, cash grab and so on..' do i even need to go in depth to understand what youa re trying to say here?

    And my comment was in general about the cash shop related stuff and not just the items which one could obtain through refer a friend programe.

    God forbid they giving some stuff away as a promotion.... it has to be because game is dying. image

    Only because i see through your personal agenda doesn't mean i am defending SWTOR. (now that is what i call mis direction).

    So if the cashshop is so successful, as stated in past earning calls, why not give away a lot of free time, and rely on those new players to spend spend spend in the cashshop for more money than a subscription would have generated?

     

    I'm not calling doom and gloom like you surmise.  But EA's actions are suspicious, once again, against current subscribers.  You see, many players are already complaining about how heavy the cashshop is.  So either the cashshop is failing now, or EA wants to institute more ways to make money (and offer something subs want, but can only get by creating a new paid account).

     

    Or as you mentioned buy from the GTN.  Which is immaterial to the discussion, since someone had to create a new account (EA doesn't care who).  So yes your accusations of whining about not being about to get the perks are indeed misdirection, since having vs not having is (once again) not related to anything said.

     

    I gave some possibilities and an alternative to explain, but you chose TLDR and went with ad hominem's .. and BTW there was no confusion =D

     

     

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • DoogiehowserDoogiehowser ParisPosts: 1,873Member
    Originally posted by Karteli
    Originally posted by Doogiehowser

    Defense? mis direction? you confuse me for some SWTOR fanboy i think. But since i know how you try to spin every news about SWTOR into some 'game is dying, devs are desperate, cash grab and so on..' do i even need to go in depth to understand what youa re trying to say here?

    And my comment was in general about the cash shop related stuff and not just the items which one could obtain through refer a friend programe.

    God forbid they giving some stuff away as a promotion.... it has to be because game is dying. image

    Only because i see through your personal agenda doesn't mean i am defending SWTOR. (now that is what i call mis direction).

    So if the cashshop is so successful, as stated in past earning calls, why not give away a lot of free time, and rely on those new players to spend spend spend in the cashshop for more money than a subscription would have generated?

     

    I'm not calling doom and gloom like you surmise.  But EA's actions are suspicious, once again, against current subscribers.  You see, many players are already complaining about how heavy the cashshop is.  So either the cashshop is failing now, or EA wants to institute more ways to make money (and offer something subs want, but can only get by creating a new paid account).

     

    Or as you mentioned buy from the GTN.  Which is immaterial to the discussion, since someone had to create a new account (EA doesn't care who).  So yes your accusations of whining about not being about to get the perks are indeed misdirection, since having vs not having is (once again) not related to anything said.

     

    I gave some possibilities and an alternative to explain, but you chose TLDR and went with ad hominem's .. and BTW there was no confusion =D

     

     

    Sure if you say so.  (even though your options in poll say otherwise)

    By the way it can not be mis direction when it is possible to acquire that item and many have acquired it without relying on free promotion. So it is not as exclusive item as you want us to believe. Sorry if stating factual information looks like 'ad hominem' to you.

    "The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: 'We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.'
    -Jesse Schell

    "Online gamers are the most ludicrously entitled beings since Caligula made his horse a senator, and at least the horse never said anything stupid."
    -Luke McKinney

    image

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 3,278Member Uncommon

    EA was giving away time in TOR like candy as soon as the numbers really started to dive.  Nothing really different here: they realize that if people are not playing your game, you can't make any money, no matter what the scheme is.

    And if people are quitting or moving on from your game (as people tend to do especially in "F2P" games), then the prospects going forward are even worse. Which is the likely scenario behind this new giveaway.

    None of this should be a surprise, once an MMO crashes, it pretty much does not recover.

     

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,426Member Uncommon
    Looks like a normal refer-a-friend program. TOR is F2P, so you get CS stuff instead of sub time.
  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBPosts: 2,030Member
    Originally posted by Scalpless
    Looks like a normal refer-a-friend program. TOR is F2P, so you get CS stuff instead of sub time.

    ^^^This

    Nothing we haven't seen from dozens of other MMORPGs successful  and otherwise.Just SOP.

  • Shadowguy64Shadowguy64 Rohnert Park, CAPosts: 848Member
    Originally posted by Drakynn
    Originally posted by Scalpless
    Looks like a normal refer-a-friend program. TOR is F2P, so you get CS stuff instead of sub time.

    ^^^This

    Nothing we haven't seen from dozens of other MMORPGs successful  and otherwise.Just SOP.

     

    You guys are messing up the EA/TOR hate thread!! Stop it!!

  • AG-VukAG-Vuk Phoenix, AZPosts: 823Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli

    Refer your friends and collect new Battle Droid pets!

    08.08.2013

    http://www.swtor.com/info/news/news-article/20130808

    With a growing galaxy of exciting multiplayer adventures, there’s never been a better time to invite your friends to join or rejoin Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!

