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  1. #461
    Quote Originally Posted by OneSent View Post
    Riccitiello was singing a different tune before the game was released:




    His recent comment you quoted from the article about SWTOR "being a success without challenging WoW, but instead, going after the smaller competitors", is a much more realistic goal, and really the only option they have left. When your game fails to deliver on such a massive scale as SWTOR did, you have to take what you can get. Which is basically what he's saying now.
    First, that comment was made in the same month. Your comment was said in February of 2011, same as mine. Second, he said "their market", referring to the MMO market in general. A market that they (EA) said they believe consisted of 12 million people in the west. A market that they believed WoW only had 6 million subscribers in. It's still WoW's market because it's the MMORPG market, they just hold the lion's share. At no point do I see him saying anything different in either article. The only difference is that he makes his desires clear in the article that you posted from, but those are his desires, not him foretelling what he believes will happen.

  2. #462
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Besides the fact that no company comes out and says: "Well our goal is obviously not to compete with WoW, because we have no hope of doing that, but our game is pretty cool and might make money"

    People need to realize PR and Marketing have rules you follow.

  3. #463
    Mechagnome tennesseej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notorious98 View Post
    All of this is based off a Los Angeles Times article that offered up no factual merits to back up their claims of how much money the game cost. Not only that, but you have no evidence that the game costs $75 million/month to maintain. They made that comment back when they were employing five or six hundred people to work on it. The majority of that workforce has either been let go or have left along with some big money guys. As for the "break even point", get your facts straight. John Riccitiello said the game would be "substantially profitable" at 500k subscribers, not breaking even.

    This entire post has no facts to back it up. It's a math problem with numbers picked at random.

    Something else about these fake numbers I'd like to point out. First, it was 2.4 million box sales, not 2 million. Second, you're basing your number off of the assumption that they only ever sold those initial 2.4 million boxes. That nobody has, in the 11 months since release, bought a single copy of the game.
    Even if the numbers were significantly off, say the game only cost 50 million to make and you double their revenue (which is definitely a ridiculous assumption to skew the numbers in the other direction) it doesn't even come close to the profit margin of Call of Duty Black Ops, which is why EA is looking at SWToR as a huge failure.
    "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..." - Ozzy Osbourne

  4. #464
    Quote Originally Posted by tennesseej View Post
    Even if the numbers were significantly off, say the game only cost 50 million to make and you double their revenue (which is definitely a ridiculous assumption to skew the numbers in the other direction) it doesn't even come close to the profit margin of Call of Duty Black Ops, which is why EA is looking at SWToR as a huge failure.
    You're comparing apples and oranges. MMORPGs and FPS games are completely different. Attempting to look at a game like CoD, which released on 5 different platforms (Wii, PS3, PC, XBox 360, and DS) and figure out their cost vs. return ratio as opposed to a game that released on 1 platform (PC) is asinine. I am willing to bet money that EA wasn't going into this thinking they were going to get the same kind of return on a game like TOR as opposed to a game like CoD. When EA wants to try to get that kind of revenue, they release another Battlefield. You know, a game that relates directly to the CoD genre and is actually considered a competitor.

  5. #465
    Mechagnome tennesseej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notorious98 View Post
    You're comparing apples and oranges. MMORPGs and FPS games are completely different. Attempting to look at a game like CoD, which released on 5 different platforms (Wii, PS3, PC, XBox 360, and DS) and figure out their cost vs. return ratio as opposed to a game that released on 1 platform (PC) is asinine. I am willing to bet money that EA wasn't going into this thinking they were going to get the same kind of return on a game like TOR as opposed to a game like CoD. When EA wants to try to get that kind of revenue, they release another Battlefield. You know, a game that relates directly to the CoD genre and is actually considered a competitor.
    From a gaming standpoint you are absolutely correct, I am comparing apples to oranges.

    But I am not talking about gaming, I am talking about money. The EA investors don't care if its games, coal, pharmaceuticals, or whatever else. They put money in, and they want money out. EA needs to deliver on that, and SWToR did not do that at the level it could/should have, thus it was a failure. Circuit City made money, but the company was still shut down and considered a failure because it wasn't making" enough" money.

