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Gordon Walton - "The NGE was my fault."

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  • XiaokiXiaoki Member RarePosts: 3,252


    Originally posted by Daffid011
    Originally posted by Horusra Players are at fault...a game that cannot attract players is. As to the license you do realize they have to renew it.
    Even in the busted condition SWG was in, it attracted 1/4 of a million subscribers.  The second largest MMO in the world wasn't in critical need of players. 

    There is a difference between renewing a license and as you claim pulling a license.  Not that either had any effect on the choices made.
     



    I think you're forgetting that SWG did not have 250,000 subscribers when the NGE was implemented.

    At launch, yeah, it had a lot of subscribers but even huge fans started leaving shortly after launch because the game was a buggy mess with poor management.

    So, by the time the NGE was released the subscriber numbers had dwindled quite a bit.


    Also, 250,000 wouldnt make SWG the second largest MMO in the world back then. Once again, you are forgetting certain details. Details like the "world" is not just North America and Europe.

  • observerobserver Member RarePosts: 3,685
    Originally posted by justmemyselfandi

    I'd be careful, the last SWG dev who claimed responsibility for the NGE killed himself.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.42942-SWG-NGE-Crying-Freeman

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/86552-Jeff-Freeman-Former-SWG-Lead-Gameplay-Designer-Dies

    "Freeman's brother clarified that his suicide had nothing to do with the game. "I want everyone to know that it was not SWG that led him to take his life," he said. "He has been troubled for some time. There were a lot of personal issues that tore at him.""

    I'd rather believe his brother on the issue.

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Member UncommonPosts: 7,945
    Originally posted by Xiaoki

      I think you're forgetting that SWG did not have 250,000 subscribers when the NGE was implemented.

     

    At launch, yeah, it had a lot of subscribers but even huge fans started leaving shortly after launch because the game was a buggy mess with poor management.

    So, by the time the NGE was released the subscriber numbers had dwindled quite a bit.


    Also, 250,000 wouldnt make SWG the second largest MMO in the world back then. Once again, you are forgetting certain details. Details like the "world" is not just North America and Europe.

    Didn't mean to imply 250k subs when the NGE hit, but those numbers declined due to the mismanagement of the game by SOE.  The list of actions is long and for another post, but the point being addressed was that SWG failure wasn't the players fault as Horusua is claiming.  Players stuck around a game this poorly done longer than any I can think of.  That mismanagement didn't start with the NGE, it was there from release and never left.

     

    Yes, there were huge free to play games in other markets, but I'm pretty sure SWG was the second largest subscription game at the time.  Regardless, 250k paying member was a huge success back then.   Even now that would be a successful MMO.      

  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,120
    SWG had higher population than FFXI  or DAoC at that time ? Pretty sure FFXI was higher.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 27,033
    Originally posted by Daffid011
    Originally posted by Horusra
    Why would the opinion of the current players matter? It was pretty much stated Lucasarts was not happy with the numbers and might have pulled the license. If you need new blood in you have to take risks...they tried to minimize risk by copying and failed. But the current people would want little change and that was not generating enough.

    That was never stated and Lucas Arts couldn't just pull the license.

    SWG didn't NEED new blood.  They WANTED more players.

     

    You make it sound like the players were at fault.

    He just stated it ...

    "After the Jump to Lightspeed expansion launched (Oct 2004), it was clear that our audience size was clearly <300k and that was not acceptable to SOE (or to LucasArts)."

    Sure they could have pulled the license. Or, since this was the only game in town at the moment and there was already a full fledged Star Wars game, maybe they pressed the matter. Maybe they threatened to pull the license if the numbers didn't come up?




  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,120
    LucasArts' one threat is the license. Why would they not use it to get them to try to increase the player base/ You mean they asked nicely . Somehow the threat would have hung over their heads in any case whether it was verbalized or not.

  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 21,169
    Originally posted by Daffid011
    Originally posted by Xiaoki

      I think you're forgetting that SWG did not have 250,000 subscribers when the NGE was implemented.

     

    At launch, yeah, it had a lot of subscribers but even huge fans started leaving shortly after launch because the game was a buggy mess with poor management.

    So, by the time the NGE was released the subscriber numbers had dwindled quite a bit.


