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Kotick on SWOTR Economics

An interview with Bobby Kotick mentioned here last night contains a bit we didn't notice at first, as GamesIndustry.biz (registration required) notes the Activision CEO opines on the business model of Star Wars: The Old Republic, when asked about the possible impact of the upcoming MMORPG on World of Warcraft. "Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars," Kotick said. "We've been in business with Lucas for a long time and the economics will always accrue to the benefit of Lucas, so I don't really understand how the economics work for Electronic Arts."

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37. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 30, 2011, 12:01 Verno
 
Of course they'll be fine, they ripped off WoW, threw in some Star Wars lore and made some low level content to keep people happy for the critical first few months. The content/quality drop off while leveling is significant, people are in for a rude awakening but by then they will have made back their investment and then some so it's all good for EA. In two years they can go F2P when the game is on life support and make a big chunk more money. It's win win for them.  
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36. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 30, 2011, 03:58 D_K_night
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 30, 2011, 00:05:
RollinThundr wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 20:36:
As much as I've rallied against BW lately, (DA2 was a travesty) Having played 2 beta weekends, I actually enjoy the game, the stories and class quest make the game feel deeper quest wise, than your average kill x of those, collect x of those even though its similar in scope. The stories keep the game fresh at least from my experience, and it was fairly smooth, though there were instances of bugs that I encountered that shouldn't be there this close to launch.

I will be picking it up however since a group of friends I have are doing so as well.

Not sure why Cutter is hating so hard but then again it is Cutter, guy hates everything anyway.

Hardly, just the obvious and trite stuff that idiots like you, Drezden, et al. all like. Then again, you morons don't seem to think there's anything wrong when you gripe about stuff but you sure do love to point out when other people do it. gg hypocrites.

And seeing as this game has been in development for about 5 years and given its size and scope 300 million is more than fair and that was a number given 2 years ago. And we're not even talking the maketing budget here which will easily be 100 million, so yeah somewhere in the 300-500 million ballpark is a pretty fair guess.

All EA has to do is steal a chunk of WoW, subscriber base(doesn't even have to be even 10%) and they'll be doing just fine. I predict they're going to be OK.

It's Star Wars. People love that. The game might not be strictly for me, but I can see why people love the game, so more power to them if they just wanna play. Personally I've been playing the hot-key MMO style of game for too long now, and it's time for me to move on.

But financially speaking the game is not just gonna collapse and die under its own weight in the first year. It'll be fine, EA has deep pockets. It's be all OK.
 
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35. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 30, 2011, 03:49 D_K_night
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:20:
Creston wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:00:
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:08:
Also, I might catch flak, but more than once I found myself saying "wow... that's a little... sexist..." with the story. Two or three major NPCs and a minor one basically have harems and kept women and shit. One, maybe even two would have been unremarkable, but when you have the major enemy being a sleazy "lady's man", the first major NPC ally having a kept woman, a quest goal minor NPC having refugee women that he's basically keeping captive as a harem, and a second major NPC ally having literally a harem of admirers (all of these in the first 10 hours mind you), my creepy meter started going off. Then it just felt juvenile.

Star Wars is pretty sexist in and of itself, but yeah, that sounds rather over the top. Of course, with EA being behind it, all you can do is shrug your shoulders and go "Well, it IS EA, so it makes sense."

Queue Muzyka bleating that EA has nothing to do with Bioware's games.

Creston

It was just awkward at first. Then it got juvenile, and the story kind of was already in a slide towards teenage fanfic. I understand the slave girls and the dancing cantina girls and stuff, it is Star Wars after all, and smugglers are the underbelly of the universe, but there are limits.

I mean, your prologue is basically you go to deliver some smuggled blasters, make the dropoff, get paid, and someone double-crosses you and steals your ship and the blasters. You want your ship back, but now the gangster who originally set up the deal wants you and the guy who hired you dead. Because, of course, you did your job successfully, but apparently you're responsible for the blasters even after they leave your hands. Which is explained off as the gangster is a super-violent crazy man who goes off and murders everyone when anything goes wrong. Which is exactly who you want to do business with right? I mean, a guy with a reputation for killing everyone when someone screws up is going to do way more smuggling business (which is inherently risky) than someone who understands that there will be losses and deals accordingly.

And yet, the double-crossing "mastermind" douche, from a story narrative, gets off scott free from the murderous gangster, and even threatens to tip the gangster off to your whereabouts. Because, you know, saying "hi, I'm the guy who stole your blasters. The delivery boy who did his job is on this planet BTW if you want to kill him" is such a smart move.

As I said, amateur night.

I am wondering if the writers couldn't...reverse things maybe? Why always a high-profile male, keeping a harem or kept women and so on?

