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The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons

Electronic Arts' Q4 FY12 and FY12 Financial Results are now online, offering balance sheets on the gaming giant along with tidbits of information about their operations. They report all-time high non-GAAP net revenue of $4.2 billion for the fiscal year, and a jump in digital non-GAAP revenue of 47% to $1.2 billion. Included is a note saying Star Wars: The Old Republic has 1.3 million active subscribers, which Ars notes is down from a reported 1.7 million in March, confirming speculation the game has been losing subscribers. They also report n a post-earnings conference call where EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said the drop was consistent with their "original assumptions" about the Star Wars MMORPG's post-launch prospects, though he also stated EA "intends to increase subscribers" with continual upgrades, including new guild features, player vs. player improvements, and "elder gameplay" for high-level players. EA also announces two new content packs, "Legacy" and "Allies," will be coming to the game this quarter.

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73 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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53. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:17 Phasenoise
 
I'd agree with the posters who indicate what people want is simply something different than a slightly modified WoW. As has been said, WoW is here, and if you like that style of game just play WoW. At this point it is polished to high hell. Other games come in with the same basic formula but less finish and features, and are surprised at the results.

People want something different, and by different I don't just mean lasers. We've played this formula to *absolute death*. Something which isn't an EQ extension would be welcomed, I think.

I honestly think the remaining MMO type of dollars might go to an FPS sort of hybrid such as planetside (for example). That's different, and isn't a WoW derivative at least.
 
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52. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:15 Verno
 
I never really got the KOTOR3 vibe from TOR, not sure where that comes from. The gameplay itself never really grabbed me in beta either, it was very standard MMO fare to the point where I wondered if they had bothered to put any of their own spin on it. Having a bunch of voice acting doesn't really qualify either, that's good production value but doesn't affect the gameplay. The storyline stuff could have been interesting if it was actually branching but no such luck.

I think it's losing customers because it didn't really offer anything new and people are tired of standard MMO offerings. I don't really care about the tertiary supporting systems like LFG UI and raiding interfaces, I can tolerate those things taking time to come if there is interesting gameplay.
 
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Playing: Fire Emblem, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: The Machine, After the Dark, Devils Due
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51. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:12 KS
 
> 1.3 million


I think he means 1.299999 million.
 
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50. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:11 wtf_man
 
Turglar wrote on May 8, 2012, 08:52:
Veterator wrote on May 8, 2012, 07:47:
Also I feel like these big companies could take their huge budgets, make a flexible engine and then pump out MMOs for 20-50 million a pop and pick up more customers with the same general engine powering them all.

Yeah what we really need are more developers following the Cryptic shovelware MMO strategy /sarcasm

/ROFL

I don't think he meant that crappy of quality... but yes, he meant shovelware.
 
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49. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:04 Kajetan
 
Prez wrote on May 8, 2012, 08:48:
Hope that helps.
Yepp, thanks. Then it's much like WoW, where the majority of the content is solo-able, only instances require group play in the recommended level range. So, when SWTOR becomes F2P (sooner than WoW, thats for sure), i might spend a few hours with it.

Usually i dont play in a guild (anymore). I prefer the spontaneous contact with another player in the wilderness, helping each other out until you part ways again. No need for verbal group hugging, no need for constant chatting & greeting or "You cant go a business trip. Friday we have a raid planned!". And i like the effort some MMO designers put in the overall world design. I just go sightseeing, like a tourist on vacation, hammering the screenshot key, taking pictures
 
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48. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 08:52 Turglar
 
Veterator wrote on May 8, 2012, 07:47:
Also I feel like these big companies could take their huge budgets, make a flexible engine and then pump out MMOs for 20-50 million a pop and pick up more customers with the same general engine powering them all.

Yeah what we really need are more developers following the Cryptic shovelware MMO strategy /sarcasm
 
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47. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 08:49 InBlack
 
SWOTOR is like KOTOR in drag....

Its wont completely satisfy anyone's appetite, they should have gone for the full gender change on this one.
 
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46. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 08:48 Prez
 
Kajetan wrote on May 8, 2012, 08:18:
Prez wrote on May 8, 2012, 08:06:
All in all, seeing what a disaster this game turned out to be makes me even sadder that we didn't get a real sequel in the Knights of the Old Republic series.
Blizzard changed WoW to a fairly decent SP game. The day WoW becomes F2P, i will re-activate my account. How solo-friendly is SWTOR?

It actually is quite solo-friendly considering I made it to level 30-something without ever grouping with anyone. (I played a different character with my friend, but didn't get far). I was hoping that it would start to feel like KotoR 3 if I just ignored the whole "massively multiplayer" part, but no dice. Too many annoyances and shortcomings due to being designed as an MMO, at least for my tastes. Still to answer your question, every quest is 'solo-able', but be advised that for the Heroic and Flashpoint quests you are going to need to be a significantly higher level than the quest description calls for because they are designed for groups. Even that is stupid, because you have a ship full of npc crew but only are allowed to take one at a time on mission, even when the quest calls for 4 members.

