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Op Ed

Gamasutra - The Burning of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
BioWare plainly went the wrong way with SWTOR. You don't have to go any further than the comments about how special and important subscribers are and how BioWare wants subscribers to feel special, even in the F2P environment. F2P is clearly just a demo; it's just that BioWare is changing the limit from "level cap 15" (the old trial, which also doesn't work) and instead applying every form of hindrance and impairment it can come up with, putting the Handicapper Generals to shame.

One has to question whether this makes any sense at all. The game was failing because people didn't want to pay for subscriptions. The choice was paying subscriptions or not playing at all, and people were choosing "not at all" over subs. How, then, does replacing "not at all" with "kneecapped" change things? How does that help net new subscribers, and how does that help keep existing subscribers?

Eurogamer.net - Are the rich old men ruining Kickstarter?
None of this has sat well with me. Maybe these rich old men can't afford to fund the development of their dream projects out of their own pocket - I don't know - but if they can't convince publishers and actual investors to fund them then I think they have to look at themselves and ask why, not look to us. Not to pick on Peter Molyneux, but I can think of plenty of reasons why no publisher or investor would bankroll one of his games without any kind of creative control, which is what 250k's worth of your money is currently promising to do.

To be fair, at least you can log in today. Perhaps the worst thing about this situation, however, is that it is confusing people about what Kickstarter actually represents. When I look at the names of these grandee developers, and I think back not just on the games they have produced but also the things they have said about them before release, my first reaction as a potential backer isn't to lick my lips at the concept artwork and drink in the product pitch - it's to consult the Kickstarter Terms of Use to see what recourse I might have if I end up disappointed for one reason or another.

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