    MMOs can most definitely compete (and dominate) FPS games when it comes to revenue/profit. In 2011, Blizzard had 2 games out, Starcraft II and WoW. Starcraft II pulled in about 250 million, not too shabby. WoW had around 2 billion in revenue for 2011. Now granted WoW is expensive to run, but WoW dwarfs the amount of money made by Call of Duty, and WoW continually runs.

    EA most definitely entered the MMO market expecting to reach those levels eventually, they wouldn't have invested 200 million dollars expecting to make 100 million over 10 years.
    Last edited by tennesseej; 2012-10-13 at 07:05 PM.
    "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..." - Ozzy Osbourne

  6. #466
    Quote Originally Posted by tennesseej View Post
    it doesn't even come close to the profit margin of Call of Duty Black Ops, which is why EA is looking at SWToR as a huge failure.
    That's because the console market is much larger than the MMO market.
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  7. #467
    Mechagnome tennesseej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    That's because the console market is much larger than the MMO market.
    There are more players in the console market but there is also more competition and less long term money from a game, so overall profit is larger in the MMO market. That is why WoW is so ridiculously profitable, just look at the profit margins of EA and Activision Blizzard.

    In 2011:
    EA had 4.142 billion in revenue
    EA had 76 million in profits
    EA had a profit margin of 1.8%
    https://www.google.com/finance?q=NAS...UOC1N-iIiAKIJg

    Activitision Blizzard had 4.479 billion in revenue
    Activitision Blizzard had 996 million in profit
    Activitision Blizzard had a profit margin of 22.2%
    https://www.google.com/finance?q=NAS...UODNL8eiiQLZLQ


    You can't sit there with numbers like that and tell me MMOs can't compete with console games or that EA wasn't interested in profits like that when they dropped 200 million to make the game.
    "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..." - Ozzy Osbourne

  8. #468
    Quote Originally Posted by tennesseej View Post
    There are more players in the console market but there is also more competition and less long term money from a game, so overall profit is larger in the MMO market. That is why WoW is so ridiculously profitable, just look at the profit margins of EA and Activision Blizzard.

    In 2011:
    EA had 4.142 billion in revenue
    EA had 76 million in profits
    EA had a profit margin of 1.8%
    https://www.google.com/finance?q=NAS...UOC1N-iIiAKIJg

    Activitision Blizzard had 4.479 billion in revenue
    Activitision Blizzard had 996 million in profit
    Activitision Blizzard had a profit margin of 22.2%
    https://www.google.com/finance?q=NAS...UODNL8eiiQLZLQ


    You can't sit there with numbers like that and tell me MMOs can't compete with console games or that EA wasn't interested in profits like that when they dropped 200 million to make the game.
    You act like activision didn't beat EA in every console game competition this year.

    Protip. They did.

    You have to really open your scope instead of focusing on 1 game in a portfolio of many.

    You are like those guys who blame EAs stock drop off on swtor. Even though the drop started BEFORE SWTOR CAME OUT.
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  9. #469
    Mechagnome tennesseej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    You act like activision didn't beat EA in every console game competition this year.

    Protip. They did.

    You have to really open your scope instead of focusing on 1 game in a portfolio of many.

    You are like those guys who blame EAs stock drop off on swtor. Even though the drop started BEFORE SWTOR CAME OUT.
    I wasn't trying to insinuate that EA's drop in stock was due to SWToR. All I am saying, is WoW is ridiculously profitable, EA knows this. They wanted in on that, so they invested 200 million in SWToR, and that investment fell extremely short of what it could have done in other markets. Thus, SWToR is a failure (not due to it's gameplay, due to it's financial situation).
    "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..." - Ozzy Osbourne

  10. #470
    Quote Originally Posted by tennesseej View Post
    I wasn't trying to insinuate that EA's drop in stock was due to SWToR. All I am saying, is WoW is ridiculously profitable, EA knows this. They wanted in on that, so they invested 200 million in SWToR, and that investment fell extremely short of what it could have done in other markets. Thus, SWToR is a failure (not due to it's gameplay, due to it's financial situation).
    Again, you throw that 200 million figure around as if its a concrete figure.