    Also, 250,000 wouldnt make SWG the second largest MMO in the world back then. Once again, you are forgetting certain details. Details like the "world" is not just North America and Europe.

    Didn't mean to imply 250k subs when the NGE hit, but those numbers declined due to the mismanagement of the game by SOE.  The list of actions is long and for another post, but the point being addressed was that SWG failure wasn't the players fault as Horusua is claiming.  Players stuck around a game this poorly done longer than any I can think of.  That mismanagement didn't start with the NGE, it was there from release and never left.

     

    Yes, there were huge free to play games in other markets, but I'm pretty sure SWG was the second largest subscription game at the time.  Regardless, 250k paying member was a huge success back then.   Even now that would be a successful MMO.      

    For a pure subscription MMO that would be good even today - however none are left as all games have a cash shop being the primary source of revenue in most cases.

    Number of players is not even a primary metric tracked by most companies today - its cash shop earnings per day/week - that's the key metric.

     

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Member UncommonPosts: 7,945
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Daffid011
    Originally posted by Horusra
    Why would the opinion of the current players matter? It was pretty much stated Lucasarts was not happy with the numbers and might have pulled the license. If you need new blood in you have to take risks...they tried to minimize risk by copying and failed. But the current people would want little change and that was not generating enough.

    That was never stated and Lucas Arts couldn't just pull the license.

    SWG didn't NEED new blood.  They WANTED more players.

     

    You make it sound like the players were at fault.

    He just stated it ...

    "After the Jump to Lightspeed expansion launched (Oct 2004), it was clear that our audience size was clearly <300k and that was not acceptable to SOE (or to LucasArts)."

    Sure they could have pulled the license. Or, since this was the only game in town at the moment and there was already a full fledged Star Wars game, maybe they pressed the matter. Maybe they threatened to pull the license if the numbers didn't come up?

    No where does he say that Lucas Arts would or even could pull the license.  This unsubstantiated rumor keeps getting repeated in an attempt to make Lucas Arts look responsible... which is exactly the opposite of what developers of the NGE have been saying for years.  Each has said how SOE came up with the idea and then campaigned for it to happen. 

    Box sales of SWG alone recouped the development costs.  Even at 250k subscribers the monthly revenue was almost 4 million dollars.  Under what grounds could Lucas Arts threaten to pull the license?

    Both companies were more than willing to do the things that were done, because they really thought they could replace the current players with a larger player base.  SOE did similar combat upgrades in The Matrix, EQ2, Free Realms and other games.  Lucas Arts didn't force those changes.  It is just how SOE operates. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • justmemyselfandijustmemyselfandi Member UncommonPosts: 559
    Originally posted by observer
    Originally posted by justmemyselfandi

    I'd be careful, the last SWG dev who claimed responsibility for the NGE killed himself.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.42942-SWG-NGE-Crying-Freeman

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/86552-Jeff-Freeman-Former-SWG-Lead-Gameplay-Designer-Dies

    "Freeman's brother clarified that his suicide had nothing to do with the game. "I want everyone to know that it was not SWG that led him to take his life," he said. "He has been troubled for some time. There were a lot of personal issues that tore at him.""

    I'd rather believe his brother on the issue.

    And I'm sure his brother is correct, I only stated I believe the SWG "vets" helped push him along whatever road he was already heading down.

    I'm sorry, but the truth is some of these SWG "vets" are complete nutcases. Again, if someone is still crying and whining about something in a dead game from 10 (NGE) years ago, that person belongs in a rubber room before they do hurt someone.

    And I'm not referring to those who just miss the  pre-cu game because they liked the game, I'm referring to the ones who describe the NGE as having "devastated" them, "ripped their hearts out", "put them in a depression", etc., etc. Those are the psychopaths who did the bullying of Jeff and it's disgusting.

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  • jakinjakin Member UncommonPosts: 243
    Originally posted by Phry
    Always interesting to see how things were from the inside, ...

    If the insider view interests you, Raph Koster's just finished a series on SWG on his site.

    Link to the final post in the series

    Gordon Walton may have been in the chair when the NGE came up, and Jeff Freeman may have been in the seat when it was built, but from Raph's posts I think it seems inevitable that it would have happened and there isn't very much that any one developer, producer or other team member could have done.

