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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. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 16, 2012, 07:15 Veterator
 
KS wrote on May 8, 2012, 09:22:
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....


Star Wars Galaxies was like that.

I had my own house and cantina in a player-made city.


I didn't play SWG long enough to see the player cities, although I had a friend who was mayor of a city. When I discussed with this with him he never indicated that much of what I proposed was part of the city planning. I know they built the cities near hot spots in the game like the places where jedi cubes dropped.

I'd like it to be a bit of that, building near hot spots, but also that those hot spots react to your presence and attack. And things spring up near your city because of it's existence...so it's a much more dynamic experience.

SWG from my understanding was mostly driven by PVP in those cities in terms of assaults against them.


And my experience was SWG was that they should have just made a game and left off the Star Wars aspect of it, because while that drew players...it led to a lot of changes throughout that games life based solely on making it more to Lucas Arts designs...... it's Star Wars roots were it's downfall more or less. And ultimately ended up being it's crutch.......when it could have been a good game on it's own without that influence.

 
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72. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 16, 2012, 07:09 Veterator
 
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

Never even popped into my head that was what Cryptic did. STO wasn't really an MMO from my definition of MMO. And CO was a copy of City of Heroes. But yeah I can see how it sounds similar.

My intention was that they make a solid engine and then create unique ideas instead of copying as they did with SWTOR, and do it multiple times over allowing them to cater to all with various MMOs instead of a one-size fits all style MMO.....they always turn out boring.

It'd be nice if one of them "broke the mold" a bit and did something new but did it in a way they could actually afford to take the chance instead of dumping 100-200-300 million in a game to where it MUST succeed and has the kitchen sink thrown in to prevent it's failure.
 
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71. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 14, 2012, 18:16 Flatline
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on May 7, 2012, 20:59:
All I want out of a Star Wars style MMO is X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter: The MMO.

I'm still waiting.


Jesus tell me about it.

I wrote a design document for shits & giggles on how I'd accomplish a new Star Wars X-Wing game.

First off, you'd need a 64 player minimum per battle/instance. Just that simple. Preferably 128 or even more if you could manage it (if you're doing MMO then it's doable). If we're dealing with more than 64 players per battle, maps need to be *big* so that you'll have skirmish pockets here and there.

The x-wing games, even including Alliance, pretty much had the space combat "feel" down pat. No need to go and fuck that up.

The game is heavily social, with pilots joining squadrons which take the place of guilds. Each squadron is assigned it's own base capital ship that works like a guild hall. Squadron leaders create wings, or teams, that you can assign mission targets to.

Experience is tracked in two ways... Individual performance and accomplishing objectives.

Squadrons actually physically move around the map in their capital ship. If you want to PvP them, you have to hunt them down and engage them.

I originally had this dream where you could nominate 1 person to be the squadron commander in a mission and they'd drop out of flying to get an RTS battle map where they could set waypoints, create objectives, reassign objectives, and direct reinforcements real-time during the game, Ender's Game style.

It should be doable, and probably even economical compared to how much most MMOs cost these days. You're not designing billions of square feet of terrain, or thousands of unique mission scripts. We've already seen that games like Tribes still have enough of a following to make money, I don't see why a space combat Tie/x-wing sim wouldn't make bank.
 
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70. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 14, 2012, 18:02 Flatline
 
ASeven wrote on May 7, 2012, 22:07:
So much for TOR being a WoW beater or even coming close to return the $300M investment.

Well, if they sold 3 million copies at 50 bucks a pop, that's 150 million right there.

If they maintain 1 million subscribers at 15 bucks a month for a year, that's another 180 million. Let's be super generous and tack another 50 million a year onto running the damn game (which is insanity) and you're left with a game that will probably hit profitability in 2 years if they can maintain a million subscribers.

My guess is that EA/Bioware were betting on a 3 year turnover until they hit profitability or broke even. Anything less than that is psycho crazy.

As for F2P, it's *way* too early for that. They'll do a status assessment at year 1 I imagine, and will have a pretty clear idea of if they're going to break even/hit profits according to schedule. If they're tanking, expect to see it go F2P not immediately, but right around when income starts into a death spiral. Then they'll hit F2P and get a surge of money and push *hard* to break even. As soon as that happens, they'll evaluate pulling the plug.
 