    Our newly enhanced Friends of SWTOR program now offers more rewards and benefits for you and your friends:

    • All active Subscribers can refer new friends or invite back previous Subscribers by using a simple referral link.
    • Referred friends who join receive new exclusive benefits:
      • New Players receive the Jumpstart Bundle for faster leveling.
      • Previous Subscribers receive 7 days of subscription access, one Complimentary Character Transfer for the lifetime of the account, and the Preferred Friends Bundle with special convenience and customization unlocks.
    • Referrers earn Cartel Coins, the Kurtob Alliance Speeder, and adventurous Battle Droid pets when their referred friends become Subscribers within 14 days of joining.
     
    Traditionally in WoW, Blizzard would give away a free month + a perk (like a mount) for those who refer a friend.
     
    EA seems to be getting rather desperate if they are giving away not only free time, a mount, a pet, and Cartel Coins to spend, but also a transfer + Cartel Market convenience / customization unlocks.  Unless I'm not reading this correctly.
     
     
    Since the emphasis is still on getting people to subscribe, I wonder if the cashshop is losing some of it's gas.  1/4 of a month free, compared to WoW's 1 full month places that emphasis on a paid subscription, with just barely enough free time so the official forum dwellers can say "you get free game time, don't be a whiner".
      

    I'd say you're way off , but that wouldn't even begin to describe it. Remember EA is the evil empire and they are all about the bottom line. What they are offering is basically costing them a grand total of $ 3.50. For a profit of, if they get 1 referral of $26.50.( yes, i'm including the referral source. A referral source shows intention and therefore will continue the sub.) If they lock that new referral in for longer then a month , they've more then recouped the expense. Virtual give aways have minimal cost to the producer, other then man hours. Which are covered by subs. If you want to call it greedy , fine. I'm more incline to call it good business acumen. EA isn't the largest gaming company by accident or by desperate gestures. I think giving away a months sub for a referral is bad business and shows desperation more so. It's a zero sum result.

    image
  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by Scalpless
    Looks like a normal refer-a-friend program. TOR is F2P, so you get CS stuff instead of sub time.

     

    F2P (free restricted trial to 50) don't need to be referred.  This program is to refer a subscriber essentially, not refer a freemium.  Subscribers need that time to stay subscribed.

     

    F2P need not come into the equation, although I suppose a freemium could refer a subscriber (?)

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • kitaradkitarad RomePosts: 2,197Member Uncommon
    Doesn't the scroll from Blizzard for WoW give you some pet if the person you gave the scroll to subs ?

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by AG-Vuk
     

    I'd say you're way off , but that wouldn't even begin to describe it. Remember EA is the evil empire and they are all about the bottom line. What they are offering is basically costing them a grand total of $ 3.50. For a profit of, if they get 1 referral of $26.50.( yes, i'm including the referral source. A referral source shows intention and therefore will continue the sub.) If they lock that new referral in for longer then a month , they've more then recouped the expense. Virtual give aways have minimal cost to the producer, other then man hours. Which are covered by subs. If you want to call it greedy , fine. I'm more incline to call it good business acumen. EA isn't the largest gaming company by accident or by desperate gestures. I think giving away a months sub for a referral is bad business and shows desperation more so. It's a zero sum result.

    It worked for WoW for a long time.  But about the zero sum result, in WoW the new account pays for the referrers free month, so it isn't zero sum.  It may cost the hosting company a little more in system usage costs (low), but I'm sure the average gains would make it beneficial.  Blizzard gives away 8 weeks, but charges for 4.

     

    It's a little different here.  I suppose one could look at it like EA is giving away 8 weeks, but only charging for 7. (Ref post #5 on reward restrictions).  The referrer pays 3 weeks in a month, the recipient pays min 1 month (or 2 if a timecard is used).

     

    ps: I realize a month is more than 4 weeks on average, but used that to simplify discussions.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member

    Based on previous experience, I think you are looking at this one backwards OP. To me, it is an indicator that subscriptions are not generating enough revenue vs. the cash shop and they are trying to graduate more players from their trial cash shop (which was not designed to support the game by itself only supplement) into subscribing.

     

    I think all of us can agree that SWTOR produced a cash shop model that was meant to allow people to try out the game and drive them into subscribing if they continued play based on raw value. For God’s sake they tried to sell individual parts of the UI left free to subscribers.

     

    This was an interesting if flawed idea on their part that goes against the wants of the F2P market where people look to buy what they want as they want it while progressing through the game. Typically, its empowered by some form of currency in game that can be ground in small amounts and bought from the store to be traded for cash shop credit and virtual goods between players.

     

    To really become viable and grow into a game that’s looked at as something more than EA’s unwanted and retarded step child by investors (forgive my bluntness.) they are going to have to admit that their subscription model is doomed and rework their cash shop model to support the game without angering its potential customers.

  • besteverbestever prescott, AZPosts: 781Member Uncommon

    They just need remove the pay wall, you have no choice to sub in the end and the restrictions for flash points, pvp is just a joke.

    They try to charge you for everything. If they change it to be more like Rift and Tera I think it would do much better. If you sub you get bonuses. Also if they do the rex type system in Rift which is pretty much the same system EVE uses people can buy a sub with in game currency.

