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The Old Republic Lead Designer: "We Are Looking At Free-to-Play"

BioWare's Emmanuel Lusinchi, lead designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, tells gamesTM that the quality of some competing MMOGs is more of a factor than how they are free-to-play as something that has caused them to rethink their approach to their MMORPG. Along the way, he does admit that they are "looking at" F2P: "The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well," he says. "Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play but I canít tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on."

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64. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 16:12 Flatline
wtf_man wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 09:24:
ASeven wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 09:18:
Mr. Tact wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 09:12:
ASeven wrote on Jun 14, 2012, 21:16:
$300M down the drain.

$150-200M according to the Wiki page -- although that is just estimates, the actual cost has not been publicized. And they did have a million subscribers in three days, so I am guessing they didn't actually lose money.

Going by EAlouser's blog since he was right in everything else.

As for them not losing money, of course they did. Costs for marketing and running a MMO are very high. No amount of sold copies could make money, indeed there's not a single subscribe-based MMO out there that made money by selling copies of the games alone.

The rumor is another 80 Million for marketing, launch, and maintaining through April.

So the max I've heard is 380 Million, total... not including May and June operational costs.

That was what I was guesstimating for a 2 year turnaround on the game.

So to break even after 2 years, you'd need probably about 2 million dedicated subscribers for that time period (at 400 mil total cost over 2 years, you actually only need like 1 million subscribers, but I figured I'd pad in another 15 million dollars a month in overhead). So conservatively 1.5 million subscribers. And that doesn't count the 60 bucks you plunk down for the client. Right around that time you release your first major expansion, get another surge of revenue, and your numbers stay high enough long enough that you start making major profit around halfway through year 2.

To break even after 1 year, which is ballsy, would require probably closer to 3 million subscribing customers to stay for a year. Which is bullshit. It took years for WoW to build up to the numbers it had at it's peak.

And let's be honest. WoW succeeded because it encouraged social interaction, but you could level cap on your own without serious grinding. Previously, the grind was all you *could* do to level up, and it generally took *forever*. On top of that, you more or less *had* to play in a party to get anywhere or do anything. WoW was n00b friendly, and that's why it was successful. It perfected the treadmill of rewards/skinner rat reinforcement system, it allowed you to play by yourself if you wanted to, and it gave you things to do if you played as a group.

And even that wasn't something that came up on launch. I remember within a few months of launch the game was almost painful to play. It took a year or two to really smooth the process out.
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