Keep it on topic. Please stop the back and forth bickering, and remember that we don't do game vs game threads here.
From a business standpoint, I think they had higher expectations. I liked the game, I played it for about 2 months after release. Got my money's worth, I liked the story. Not much else to the game, though.
No, it's not a "failure". It's a failure when they have to shut all the servers down and let the game die. Some people still enjoy the game, but I'm not one of them.
---------- Post added 2012-10-05 at 11:47 AM ----------
In case you aren't familiar with the Skinner Box
When swtor launched it either worked perfectly for you or you couldn't run it beyond 15 FPS.
It didn't matter if you had the best or the worst computer money could buy. Some configurations didn't work with swtor. Period.
My 3 year old computer ran it better than some brand new top of the line models. That were superior to my computer in every way.
The engine was optimized for some, but not all.
For example. My laptop went from running swtor at 7 fps to 70 fps in a single patch. That had nothing to do with any changes to my computer. In fact, there were none. The game was the problem. Mainly its inability to handle integrated graphics cards and several common nividia cards.
Swtor should have waited till 1.2 to launch or at least tested more configurations. They clearly missed many.
---------- Post added 2012-10-05 at 03:54 PM ----------
"In the learned helplessness experiment an animal is repeatedly hurt by an adverse stimulus which it cannot escape.
Eventually the animal will stop trying to avoid the pain and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation."
I see this all the time on these boards. "Nothing can kill wow. Just accept it and resub", "Wow. That sucked. Now I have to go back to playing wow. FML.", ect ect ect.
Last edited by Bardarian; 2012-10-05 at 03:55 PM.
Wow has always released boxes @ $40 and then lowered the cost of that box after a couple years. Not because they are desperate for money.WoW lowered its box cost aswell mind you,
They were aiming directly for every MMO player that might be interested in a SW game. They went specifically for the casual crowd (which is the largest crowd there is) and told all the hardcore players to go fuck themselves if they wanted a hardcore gaming experience. No addons, no macros, and super clunky controls. That right there stops most hardcore players from even wanting to play a game.the players they where aiming at wheren't really MMO players, poaching players from another game is just bullcrap, you can't expect a player to give up 8 years of character development for a "new" MMO.
A significant portion of the wow population participates in the end game. That doesn't mean that's all those players do. Most players participate in other aspects of the game besides end game, so I don't really know what you're trying to say here.A hughe missconception of WoW players is that its all about the endgame...
I felt zero personal attachment to any of my characters in Tor, and I could give two shits less about the story. The world was broken up by way too many loading screens and really clunky transitions between areas. The worst part of all was how generic character animations were, how clunky combat was, and how homogenized so many of the character abilities were. I couldn't get through a single quest without getting irritated about something the devs could have done way better.Well no, its about the world, the story and the challenges that your character overcomes. So Ops and HM's belong to the challenges but before getting to Ops your character whent to a great deal already, and SW delivered on that.
Also, Ops and HMs don't mean shit. They were a tacked on after thought, poorly tuned and buggy as hell. The majority of the game exists in the leveling experience, which is why I don't understand why people are saying it's 'not free to play.' The part of the game that counts, IS free to play.
If they come out with a game for $60, and it's doing well at $60, it's economically stupid to drop the price of your game by 75% (or even 100%). Especially less than a year after release. The entire point of my prior statement was to point out that they wouldn't have dropped the price of the game unless they weren't doing well enough.I don't see your point, 50 euro and next to no coppies are being sold... or 15 euro and some copies are being sold... I know what makes more money! Infact, personal story then, a friend who is reluctant to pay 50 euro for an MMO, hes not an MMO player, saw the game for 15 euro and he was like "... what the hell, HK HERE I COME".
So you see, the marketing works. Have you studied economics to prove them wrong? Do you have the evidence even to do so? No, your just applying your OWN logic wich COULD be faulty.
You don't need an econ 101 class to know that more money > less money.
I'm not sure what people are not understanding about a business model. You don't spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing a game and then give it away for free. That's like taking wads of cash and then burning them in a barrel. The entire point of spending so much money to make a game, is to then sell that game and make more money than you spent. IE, profit. As long as profits are being made, you continue selling the game at the price which is making profits. At the time when the game stops making profits or is unable to turn a profit to begin with, THAT'S when you start giving the game away at a discount or even for free.Many MMO's have subs, I don't see the problem, are you really bashing the fact that they had the nerve to ask money for their game?
Like I said, more money > less money.
The point isn't that they have a sub fee or that they offer free to play + micro transactions. The point is that they started off with a model that would sufficiently recoup the costs for a very large and expensive project rather quickly and then less than a year out of the gates, completely changed their business model which would sufficiently recoup the costs for a very small and inexpensive project. SWTOR is not a budget game. It's not from a small studio. It isn't an indie title. It has zero reason to operate on a F2P hybrid model unless it simply can't operate any other way.
That's the point.