    Rifts population took a huge jump when it went free 2 play. The only real pay wall I see in rift would be the SL souls but thats like buying an x-pack. So the only reason I see TOR failing is because of the nickle-and-diming they have going on. 

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 451Member Uncommon

    Here's an object lesson for SWTOR. My 23rd and 24th characters are stuck at that level because the content quests are too high level now for me to complete. The xp penalties have left me far below the leveling curve. Thus I've stopped playing (again).

     

    Compare this to D&D Online, or LOTRO in which there are no penalties for playing. Because I can still play, and enjoy the game, a funny thing happens. I actually buy stuff in their cash shops. I buy more modules in the case of D&D Online, or I buy a lot of fluff stuff in the case of LOTRO.

     

    I buy nothing in SWTOR because I'm unable to play the game as it is designed.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 3,287Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakynn
    Originally posted by Scalpless
    Looks like a normal refer-a-friend program. TOR is F2P, so you get CS stuff instead of sub time.

    ^^^This

    and +1 this.

    I'm not even a TOR supporter (nicely put :) ) and I agree with Drakephire's post above that reduced xp is wrecking the gameplay flow so it's counterproductive.

    But I don't see any desperation in this move. As you posted in a later post too, TOR had a referral program before. They closed that about a month ago for a revision, and now relaunched it with some additional bonuses to make it more appealing.

     

    Actually it's not even a big update, certainly not enough to call it desperate :) mostly just additional fluff. The only important change is the free week, but not for the week itself, instead the expiration of it, since those are switch back to preferred. So from now on anyone can have a preferred account, without spending a cent, if one has a subscribed friend. (and preferred is somewhat better than free).

     

    Edit: hmm... scratch that last one out, just checked the page and now it says only former subscribers get the free week, the new ones don't. I think that wasn't there on Friday, but maybe just my memory is glitching again... :)

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    [original post modified]
    / snip

    If that actually works, I anticipate it getting nerfed.

     

    The original stipulation of becoming a preferred was to either have had an existing "game box" / "digital download" account, or to have spent $5 in the cashshop.

     

    If you are correct, then expect to see a large amount of Buddy Request threads in forums everywhere =D  That is really going to piss off people with non-preferred accounts quite nicely!

     

    My money is on that doesn't work or if it does then it will be "fixed".

     

     

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 3,287Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli

    If that actually works, I anticipate it getting nerfed.

    My money is on that doesn't work or if it does then it will be "fixed".

    I edited already, but you were faster :) either it's already fixed or I remembering on it wrong... anyhow, it's not the case now, only former subscribers who cancelled more than 3months ago, get the free week. New created accounts don't.

    Sorry for the misinformation.

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,131Member Uncommon

    The problem with SWTOR is that they jumped to a cash shop model to pad their falling subscriber numbers. However, they've still never fully commited to doing the cash shop correctly. Instead you have a bunch of gate, bate & switch tactics to try and coerce customers back into a normal subscription fee. The same exact subscription fee that was losing them customers in the first place.

    So yes, I'd say they are desperate for money.

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by aesperus

    The problem with SWTOR is that they jumped to a cash shop model to pad their falling subscriber numbers. However, they've still never fully commited to doing the cash shop correctly. Instead you have a bunch of gate, bate & switch tactics to try and coerce customers back into a normal subscription fee. The same exact subscription fee that was losing them customers in the first place.

    So yes, I'd say they are desperate for money.

    Sad fact is that I'd consider going back to a subscription, but I see zero sign that SWTOR will continue adding story content for my class (or any other classes for that matter). I want to continue the heroic stories of my character and his companions. That is worth a subscription rate in my opinion. But if it's going to be in maintenance mode from now until shuttering, then I don't feel an investment of a sub is worth it.

  • simpliussimplius nakskovPosts: 1,118Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by furh98
    The OP sure had a lot of "I wonder" in his post. With the title of this post I wonder if this is a desperate attempt at...well no way to say it with out getting slapped on the hand but I'm sure you can figure it out. Sad you cant say what it is these posters are desperate at or you get slapped but these guys two yrs in now can continue this desperate attempt.

    you can say it,,we want a good star wars mmo

    the one, they promised us

    the one, we already paid for

    and we know , we wont get it from this Company in a foreseeable future

    the first step in reconvalescense is to accept the fact, that you are ill

    i would be happy with several star wars mmos, but we know that EA wont share this IP

    so here we are,,until they acknowledge the failure of swtor, and start making a new one

    i prolly have 20-30 years left of my life,,maybe ill never have a good star wars mmo

    but im willing to spend a lot of time on reaching that goal

    you are willing to spend time, defending an underperforming, cashgrabbing game

    the line is drawn,,let the bashing begin

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member

    The next Star Wars MMO I think will look a lot like EvE Online with a planetary PvP system for people to run around as Jedi/Sith fighting each other.   A fight between the rebellion, the empire, and the Mandalorians all fighting for control of the galaxy. 

    It's far cheaper to make that kind of MMO and you don't have to produce expensive content every month.

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