Hope that helps.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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45. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 08:46 durandal
 
I still think they made a horrible mistake to make this an MMO.
With that much budget and effort they could make an amazing single player RPG experience worthy of KOTOR successor, probably with some breath taking graphics.
But nooooooo. Let's make a generic WoW clone with Starwars skin.

It was painfully obvious, even from first couple of quests, that Bioware's narrative-heavy storytelling style is conflicting with its own MMO elements in EVERY DAMN OCCASIONS.

Hello Mr. !...
What's that? Kill 10 rats you verbosely say with lots of spoken dialogue?

Okay. *GRIND GRIND GRIND*

Here are ten rats, Mrs. ?. Now you can give me that verbose ramble again which has next to nothing to do with the grind I'm going through.

And no matter how good the voice actors are, how compelling the quests' stories are, there are always someone with a stupid name over their head running by, and "Barrens chat" going on on the top of the screen, ruining the immersion.
 
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44. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 08:18 Kajetan
 
Prez wrote on May 8, 2012, 08:06:
All in all, seeing what a disaster this game turned out to be makes me even sadder that we didn't get a real sequel in the Knights of the Old Republic series.
Blizzard changed WoW to a fairly decent SP game. The day WoW becomes F2P, i will re-activate my account. How solo-friendly is SWTOR?
 
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43. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 08:06 Prez
 
A friend bought me this game for my birthday despite me making my aversion to all things MMO clear to him on many occasions. I guess he figured that this would be the MMO that changed my mind. It wasn't. In fact, because of this game I hate them more than ever.

It's not a completely terrible game; in truth it can be quite enjoyable. Trouble is, the severe (and often arbitrary and unnecessary) shortcomings of the genre rear their ugly heads at every turn to kill my enjoyment swiftly. There are some really good ideas in here that are wasted because the mechanics are nothing short of disastrous. The combat is a friggin' joke that requires ZERO skill and is boring as hell, the graphics are bad, the performance is awful, the load times are epic, the story is predictable and juvenile, the enemies not noticing you from 3 feet away while you blast away on the other side of the room is just retarded, and the less said about the laughable space combat the better. That's just hitting the highlights of what's bad. Aside from the admittedly good and effective voice acting, and a fairly effective Star Wars vibe which (amazingly) still works after all this time, there's nothing here to warrant a full-price purchase, and that there is a monthly fee to boot is insulting. I grew sick of it long before my free 30 days was up, so at least I didn't have to waste 15 bucks on this abomination.

All in all, seeing what a disaster this game turned out to be makes me even sadder that we didn't get a real sequel in the Knights of the Old Republic series.

This comment was edited on May 8, 2012, 08:13.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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42. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 08:04 Kajetan
 
Veterator wrote on May 8, 2012, 07:42:
I haven't seen the combat aspects of it, ...
As far as i know, there is no "combat" in SL. It's just about creating stuff and having an avatar doing stuff.
 
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41. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 07:47 Veterator
 
Also I feel like these big companies could take their huge budgets, make a flexible engine and then pump out MMOs for 20-50 million a pop and pick up more customers with the same general engine powering them all.

That way they could experiment with different types of game play and be a little more edgy and still be able to earn what they need to earn back to make it worthwhile. The copy previous formulas, or slightly modified previous formula stuff and then pouring hundreds of millions into it is kinda.......silly.

I think overall the big name guys, everything has to be blockbuster or nothing. And the small name guys are too small to make a polished MMO that would hold up when it went to market...they might be edgy and neat but missing a lot of the basics.

SWTOR did both huge mistakes, released with basic things in the game missing and then went balls deep into a "done to death" formula pouring cash all over it adding companions and voice work to set it apart.

 
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40. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 07:42 Veterator
 
Dev wrote on May 8, 2012, 05:19:
Veterator wrote on May 8, 2012, 05:09:
I'd like an MMO built on top of a Minecraft like world. Where you can actually build cities, roads, bridges, etc. Just you have to clear the places and defend the places once you do it....
I haven't played it, but isn't 2nd life something like that? And I seem to recall a couple others.

Second Life is kind of like that.....but you're basically an NPC that buys or looks at things unless you create. I haven't seen the combat aspects of it, but the major thing I saw in that game was a lot of marketing and drive to sell you in-game products. People could create different parts and theme park aspects in the game, but I just found the overall experience rife with people selling you things and with a whatever kind of them just happened to be picked up.

I have no idea if people can actually reshape the world or dig tunnels, etc. Got pretty bored trying to figure out some driving point to it all besides it being a glorified chat room. As for the couple others, no idea. Lots of MMOs just drive me nuts with their weird control schemes or asian market layouts and styles with extra grinding on top.

This comment was edited on May 8, 2012, 07:49.
 
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39. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 06:32 LgFriess
 
NKD wrote on May 7, 2012, 21:22:
Beelzebud wrote on May 7, 2012, 21:14:
I just want to see an MMO that does not use the Wow Formula. Design your own combat systems. Design your own skill systems. Stop making every MMO exactly the same game with a different skin on it.

