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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 can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on."

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47. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 09:15 briktal
 
Viper114 wrote on Jun 14, 2012, 21:47:
Yeah, I figured this would happen. Frankly, it seems the only MMO that can last with a subscription model is WoW, and no other MMO really has the ability to copy that no matter how hard they try.

Now if only they could realize this with the Warhammer MMO and just make it completely free to play...

Here's the issue: a lot of people have played or continue to play WoW. If they no longer play, then a competing MMO will need to address the problems that made them quit WoW, which few do. If they currently play WoW, the competing MMO will have to offer enough incentives so that the person will give up all they have done in WoW (progress, accomplishments, friends, etc) to play the new game. Making a WoW clone is generally a bad way to go about doing this.
 
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46. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 09:14 Blackhawk
 
wtf_man wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 09:06:
Tons of content, yes... but those things??? Sorry, I disagree. Wow bored the shit out of me within the first few levels... and I stuck it out through the mid levels.

You only stuck it out through the mid levels, and yet you speak authoritatively about its content and depth?
 
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45. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 09:12 Mr. Tact
 
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.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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44. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 09:06 wtf_man
 
s1mon75 wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 08:12:
For those who think Wow is 'retard friendly', allow me to elaborate further.

To a point your right, early in Wow's development the phrase used by Blizz was 'Easy to Learn, Hard to Master'. Much like Chess its not hard to understand what pieces move to where, but there is so much depth to to the game after learning the basics. Thats called Substance.

You're joking, right? Depth? Substance? Hard to Master??? /ROFLMAO

Tons of content, yes... but those things??? Sorry, I disagree. Wow bored the shit out of me within the first few levels... and I stuck it out through the mid levels.

It was the lack of substance that made me quit, and never look back.

/shrug
 
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43. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 08:12 s1mon75
 
For those who think Wow is 'retard friendly', allow me to elaborate further.

To a point your right, early in Wow's development the phrase used by Blizz was 'Easy to Learn, Hard to Master'. Much like Chess its not hard to understand what pieces move to where, but there is so much depth to to the game after learning the basics. Thats called Substance.

I tried SW:TOR for 3 days before realizing it was a failure. The basics were there and it was easily accessible, but if you wanted to get more out of the combat you couldn't due to the limited screen GCD. And the skill tree was so ... 8 years ago. I could go on ...

SW:TOR could have really been the Wow killer but imo, no one in Bioware played the game enough and asked themselves 'Am I having fun'? They played the game and said, this should be good enough to get half the number of Wow.

After D3 I believe Blizz are in a crucial phase, they appear to be losing their desire to make seriously fun games. I hope they'll get it back, but one thing I know: EA hasnt had that for 2 decades.
 
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42. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 08:02 Kajetan
 
wtf_man wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 07:53:
Kajetan wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 06:22:
Heck, they might just re-activate the Neverwinter or Baldurs Gate franchise to make a good buck with mass appeal fantasy action games for the console market.

Uh... I don't think they can. BG was Published under Interplay, which had the D&D license, and NWN was published under Atari, who still has the D&D license. Since EA absorbed Bioware, that was all she wrote for any D&D IP made by Bioware.

As for the "Neverwinter MMO" by Cryptic / Perfect World... Cryptic was under Atari before being sold off to Perfect World... so apparently the license for that game was part of the deal.
Ahh, you're right. Then Bioware is DOOOOOOOMED!! *muhahahahaha* *cape swinging* *fist shaking*
 
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41. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 07:53 wtf_man
 
Kajetan wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 06:22:
Heck, they might just re-activate the Neverwinter or Baldurs Gate franchise to make a good buck with mass appeal fantasy action games for the console market.

Uh... I don't think they can. BG was Published under Interplay, which had the D&D license, and NWN was published under Atari, who still has the D&D license. Since EA absorbed Bioware, that was all she wrote for any D&D IP made by Bioware.

As for the "Neverwinter MMO" by Cryptic / Perfect World... Cryptic was under Atari before being sold off to Perfect World... so apparently the license for that game was part of the deal.
 
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40. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: "We Are Looking At Free-to-Play" Jun 15, 2012, 07:24 Cutter
 
Well, they could probably help themselves immensely by making the client free or under $20 immediately. Common sense would dictate that as soon as sales start dying up which obviously happened really damn fast with this game that drop the client price. But that would make sense.

 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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39. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 07:16 Prez
 
NegaDeath wrote on Jun 14, 2012, 21:22:
And that's what you get for turning a beloved single player series into the MMO noone asked for.

My thoughts exactly. A terrible MMO, a terrible game, at that.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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38. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 06:54 Kajetan
 
Jonny wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 06:39:
Hell, maybe in fifteen years time we'll all be bitching about the new EA online content delivery system, Bioware.
I spilled my coffee! Nice one
 
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37. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 06:39 Jonny
 
Kajetan wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 06:22:
Jonny wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 05:47:
I'd personally prefer it if they stripped the MMO shit out, repackaged it as a singleplayer game with co-op and sold mini expansions.
There is the possibility that EA closes Bioware, making an EA Edmonton with the remaining staff and just do Dragon Ages, Mass Effect-Prequels and KOTORs till the end of time. Heck, they might just re-activate the Neverwinter or Baldurs Gate franchise to make a good buck with mass appeal fantasy action games for the console market.

It's free of risk, people will buy that. Even a Dragon Age 2 wasn't a commercial flop, it made its fair share of money.

They've done that already haven't they? Bioware haven't had an original concept since the first Mass Effect and even that was jammed to the gills with standard Bioware and sci-fi clichés. Their name is already worthless after EA appropriated it for an RTS developer with no actual ties to the original company.