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69. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 19:54 Mashiki Amiketo
 
nin wrote on May 8, 2012, 09:33:

It's solo friendly, but it also gets boring. I stopped after one character got close to 30.

You fly to a planet, clear 4-5 zones, fly back home and scream in frustration as you try to manipulate the AH UI, list some shit that no one buys, and then find another planet and repeat. And after 4-5 times of that cycle, you start to wonder why you're bothering with it.

It's like it was all grind and no real reward.

Damn if all of that isn't spot on and true. Oh and fully quote worthy.

ASeven wrote on May 8, 2012, 13:24:
In other brighter news:

EA stock has hit an all-time low, it has reached July 99 levels.

EA appears to be now a target for a takeover or acquisition.
Oddly I mentioned that this would happen about 5mo ago, and it would be worthwhile to pick up a few hundred shares. Someone will buy them out and they'll pop back up. The only question is who, as it stands I haven't heard squat.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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68. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 18:53 wtf_man
 
Creston wrote on May 8, 2012, 10:34:
He has a total of 25 passes, each valid for a week.

Creston

Ah... gotchya.
 
Avatar 19499
 
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67. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 15:22 Endo
 
D_K_night wrote on May 7, 2012, 23:32:

Well there have been tons of games which didn't totally copy WoW, but came out with variations on combat systems and so on. Would you be able to explain why those games didn't work out?
Well since you haven't gotten a response yet, here's my take. I think it's because those games didn't have enough to do besides combat, and the combat was too boring. WoW, for example, has never had particularly spectacular combat, but at release there was just enough other things to do to keep it interesting. Things like cooking and fishing, and then there's engineering which was way cool back in Vanilla. They also had a pretty good progression pace back then. This kept content relevant a lot longer as compared to new games like Rift and SW:TOR, where the content can be played through with one character by an average player in a matter of 2-6 months. WoW took that long just to hit level cap originally.

And then there were also cool things like legendary weapons.

And don't forget the large open world, WITHOUT loading screens between zones, which had distinctly different atmospheres. And overall, none of it was just frustrating. Individually the small things seem standard fare (especially now, but even then not so different from EQ), except the way it was put together just worked.

The problem is that when you drop these small things (and don't replace them with other small things) that make it seem like a virtual world rather than just another game, it becomes less interesting. And players don't stay interested as long.
 
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66. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 14:44 Wetworks
 
bhcompy wrote on May 8, 2012, 10:22:
WoW is very much a polished and dumbed down DAoC, particularly the combat system and battleground system. At that point in time, DAoC was really on its own as a game, as it was completely different than other offerings like Anarchy Online, EQ, etc(who were all unique in their own right).

I played Dark Age of Camelot for 3 years when it came out and it was nothing like Wow.

Main focus of PVP in DAOC = persistent open world realm vs. realm vs. realm
Main focus of PVP in Wow = instanced battlegrounds and arenas.

Main focus of leveling in DAOC = sit in a camp of mobs and grind for hours until you leveled. At higher levels you had to join a waitlist for grinding groups for the privelage of grinding mobs for hours and hours.
Main focus of leveling in Wow = lore rich quests that took you from lv 1 to lv 60, all solo friendly.

End game in DAOC = Realm vs. Realm vs. Realm pvp
End game in Wow = 40 man raids

Combat in DAOC = autoattack with queued up styles. My hero used a 5.7 second spear, that means no matter what I could only attack every 5.7 seconds. If i wanted to use a particular style I would have to wait 5.7 seconds and que it up and it would take the place of the autoattack.
Combat in Wow = blend of instants, autoattacks, instant styles. I could chain several styles instantly + have autoattacks going at the same time.

Dungeons in DAOC = public
Dungeons in Wow = instanced

This comment was edited on May 8, 2012, 15:29.
 
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65. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 14:37 Creston
 
ASeven wrote on May 8, 2012, 13:24:
In other brighter news:

EA stock has hit an all-time low, it has reached July 99 levels.

EA appears to be now a target for a takeover or acquisition.

Who'd want to buy that shit? It's a company with ~ 200 decent people who do work, and about 20000 corporate hanger-ons and toadies that don't do shit and wouldn't recognize a good game if it bit them in the ass. You'd get more value out of putting all your money in a big fucking pile and setting it on fire. At least you'd be warm.