Say what you will about Asheron's Call and Everquest, but at least in that era there was a clear distinction between the games.

Yep. Everyone is trying to make a million+ subscriber blockbuster instead of trying to make something cool and unique. You can't make an MMO with a large (by today's standards) subscriber base without watering your shit down to appeal to the casual and the incompetent. If companies were to create more specialized MMO experiences I think they'd find they could get 300-400k extremely loyal subscribers without spending $200 million to develop the thing.

SWTOR is the shining example of how even with 6 years of development, fucktons of money, and an IP a thousand times more popular than Azeroth, making a WoW clone isn't going to be that successful. People who are tired of WoW don't want to play it again, and people who aren't tired of WoW are content to keep playing it. There is no huge market for "WoW, but slightly different."

Hit the nail on the head.

It's like somebody said, "Lets copy a slowly dying formula, but not make it as good, add some voice acting and pray nobody will notice it's an old, outdated, overplayed, boring concept."

I played and did get several months of enjoyment out of it. Star Wars alone took the game that far for me. Then WoW boredom set in and I cancelled. I won't buy another WoW/EQ clone again, no matter what the setting is.

Oh, and now it looks like TES is doing the same thing! W...T...F
 
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38. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 05:19 Dev
 
OldTimber wrote on May 8, 2012, 03:26:
It's been 8 years since I last played it but still miss it and would go back but can't recover my toons as I barely remember my account info.
There's usually ways. Like if you have access to same email. Or if you can remember what your address was at the time you paid, etc. Some way to prove you are who you say you are to the company.
Veterator wrote on May 8, 2012, 05:09:
I'd like an MMO built on top of a Minecraft like world. Where you can actually build cities, roads, bridges, etc. Just you have to clear the places and defend the places once you do it....
I haven't played it, but isn't 2nd life something like that? And I seem to recall a couple others.
 
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37. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 05:09 Veterator
 
I'd like an MMO built on top of a Minecraft like world. Where you can actually build cities, roads, bridges, etc. Just you have to clear the places and defend the places once you do it....

So you have creativity, a need for constant resource gathering, reasons to adventure and discover. And all of it while working along side other people who do the different aspects they enjoy of the game.

Far too many MMOs now are combat only and their crafting is weak.


Shadowbane did it a bit with their guild halls.....but I have to confess I knew almost nothing about it because the game ran horrible and I just said screw it after a few weeks of trying to play.

Vanguard did it a bit with boats, houses and guild halls...but they were all pre-planned locations. So......it just shows that it COULD be done.

I'd expect something a little more eye catching than minecraft graphics, but nothing spectacular.

Then if you can allow people to near fully modify your world....you probably have a world that can have volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc or spells like them happening without completly destroying frame rates.


I think it'd be refreshing to have to conquer natural barriers, like build a bridge to span a chasm or divert a river to get to some resources...etc. Clear a forest, destroy rocks so you could build the beginnings of your city in the perfect location. Make a completely player controlled territory, where the NPCs are hired and placed by players to stop people from robbing them blind while they are sleeping.

You've got city planning, resource gathering, crafting of various scales, scouting, organized fighting, chances for banditry, etc. And you can still add in your flavor of genre...sci-fi, fantasy, modern, etc.

Ignore the themes and just make a world that allows actual choice to change the a lot of the world. Then each server would be unique and there would be a reason to play on them all, because after year none of them are going to be exactly the same.

 
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36. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 03:26 OldTimber
 
Nah now it's much easier to just copy the WoW systems and throw a new skin over it instead of developing something new. I miss AC and wish it did better but nice to see what they tried to do in AC2 lives on once Blizzard copied it for WoW. It's been 8 years since I last played it but still miss it and would go back but can't recover my toons as I barely remember my account info.

Beelzebud wrote on May 7, 2012, 21:14:
I just want to see an MMO that does not use the Wow Formula. Design your own combat systems. Design your own skill systems. Stop making every MMO exactly the same game with a different skin on it.

Say what you will about Asheron's Call and Everquest, but at least in that era there was a clear distinction between the games.
 
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35. Their refusal so far to merge servers is killing them... May 8, 2012, 02:30 JohnBirshire
 
At level 50 it is almost impossible to find raid groups, and when you PvP queue you are seeing the same people in almost every Warzone. It's almost as if they won't server merge because they are afraid about what non-subscribers are going to say about the game. I think this game is on a short leash, they need to wise up quickly or they'll just be another small niche MMO at best.


 
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34. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 01:18 Bhruic
 
And they still, to this day, have yet to implement a way to transfer characters between servers.

Of course they have a way to transfer characters. What they don't have is a procedure to shut down servers (and probably don't want to). Which is, of course, the inevitable conclusion of allowing server transfers. People will invariably transfer from low-pop to higher-pop servers, leaving the low-pop servers with even less people. So they'll need to merge the server(s). And server mergers are always greeted with "the game is dying" messages - true or otherwise. There's no way they want to give that impression at this point in time.
 
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