Why couldn't the reverse occur? Just wondering why things couldn't be that way. I mean, it's sci-fi...aren't the possibilities with story arc afford something like that? I understand that perhaps women seek different objectives and have different requirements where mates are concerned, but at the same time...you see what I'm getting at right?
 
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34. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 30, 2011, 03:44 D_K_night
 
Sorry Bobby but this is sour grapes.

Let's just suppose for a moment that, for every $15 that EA charges monthly for SWTOR, Lucas gets $5 of that(that's a incredibly unrealistic number, but stay with me here).

EA is STILL making $$ hand over fist. So tell me again why, the "economics wouldn't work" for EA?

Go ahead and enlighten me, Bobby.
 
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33. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 30, 2011, 00:32 commonperson
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 30, 2011, 00:05:
Hardly, just the obvious and trite stuff that idiots like you, Drezden, et al. all like. Then again, you morons don't seem to think there's anything wrong when you gripe about stuff but you sure do love to point out when other people do it. gg hypocrites.

And seeing as this game has been in development for about 5 years and given its size and scope 300 million is more than fair and that was a number given 2 years ago. And we're not even talking the maketing budget here which will easily be 100 million, so yeah somewhere in the 300-500 million ballpark is a pretty fair guess.

Wow, I have to say why all the hate? People need to relax, it's a game. Patcher estimated more at around 80 Million and the numbers vary from 100 to 300 in general but calling people idiots really lowers the tone of conversation. It's no wonder people don't take gamers seriously when in the course of 30 odd comments it's already degraded to name calling.
 
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32. removed Nov 30, 2011, 00:05 Cutter
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Nov 30, 2011, 10:20.
 
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31. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 20:36 RollinThundr
 
As much as I've rallied against BW lately, (DA2 was a travesty) Having played 2 beta weekends, I actually enjoy the game, the stories and class quest make the game feel deeper quest wise, than your average kill x of those, collect x of those even though its similar in scope. The stories keep the game fresh at least from my experience, and it was fairly smooth, though there were instances of bugs that I encountered that shouldn't be there this close to launch.

I will be picking it up however since a group of friends I have are doing so as well.

Not sure why Cutter is hating so hard but then again it is Cutter, guy hates everything anyway.
 
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30. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 19:35 commonperson
 
Creston wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 19:18:
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 18:36:

Please do the math for me. Explain how 350k subs are going to recoup 500 million and counting? I'll be really surprised if this isn't F2P inside of 2 years, probably less.


Every time you post about the game, the amount of money sunk into it goes up... 500 million... Really?

Most game review sites place the money anywhere between 100-300 million, and the 300 million is solely and alone because one guy blogged that he worked on it and it had cost "LIKE 300 MILLION DOLLARS, MAN!" And all they're doing is guessing, because no official figures have ever been released.

So now it's gone to 500 million? Come on. Even EA's marketing department can't spend money THAT fast.

Creston

Also current numbers are pegging around 900k of units in the USA alone, that's not even North America. That's AMERICA (http://www.vgchartz.com/charts/preorders.php)week ending November 26th.

Now add to that Europe and hell even the rest of North America and the Australia you are talking over a million (probably around 1.5 million if not more.) That's at launch. So let's make some estimates here, let's for simplicity sake say all 1.5 million people bought regular edition versions at 60 bucks. Not digital deluxe, not collectors, just plain brown paper normal that's 1500000 x 60 that's 90000000 just at launch. Now in reality you have digital deluxe and CE editions adding extra overhead and costs on top but really DE no reall cost CE it's really pennies as it's crap made in China by sweatshops so real overhead is low but they are getting 20 to 80 dollars on top of that.

Now that's 90 Million out of the gate, let's give it a TRAGIC drop off from 1.5 million users to say 750k even after first month (which I don't forsee but is possible) we're talking around a monthly take in of around 11 million and if it stabalizes there for a year we're talking around 113 million over one year. So if we see a 50% drop off over the course of the first year monthly subscriptions for that period plus initial buy in is aronud 200 million. Given the actual costs are subject to rumour and speculation (and there's no way it's 500 million at worst maybe 250 to 300 million and even 300's only source is a disgruntled former employee) they will have made their money back in the first year and a half and everything on top of that is pure cheddar.
 
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29. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 19:18 commonperson
 
Creston wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:00:

Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:08:
Also, I might catch flak, but more than once I found myself saying "wow... that's a little... sexist..." with the story. Two or three major NPCs and a minor one basically have harems and kept women and shit. One, maybe even two would have been unremarkable, but when you have the major enemy being a sleazy "lady's man", the first major NPC ally having a kept woman, a quest goal minor NPC having refugee women that he's basically keeping captive as a harem, and a second major NPC ally having literally a harem of admirers (all of these in the first 10 hours mind you), my creepy meter started going off. Then it just felt juvenile.