    The more reliable sources place it closer to half that. And even those aren't solid figures.

    Furthermore, the "500k subscribers" thing was before they gutted the dev team of all the higher ups, cutting the cost of upkeep.

    Also, how many other WoW success level MMOs have there been? Oh right. 0. EA also knows this. You know what they did? They pumped up the hype before swtor launched to sell 2.4 million copies, gut the crew, and then make a little cash over time. Its pretty much what they are famous for.

    Unless you can produce real numbers you can't make a factual analysis of whether or not it is under or over 3% profit margin.
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  11. #471
    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    Again, you throw that 200 million figure around as if its a concrete figure.

    The more reliable sources place it closer to half that. And even those aren't solid figures.
    Those lower figures, I suspect, don't fully load the cost (corporate overhead, cost of financing, cost of marketing).
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  12. #472
    Mechagnome tennesseej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    Again, you throw that 200 million figure around as if its a concrete figure.

    The more reliable sources place it closer to half that. And even those aren't solid figures.

    Furthermore, the "500k subscribers" thing was before they gutted the dev team of all the higher ups, cutting the cost of upkeep.

    Also, how many other WoW success level MMOs have there been? Oh right. 0. EA also knows this. You know what they did? They pumped up the hype before swtor launched to sell 2.4 million copies, gut the crew, and then make a little cash over time. Its pretty much what they are famous for.

    Unless you can produce real numbers you can't make a factual analysis of whether or not it is under or over 3% profit margin.
    200 million for development is not at all unreasonable.

    6 years of development, lets say the majority was spent during the last 4 years, so only 10 million in the first 2 years while they are just fleshing out the ideas. So 190 million over 4 years, that's 47.5 million per year.

    Facilities costs, server investments, all that stuff, let's say it's 40% of the total cost (very reasonable if you look at the financials of any company under cost of revenue). So that means 28.5 million per year went to employees. Say the average employee makes 50,000 per year (many devs will make over 100k, some random finance and HR people will make less than 50k, it's a decent number to estimate with). The company also has to pay taxes, benefits and all that crap for employees, lets say that is 25%. So each employee costs an average of 75k. With 28.5 million per year to spend, that's 456 employees.

    465 employees is perfectly reasonable for a game this size, so 200 million is not at all out of the question for 6 years of development. I would be shocked if it was much less.
    "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..." - Ozzy Osbourne

  13. #473
    Quote Originally Posted by tennesseej View Post
    I would be shocked if it was much less.
    Then you might be shocked.

    If we ever find out.
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  14. #474
    swtor was not most certainly a failure in my eyes. that game was the only mmo that i played for more than a few days(like 5-7 months after launch) since I started wow in 2007.

    Problems were a rushed launch, poor optimization, and EA being EA.

    PVE had a alot of difficulty option which was great, could go anywhere from pretty puggable to hardcore(at-least pre-1.2/1.3)
    PVP however slowly started to get dull because they took out ALOT of things such has ilum being taken out completely because it had MANY problems and the dreaded bags.)

    Their patches also slowly started to get smaller in content and took longer and longer. (1.1 anyone.)

    it had potential, but bioware let it slip away. Glad they are going F2P though, i kinda like the story and I can still pvp on my hybrid scrapper/sawbones scrapper lol..

  15. #475
    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    Then you might be shocked.

    If we ever find out.
    Seriously, the $200M is in-line (and even on the low end) with what we can expect a AAA game to cost that had a staff of almost 800 people (not including voice actors). There is a lot of credibility behind that number for development costs alone (marketing, royalties to LA ect. not included). No, we don't have firm numbers from EA/BW, and we never will get those numbers. However when multiple analysts as well other experienced members in the gaming industry come to a similar conclusion, I'm inclined to believe them.

  16. #476
    Mechagnome tennesseej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    Then you might be shocked.