Apparently you don't know what 'in the black' means. EA's not going to just shut down a project they've invested a shit ton of cash into, even if it doesn't make any profits after the first year of release. Why do you think they are changing the business model? To try and break even...If they where going in the black then EA would have pulled the plug by now,
All of the 'new content' you've been getting is stuff that was in development before the games launch. Things they just didn't have ready once the game went live. Judging from the amount of 'new' content and the time frame of release, they really are operating with a scaled down team, and probably barely managing to get anything 'new' out.We just received a new Ops, soon we are getting a new planet and our class stories are getting updated. You just see f2p "LOL FAIL". While infact, Bioware gives the oppertunity to curious players to play the game and see the world, they only extended the trial. Something WoW should learn off so they wouldn't have to implement cross server zones. The subbed players will still have benefits over the f2p players.
The cash shop... might backfire, I'm not fond of a cash shop. However I saw the system work for lotro, I'm curious.
You are only throwing random assumptions by your own logic, you can't even back it up. Stop pulling assumptions out of your ass.
Lastly, I'm not making any assumptions. I'm looking at how this company (which is known for cannibalizing smaller studios and ruining their IP), and watching as this titan of a game is floundering to the point of being completely restructured in the business sense. I'm telling you right now that if SWTOR was maintaining a profit then they wouldn't be going F2P. They'd still be a 'B2P with a sub fee' model, because as long as the money is good, they have no reason to change.
It's common sense.
The business model a company uses is determined by the scope of a project and the investors' budget. In this case, SWTOR was in development for nearly 6 years prior to release, was developed by a big company through one of the biggest game publishers in the industry. This means that the budget wasn't low, and according to the amount of time which went into the project, the size of the companies involved, and the scope of the game at launch, it's not an assumption to think that this project was a huge investment and possibly the most expensive MMO ever produced.Wow, this statement is beyond ignorant. The business model a company uses is not determined by whether the company breaks even. The choice is made based on which will make the most money. Tells you nothing about whether the current model is turning a profit or not. Clearly EA believes F2P up to 50 with cash shop and sub will make more money (whether that is more than zero, I have no idea) than their current buy and sub model.
The reality is that this simply was not a small indie company producing a small title aimed at a few thousand people and developed on a tiny budget. I don't need to be a bean counter to know that much. Do I know exact figures? No, no one on the outside of the company does. If EA released those numbers, they would most likely make themselves look really bad, which is probably why they won't do it.
And like I've said before, if the B2P + subs model was bringing in enough money to be profitable for them, they wouldn't be switching models.
How can you guarantee things when you nothing of the costs. To your first point, that makes no sense. Think supply and demand curves. EA probably figures that they are not going to sell anymore boxes at $60, so they are lowering it to price point where they think people will buy. Nothing to do with whether EA made back development costs.
To your second and third points, the market has changed in 6 years, maybe EA is trying to change SWTOR to match that. Also, there is absolutely zero difference in the MMO market between now and a year ago. If this business model was the one EA was confident in making more money with, they would have done it to begin with and not waited 11 months to start using the one they were confident in.
I don't know if EA has made a dime on SWTOR or not. I just know none of your guarantees are worth the paper they are printed on
We don't know specifics regarding costs, but we have a good idea. This is why I can make a guarantee based on the behavior coming from EA regarding SWTOR. The market obviously can sustain a B2P model + subs, since there are companies out there doing it very successfully. The obvious factor in that scenario comes down to how well the developers do on the project and whether or not it meets player expectations. The fact of the matter is you don't even need to get to level 10 in order to understand what's wrong with SWTOR.
That's a trial account in which a player doesn't have to pay a dime to find out the issues SWTOR has. Sadly, the player will either choose not to buy the full game, or he will buy it in hopes that those problems get fixed, when they most likely won't.
Take a look around you. Look at other games which have changed their business model since release. Every single one of them has not willingly done so out of a choice between two viable models. They HAVE done so because it's a last ditch effort to start making some money. Every single game which has done so has had severe issues which the developers don't seem to be able or willing to fix, which inevitably kills the popularity of the game.
The part I don't understand, is why you and other people keep trying to downplay the cost of the game and insinuate that because the game is still going that it MUST be making profits, completely ignoring the fact that most of the people who initially bought the game are no longer subbed and the company is drastically changing the business model of the game.
I don't understand it, and it seems like an extreme case of fanboyism. Running a business is fairly simple and straight forward. You start out with a goal and a budget. You do the best you can to meet your goals within your budget, and then you either make enough money to pay back costs or you don't. Companies that are making a profit don't make drastic changes for seemingly no reason at all. Companies that aren't making a profit DO make drastic changes for seemingly no reason at all, up to and including shutting down completely.
The bottom line is that as long as the game exists in this state of needing major help, and as long as EA isn't willing to pay for development in the right direction, the game only stands to lose more people and eventually become a loss to EA. Servers and development are an ongoing cost. Even if EA had broken even at the time of release, there is still a chance that they aren't making enough money to keep the lights on. So keep parading around SWTOR as a misunderstood game from a misunderstood company, but it's not fooling anyone.