Star Wars is pretty sexist in and of itself, but yeah, that sounds rather over the top. Of course, with EA being behind it, all you can do is shrug your shoulders and go "Well, it IS EA, so it makes sense."

Queue Muzyka bleating that EA has nothing to do with Bioware's games.

Creston

This is nothing to do with EA it's the universe/time it's set in. You have to remember Star Wars is a pretty ugly universe in a lot of ways. During this period slavery, drug addiction and human trafficing are pretty par for the course. On Nar Shaddaa there's a guy in the background going on about his twilek fetish and the female concierge just simply says that they will be gald to please him at his Birthday Party on Nar Shaddaa. The world in the Extended Universe is a much more brutal and far more interesting one. The reality is, we live in a world where girls are swept off the streets in Europe, hooked on smack and sold to people in the U.S. and Canada to work in Strip Clubs. Human trafficing goes on on a daily basis. Addiction is common place. The game is more a reflection of our world than not and people are only so uncomfortable because it reminds them of truths they prefer to forget.
 
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28. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 19:18 Creston
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 18:36:

Please do the math for me. Explain how 350k subs are going to recoup 500 million and counting? I'll be really surprised if this isn't F2P inside of 2 years, probably less.


Every time you post about the game, the amount of money sunk into it goes up... 500 million... Really?

Most game review sites place the money anywhere between 100-300 million, and the 300 million is solely and alone because one guy blogged that he worked on it and it had cost "LIKE 300 MILLION DOLLARS, MAN!" And all they're doing is guessing, because no official figures have ever been released.

So now it's gone to 500 million? Come on. Even EA's marketing department can't spend money THAT fast.

Creston
 
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27. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 18:54 Prez
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 18:36:
Please do the math for me. Explain how 350k subs are going to recoup 500 million and counting? I'll be really surprised if this isn't F2P inside of 2 years, probably less.


I'm wondering that myself. I read that they've upped that number to 500k subscriptions (on a preview on pcgamer.com) but the numbers still don't seem to work given the absolutely huge budget for this game. As far as going F2P, I think while a big property like Star Wars might resist it longer than usual, I just can't see it keeping its subs for nearly as long as WoW has.
 
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26. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 18:46 Trevellian
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 18:35:
Drezden wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:25:
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 14:39:
ASeven wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 14:27:
The progress of SWTOR is weird. Not long ago everyone in the closed beta pretty much said the game was not good, even previews from major sites mentioned that but somehow the devs turned the game around and in this new beta phase everyone playing it says that it is indeed good.

It's not Guild Wars 2 so I have nothing positive to say about it and think everyone should feel the same as me.

Fixed that for you.

Sorry, I'm not as easily amused as you and your ilk. I know you feel games like this and MW3, reality TV and top 40 pop music are what the height of human culture, but they're really not. Some of us are just, well, who are we kidding here, a lot more sophisticated and demanding.

Don't like any of that stuff, certainly didn't buy MW3. But try again if it makes you feel better.

Simply pointing out your same old tired song and dance.
 
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25. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 18:36 Cutter
 
PropheT wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:35:
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 14:39:
I still see a ton of people writing off, myself included. It gets boring real fast. It's already antiquated before it begins both in look and how it plays. And because of how its desgined the overhead for keeping it running and producing new content - which will take forver to do - will be enormous. I'll be surprised if they ever recoup their money on this one.

They've said ~350k subs would be enough to break even with the game, and I have a hard time seeing them not doing that. I'd be surprised if they didn't double it, honestly, at least for a while.

I don't think it's going to blow people away but it's Star Wars and it's an MMO. If you like those two things there's not a lot to hate about it, and there's a lot to appeal to solo RPG players that other games haven't tried. It kind of surprised me how much it felt like KOTOR despite being an MMO.

Please do the math for me. Explain how 350k subs are going to recoup 500 million and counting? I'll be really surprised if this isn't F2P inside of 2 years, probably less.

 
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24. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 18:35 Cutter
 
Drezden wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:25:
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 14:39:
ASeven wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 14:27:
The progress of SWTOR is weird. Not long ago everyone in the closed beta pretty much said the game was not good, even previews from major sites mentioned that but somehow the devs turned the game around and in this new beta phase everyone playing it says that it is indeed good.

It's not Guild Wars 2 so I have nothing positive to say about it and think everyone should feel the same as me.

Fixed that for you.