     

    Frankly, to me, it seems like the moment Raph mishandled the Jedi system (detailed in the second post of the series) SWG's fate was written and everything else was a domino effect that simply couldn't be stopped.  In other words, the NGE wasn't even close to the death of SWG, it was just the final death throes of a product with too many built-in flaws to continue existing.  Brilliant in parts, but deeply and tragically flawed.

  • KanethKaneth Member RarePosts: 2,282
    Originally posted by jakin
    Originally posted by Phry
    Always interesting to see how things were from the inside, ...

    If the insider view interests you, Raph Koster's just finished a series on SWG on his site.

    Link to the final post in the series

    Gordon Walton may have been in the chair when the NGE came up, and Jeff Freeman may have been in the seat when it was built, but from Raph's posts I think it seems inevitable that it would have happened and there isn't very much that any one developer, producer or other team member could have done.

     

    Frankly, to me, it seems like the moment Raph mishandled the Jedi system (detailed in the second post of the series) SWG's fate was written and everything else was a domino effect that simply couldn't be stopped.  In other words, the NGE wasn't even close to the death of SWG, it was just the final death throes of a product with too many built-in flaws to continue existing.  Brilliant in parts, but deeply and tragically flawed.

    I have to agree with you. The NGE might have been the final nail in the coffin, but the coffin itself was built long before that final nail was struck. In many ways, everyone at SOE who was involved couldn't see the forest for the trees. They had a game that had a decent sized fanbase, who was/is loyal to the game itself. So much of this just seems like a "grass is greener" scenario in terms of the development team involved with the NGE.

    Ironically, games like SWG and even Asheron's Call before it, were sandbox games in the grand scheme of things and were obviously way ahead of their time. Looking at the direction online gaming is going, especially in terms of the rise of the sandbox, you gotta wonder where we would be if games like AC and SWG had been better supported.

  • BakgrindBakgrind Member UncommonPosts: 398
    He does have an interesting quote when he first starts talking  "The Holicron addition and hints on how to get a Jedi ended up slowing net growth of the game and undermined the in-game community as people tried to macro their way to Jedi" . Myself and many others had always suspected this was the beginning of the end. It's good to see a developer step up and say it.
  • Daffid011Daffid011 Member UncommonPosts: 7,945
    Originally posted by kitarad
    LucasArts' one threat is the license. Why would they not use it to get them to try to increase the player base/ You mean they asked nicely . Somehow the threat would have hung over their heads in any case whether it was verbalized or not.

    What makes you think that SOE needed to be threatened to do anything?

    It isn't like this was is out of character for SOE. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • FoomerangFoomerang Member UncommonPosts: 5,618

    NGE was nothing more than a mercy kill. But everyone focuses on it because it was the last thing to happen. Publish 9 destroyed that game waaay before even the CU. Nobody wants to admit that though because they all wanted their shiny Jedi all alpha class. Then when it finally died, they all blamed NGE. Sad.

  • LacedOpiumLacedOpium Member EpicPosts: 2,327

     

    You guys love to rehash old info.  Raph has already admittedly clarified on numerous occasions that the Jedi Holocron mess was the beginning of the end for SWG.  It makes all the sense in the world why it went all downhill from there.  This is not to say that the NGE did not accelarate SWG's downfall, because it was crap and it certainly did, but It was probably also a desperation move furthered as a result of the Jedi Holocron mess. 

  • KazaraKazara Member UncommonPosts: 1,085
    Originally posted by LacedOpium

     

    You guys love to rehash old info.  Raph has already admittedly clarified on numerous occasions that the Jedi Holocron mess was the beginning of the end for SWG.  It makes all the sense in the world why it went all downhill from there.  This is not to say that the NGE did not accelarate SWG's downfall, because it was crap and it certainly did, but It was probably also a desperation move furthered as a result of the Jedi Holocron mess. 

    You are spot on. In fact, according to Raph, SWG's player population was actually increasing until the Jedi holocron mess. Raph's postmortem series about SWG is worth reading if you haven't. The NGE was like pushing the SWG playerbase off a cliff. Players started fleeing the game even before the formal launch of the NGE when they learned what was actually coming. It was tragic seeing bustling player cities turn into ghost towns seemingly overnight. Mismanagement from the very beginning determined SWG's ultimate fate.

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