Creston
 
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64. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 13:24 ASeven
 
In other brighter news:

EA stock has hit an all-time low, it has reached July 99 levels.

EA appears to be now a target for a takeover or acquisition.
 
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63. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 10:56 Undocumented Alien
 
The voice acting and story were cool in the beginning for each of the eight roles to play. Maybe it's just me but I puttered out around level 20 for the 3 I tried. Just got bored, I guess the MMO "paint" underneath just started to show through. I had that happen with EQ, DAoC, WoW, and SW:TOR. The only MMO'ish games that I didn't burn out on right away was UO and GW (1). Maybe because UO was skill based and more of an open world, and maybe GW because getting to lvl 20 was easy and from there you just explored and got loot and skills.

I'd LOVE to see an updated (OLD SCHOOL VERSION) of UO.
 
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62. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 10:47 Creston
 
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.

Nod

Cry

Creston
 
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61. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 10:34 Creston
 
wtf_man wrote on May 7, 2012, 23:22:
Creston wrote on May 7, 2012, 23:10:
He gave me one of his 25 week passes, and yeah, I haven't even bothered downloading it. Nothing I saw made me think this game had much future, if any...

25 week?

He has a total of 25 passes, each valid for a week.

Creston
 
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60. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 10:30 Verno
 
avianflu wrote on May 8, 2012, 09:52:
You have to wonder is Blizzard is worried about diablo 3 since D3 is all about parties/multiplayer and loot/auctions.


I think they'd rather cannibalize their own revenues than have a competitor take a chunk.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: South Park, Dark Souls 2
Watching: Enemy, Network, Wer
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59. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 10:22 bhcompy
 
Theo wrote on May 8, 2012, 09:58:
bhcompy wrote on May 8, 2012, 09:25:
Beelzebud wrote on May 7, 2012, 21:14:
I just want to see an MMO that does not use the Wow FormulaDark Age of Camelot 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.

Fixed. I hate revisionist history.

Yher cause is DAOC totally the originator here, "revisionist", how about disscussing the games that really did provide wows fingerprint?


WoW is very much a polished and dumbed down DAoC, particularly the combat system and battleground system. At that point in time, DAoC was really on its own as a game, as it was completely different than other offerings like Anarchy Online, EQ, etc(who were all unique in their own right).

This comment was edited on May 8, 2012, 10:33.
 
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58. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:58 Theo
 
bhcompy wrote on May 8, 2012, 09:25:
Beelzebud wrote on May 7, 2012, 21:14:
I just want to see an MMO that does not use the Wow FormulaDark Age of Camelot 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.

Fixed. I hate revisionist history.

Yher cause is DAOC totally the originator here, "revisionist", how about disscussing the games that really did provide wows fingerprint?

 
Avatar 23977
 
Everyone on Bluesnews is synical, get over it.
edit: i cant spell, this is my disclaimer.
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57. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:52 avianflu
 
You have to wonder is Blizzard is worried about diablo 3 since D3 is all about parties/multiplayer and loot/auctions.

 
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56. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:33 nin
 
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's solo friendly, but it also gets boring. I stopped after one character got close to 30.

You fly to a planet, clear 4-5 zones, fly back home and scream in frustration as you try to manipulate the AH UI, list some shit that no one buys, and then find another planet and repeat. And after 4-5 times of that cycle, you start to wonder why you're bothering with it.

It's like it was all grind and no real reward.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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55. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:25 bhcompy
 
Beelzebud wrote on May 7, 2012, 21:14:
I just want to see an MMO that does not use the Wow FormulaDark Age of Camelot 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.

Fixed. I hate revisionist history.
 
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54. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 8, 2012, 09:22 KS
 
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....


Star Wars Galaxies was like that.

I had my own house and cantina in a player-made city.



This is almost an identical clone of World of Warcraft. They even have the 3 separate skill trees where you have to pick 5 things at one level before you have access to the next.


"Hey we're investing 100 million dollars. Clone what works so we don't drive off a cliff!"

"You realize that this will itself drive us off a cliff, right?"

"Yeah, I know. Let's go through the motions anyway."
 
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