Sorry, I'm not as easily amused as you and your ilk. I know you feel games like this and MW3, reality TV and top 40 pop music are what the height of human culture, but they're really not. Some of us are just, well, who are we kidding here, a lot more sophisticated and demanding.
 
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23. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 17:41 Creston
 
killer_roach wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:46:
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:20:
As I said, amateur night.

What part of "Star Wars" didn't give that away from the get-go, though?

Hehe yep. Remember, it's not sci-fi, it's SPACE OPERA!

Creston
 
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22. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 16:48 eunichron
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:46:
eunichron wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:41:
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:08:
Also, I might catch flak, but more than once I found myself saying "wow... that's a little... sexist..." with the story. Two or three major NPCs and a minor one basically have harems and kept women and shit. One, maybe even two would have been unremarkable, but when you have the major enemy being a sleazy "lady's man", the first major NPC ally having a kept woman, a quest goal minor NPC having refugee women that he's basically keeping captive as a harem, and a second major NPC ally having literally a harem of admirers (all of these in the first 10 hours mind you), my creepy meter started going off. Then it just felt juvenile.

Man up, Nancy.

You're like three hours late. You're fired.

I tried.
 
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21. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 16:46 Flatline
 
eunichron wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:41:
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:08:
Also, I might catch flak, but more than once I found myself saying "wow... that's a little... sexist..." with the story. Two or three major NPCs and a minor one basically have harems and kept women and shit. One, maybe even two would have been unremarkable, but when you have the major enemy being a sleazy "lady's man", the first major NPC ally having a kept woman, a quest goal minor NPC having refugee women that he's basically keeping captive as a harem, and a second major NPC ally having literally a harem of admirers (all of these in the first 10 hours mind you), my creepy meter started going off. Then it just felt juvenile.

Man up, Nancy.

You're like three hours late. You're fired.
 
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20. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 16:46 killer_roach
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:20:
As I said, amateur night.

What part of "Star Wars" didn't give that away from the get-go, though?
 
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19. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 16:41 eunichron
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:08:
Also, I might catch flak, but more than once I found myself saying "wow... that's a little... sexist..." with the story. Two or three major NPCs and a minor one basically have harems and kept women and shit. One, maybe even two would have been unremarkable, but when you have the major enemy being a sleazy "lady's man", the first major NPC ally having a kept woman, a quest goal minor NPC having refugee women that he's basically keeping captive as a harem, and a second major NPC ally having literally a harem of admirers (all of these in the first 10 hours mind you), my creepy meter started going off. Then it just felt juvenile.

Man up, Nancy.
 
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18. Re: Kotick on SWOTR Economics Nov 29, 2011, 16:20 Flatline
 
Creston wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 16:00:
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2011, 15:08:
Also, I might catch flak, but more than once I found myself saying "wow... that's a little... sexist..." with the story. Two or three major NPCs and a minor one basically have harems and kept women and shit. One, maybe even two would have been unremarkable, but when you have the major enemy being a sleazy "lady's man", the first major NPC ally having a kept woman, a quest goal minor NPC having refugee women that he's basically keeping captive as a harem, and a second major NPC ally having literally a harem of admirers (all of these in the first 10 hours mind you), my creepy meter started going off. Then it just felt juvenile.

Star Wars is pretty sexist in and of itself, but yeah, that sounds rather over the top. Of course, with EA being behind it, all you can do is shrug your shoulders and go "Well, it IS EA, so it makes sense."

Queue Muzyka bleating that EA has nothing to do with Bioware's games.

Creston

It was just awkward at first. Then it got juvenile, and the story kind of was already in a slide towards teenage fanfic. I understand the slave girls and the dancing cantina girls and stuff, it is Star Wars after all, and smugglers are the underbelly of the universe, but there are limits.

I mean, your prologue is basically you go to deliver some smuggled blasters, make the dropoff, get paid, and someone double-crosses you and steals your ship and the blasters. You want your ship back, but now the gangster who originally set up the deal wants you and the guy who hired you dead. Because, of course, you did your job successfully, but apparently you're responsible for the blasters even after they leave your hands. Which is explained off as the gangster is a super-violent crazy man who goes off and murders everyone when anything goes wrong. Which is exactly who you want to do business with right? I mean, a guy with a reputation for killing everyone when someone screws up is going to do way more smuggling business (which is inherently risky) than someone who understands that there will be losses and deals accordingly.

And yet, the double-crossing "mastermind" douche, from a story narrative, gets off scott free from the murderous gangster, and even threatens to tip the gangster off to your whereabouts. Because, you know, saying "hi, I'm the guy who stole your blasters. The delivery boy who did his job is on this planet BTW if you want to kill him" is such a smart move.

As I said, amateur night.
 
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