Last edited by Eroginous; 2012-10-05 at 05:03 PM.
EA is trying to go f2p across the board.
You should go read their most recent investor call transcript to catch up with what everyone already knows.
---------- Post added 2012-10-05 at 05:28 PM ----------
There are really two issues here when you ask: is this a failure?
Is it a failure as an artistic, recreational activity? That's clearly unanswerable, as it's entirely dependent on the preferences of the player.
Is it a failure as a business venture? That can be much more clearly answered, and, as of now, the answer seems clearly to be, Yes, it is a failure.
The simplest and most unbiased support for that view can be summarized here, with special attention to this paragraph;
Firstly, there's Star Wars: The Old Republic. EA's stock price went into decline after The Old Republic's launch, and hasn't recovered yet - and that timing is unlikely to be a coincidence. Expectations among investors for SWTOR were extremely high, given the game's much-publicised high development costs (which probably make it the most expensive game project ever), the strength of the Star Wars license, the track record of developer Bioware and, crucially, the tantalising possibility of building an ongoing MMO revenue stream for EA which would match the one enjoyed by rival Activision Blizzard from World of Warcraft. While it would be unfair to characterise SWTOR as a complete failure, it has certainly not been a success on the level which EA or its investors would have wanted. The game has lost 400,000 subscribers since February, and it seems inevitable that the company will be forced into an embarrassing (but probably commercially sensible) transition to a free-to-play model sooner rather than later.
Note that even though that article was written in June, EA's stock price is still hovering at around $13 as of today.The decline I'm talking about is clearly visible - starting last November and carrying on almost uninterrupted right up to this week. From top to bottom, that slope covers 50 per cent of EA's valuation, from a high of just over $25 in November down to a low of $12.29, recorded just last week. While it's not unusual for small companies' share prices to fluctuate this strongly during times of trouble, EA is not a small company. This fluctuation represents billions of dollars moving out of the company's valuation, and the fact that it's a trend which has persisted for six months suggests that investors are genuinely concerned about EA, rather than simply being spooked by rumours or speculation in the short-term.
Whether one wishes to consider TOR a good or bad game, the financial community appears to consider ToR enough of a disappointment to radically reduce the share price of EA. Again, note that this dip in EA's share price represents a loss of billions of dollars in valuation.
Let alone the fact that the stock drop began well before Swtor was launched and Swtor outsold its initial expectations and problems with swtor really began about 3 months after launch making the drop truly begin 4 months before Swtor would have been considered a problem?
Other then the temporal issues with that theory. Tech stocks aren't strongly correlated with product performance. They are based off hype waves and selling before the hype dies.
Last edited by Bardarian; 2012-10-05 at 06:29 PM.
Considering your drawn out post jumps the shark immediately following the graph, I have to remind you that an entertainment company is not weighed down by the course of one property when they have countless others. If SWTOR had resulted in their bankruptcy, then you can say the stock is a direct correlation. I would say it is a combination of factors, as would any expert on the subject, which you clearly aren't. (I'm not either for reference, but my head is a little more level at this point in time)
I would correlate a single game's performance with EA's stock price if maybe the Madden series flopped...SWTOR?...not so much
a game industry site?
I do enjoy how when people wish to ignore evidence, suddenly it's to be subjected to the relevance test for criminal court. And of course, it's a much better proposition to give credence to the claims of the anonymous masses on the internet then industry reporters. That's certainly what I tell my doctor when he suggests those useless so-called vaccines!
If you want to believe that the flagship title of a game studio, a title widely believed to be the single most expensive title ever produced, that this title performed "disappointingly" (and is known non-affectionately as "TorTannic") is no more related to the stock slide than any other game... well, I should doubt you are exactly open to being convinced.
If you wish to consider a game that sold ~2 million boxes, but maintains a player base of perhaps 500,000 a success... well, what can one say?
Nevermind that the accurate rebuttal would have been the same. If you feel that one product, for a company that makes hundreds of fairly equally weighted projects caused an entire year's worth of declining value, then I do not want you investing my money. Thankfully the general investment population isn't as knee jerk reactive as you are, or EA would have gone bankrupt in a month.
Actually...maybe that would have been a great thing.
Answering OP question: in my opinion, yes, it is fair to consider it a fail... everyone is entitled to have an opinion.-
It's a failure in the sense that EA boasted TOR would be the game to knock WoW off its throne. The game itself wasn't bad at all, but you can tell the goal was 'beat WoW, beat WoW' more than 'make a great game'.
To me it looks like SW took all those posts of WOW players who were upset and did what they said only to realize there is a reason blizzard doesn't do that and its because it makes the game clunky and really not fit for anyone, I loved the leveling in SW but the endgame sucked and the opposite goes for my GF who hated the static leveling but loved the open-ended endgame. They delivered a little bit for everyone but in the end it wasn't enough to make me want to stop playing wow
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