    If we ever find out.
    I work for an information company that has tons of servers and does massive data storage. We are 700 person company with 350 million per year in revenue. We aren't nearly as fixated on marketing as you would need to be in the video game industry. We spend about 100 million a year on servers/facilities/salaries. 200 million over 6 years is not at all unreasonable.
    "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..." - Ozzy Osbourne

  17. #477
    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusherO0 View Post
    Seriously, the $200M is in-line (and even on the low end) with what we can expect a AAA game to cost that had a staff of almost 800 people (not including voice actors). There is a lot of credibility behind that number for development costs alone (marketing, royalties to LA ect. not included). No, we don't have firm numbers from EA/BW, and we never will get those numbers. However when multiple analysts as well other experienced members in the gaming industry come to a similar conclusion, I'm inclined to believe them.
    I'll get to the rest of this when I have time, but remember that the game was in development before BW/Pandemic being bought out by EA. How much money had already been invested vs. how much money EA invested would also be up for debate. It really depends on how developed the game was before EA made the acquisition. You have to remember, EA has only been around for 4 of the 6 development years.

  18. #478
    Quote Originally Posted by Blimey View Post
    I'd actually think it is fair to consider it one of the biggest flops in MMO history, not being a jerk or trying to spark rage, it's simply true.

    Greg Zeschuk- Co founder & VP of Bioware
    Ray Mayzuka- Co founder & CEO president of Bioware
    Daniel Erickson- SWTOR lead designer & creative director
    Stephen Reid- Community Manager on SWTOR
    Rich Vogel- SWTOR executive producer
    Georg Zoeller- Lead combat deisnger for SWTOR
    Alex Freed- Senior storyteller for SWTOR

    ALL of the above have abandoned the game, and around 100 staff have been laid off.

    With all the rumours of the 300 million dollar budget, the hype, the marketing, all the celebrity voice acting, talk about raising the bar for the MMO genre, the STAR WARS IP, the solid track record of Bioware's single player games... The game announced it would be going free to play barely 8 months after release, and 90% of initial servers at release have now been closed.

    All this in under a year, can you name another MMO which has had this much failure in such a small amount of time? I can't.
    Vanguard came really close, at least it took their devs over a year to abandon ship.

    It is also pretty common knowledge through the dev leaks(after they left) and other sources that swotor was in the 200+ million dollar range for development. EA was sinking long before swotor's release and through several blogs and investor relation memo's you can see that a lot was riding on swotor being highly successful. Not saying it is failing or anything like, but it is obvious that it did not live up to expectations in any way what so ever.
    Last edited by Gsara; 2012-10-13 at 10:50 PM.

  19. #479
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennesseej View Post
    There are more players in the console market but there is also more competition and less long term money from a game, so overall profit is larger in the MMO market. That is why WoW is so ridiculously profitable, just look at the profit margins of EA and Activision Blizzard.

    In 2011:
    EA had 4.142 billion in revenue
    EA had 76 million in profits
    EA had a profit margin of 1.8%
    https://www.google.com/finance?q=NAS...UOC1N-iIiAKIJg

    Activitision Blizzard had 4.479 billion in revenue
    Activitision Blizzard had 996 million in profit
    Activitision Blizzard had a profit margin of 22.2%
    https://www.google.com/finance?q=NAS...UODNL8eiiQLZLQ


    You can't sit there with numbers like that and tell me MMOs can't compete with console games or that EA wasn't interested in profits like that when they dropped 200 million to make the game.
    In one post references the Profits of the CoD Franchise, then follows it up with claiming ACTIVISION Blizzard's profits are because of WoW. Ooook.

    Sense, these posts lack.

  20. #480
    Mechagnome tennesseej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    In one post references the Profits of the CoD Franchise, then follows it up with claiming ACTIVISION Blizzard's profits are because of WoW. Ooook.

    Sense, these posts lack.
    I understand CoD is Activision Blizzard, but I also understand WoW is a huge money maker for them and delivers every single year.

    WoW has 10 million subscribers, 4.5 million in US/EU and 5.5 million in China. US/EU players pay $15 a month, China players average $5 a month. On subscriptions alone, WoW generates 1.07 billion per year, not to mention all the in game crap they sell, character transfers, releasing a new expansion every 2 years. I wouldn't be surprised if WoW generates 1.5 billion per year or more, which would be almost 40% of Activision Blizzard's revenue.
    "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..." - Ozzy Osbourne

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