This has all happened plenty of times before with EA. Hell, maybe in fifteen years time we'll all be bitching about the new EA online content delivery system, Bioware.
 
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36. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 06:22 Kajetan
 
Jonny wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 05:47:
I'd personally prefer it if they stripped the MMO shit out, repackaged it as a singleplayer game with co-op and sold mini expansions.
There is the possibility that EA closes Bioware, making an EA Edmonton with the remaining staff and just do Dragon Ages, Mass Effect-Prequels and KOTORs till the end of time. Heck, they might just re-activate the Neverwinter or Baldurs Gate franchise to make a good buck with mass appeal fantasy action games for the console market.

It's free of risk, people will buy that. Even a Dragon Age 2 wasn't a commercial flop, it made its fair share of money.
 
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35. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 05:47 Jonny
 
Slashman wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 00:45:
Retard-friendly! I'm thinking I should save that quote somewhere for future reference 'cause that's exactly how I think of WoW.

WoW isn't retard friendly, it's normal person friendly, which is why it's such a massive success. I've encountered everyone from grannies and housewives to businessmen with heavy workloads to the cliched students and unemployed with lots of time to waste. I've not encountered such a range roaming lowsec in Eve, and CCP doesn't pretend to cater to them.

WoW provides a wide range of things to do at many difficulties and time requirements, TOR doesn't. You either PvP, run flashpoints/operations or roll another alt and play through 95% of the exact same content.

When the more "hardcore" reached 50 and rapidly ran out of things to do at the new year they were mocked for burning content and complaining, but now the more casual players are reaching the same conclusion and even finding it worse, because many casual MMO players don't regularly PvP or Raid.

If they want to save this I'd suspect they'd need to ditch the godawful raid or die model and refocus on what they did best, the story centred leveling. However, with the production costs they've burdened themselves with, is it even possible to release such content regularly enough even if they sold it in a cash shop through F2P?

I'd personally prefer it if they stripped the MMO shit out, repackaged it as a singleplayer game with co-op and sold mini expansions.
 
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34. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 05:27 beigemore
 
I believe Final Fantasy 11 is still going pretty well with its couple hundred thousand subscribers.

Anyhow, I had several friends get swtor when it was released and they tried so hard to get me to play because THIS was the one. I knew it was going to flop just from seeing a couple quick gameplay videos. My friends, about nine of them, quit playing after about two months. I'm glad I didn't waste my money on that. I knew better this time after they got me to buy City of Heroes which didn't last but a few days.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that the Elder Scrolls MMO will suffer a similar fate. If they'd just make their game single player with an added coop or network feature, they'd be golden.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2012, 05:38.
 
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33. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 04:53 Dev
 
Edit: Creston beat me to it, he noted this same thing.

nin wrote on Jun 14, 2012, 21:14:
Ouch...they must really be hurting...granted F2P has shown it's a viable business model in some cases, but for TOR to be heading that direction so quickly has to be a nightmare for EA.
Actually, if they had designed the game to be profitable at a few hundred thousand, LIKE THEY CLAIMED THEY DID, then they'd probably be ok. But going in with it scaled and budgeted to need millions of subs to turn a profit=stupid idiotic move.
Viper114 wrote on Jun 14, 2012, 21:47:
Yeah, I figured this would happen. Frankly, it seems the only MMO that can last with a subscription model is WoW, and no other MMO really has the ability to copy that no matter how hard they try.
No, there ARE successful ones, ones that are made and scaled to get a profit in the hundreds of thousands of subs, which is reasonable for a good non WoW MMO. Such as EVE.
 
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32. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 03:07 deqer
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 03:03:
I might try it if it's free.
I still don't support games that have cheesy childish parts in it. e.g. intro video when the smuggler checks out the ass on that female alien and the trooper says "hey, eyes front." the camera was all over that like it was intentional to be part of the dialog and for you to notice it and laugh ... c'mon.
 
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31. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: "We Are Looking At Free-to-Play" Jun 15, 2012, 03:03 Silicon Avatar
 
I might try it if it's free. I think the first few F2P games shot the rest in the foot. Now consumers like me just wait until a new MMO goes F2P - because chances are good it will. If it doesn't, some other MMO will.

 
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30. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: "We Are Looking At Free-to-Play" Jun 15, 2012, 01:34 Esoteric
 
Although I don't play it anymore, Rift is still doing well (for ITSELF, not compared to WoW) with a subscription. F2P, although having a shaky start (pay to win/necessary to buy to progress), has shown itself to be a viable, consumer-friendly method if done right. League of Legends, Tribes Ascend, LotRO, etc, are all good examples, IMO, whether you like the game itself or not.

GW2 is going to do extremely well, and it's going to put pressure on all MMOs that charge a monthly fee to make that fee extremely worthwhile for consumers to pay. Most likely it's going to force the hand of Rift (a quality MMO) to possibly think of F2P also.

I played the SWTOR beta and it was pretty obvious it was going to flop, at least in regards to how much they spent on it vs. how good it was/how many people would keep subscribing. Hated the plastic characters/armor.
 
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29. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: "We Are Looking At Free-to-Play" Jun 15, 2012, 01:20 StingingVelvet
 
Bought the game 'cause I was an idiot and wanted the story (which was just okay). Will probably never play it again if I have to subscribe, but I would if it were "free."  
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28. Re: The Old Republic Lead Designer: Jun 15, 2012, 01:16 D_K_night
 
Cutter wrote on Jun 14, 2012, 21:56:
Dades wrote on Jun 14, 2012, 21:16:
Cutter is vindicated yet again.

Thanks, brah. It's not easy being green...or right most of the time.

Party2

Out of the many things we disagree on - hey we do fully agree on this one. the world is at peace today.
 
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67 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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