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Blizzard Talks Titan, WoW Subs Loss to Star Wars: TOR

By - Source: The Orange County Register | B 51 comments

Blizzard has acknowledged that it has lost subscriber to Star Wars: The Old Republic.

In November 2010, Blizzard saw around 12 million subscriptions to its highly-popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. A year later, the company saw only 10.3 million, a sizable drop. So far Blizzard hasn't released numbers for December 2011 and January 2012, but there's indication that the numbers dropped even more once Star Wars: The Old Republic crashed the PC gaming scene towards the beginning of December. Have many WoW gamers jumped ship and donned a Jedi robe and lightsaber instead?

"Of course people are trying Star Wars - our development team are trying Star Wars! I'm one of the few people who's still playing it actually, but yeah we've seen a dip in subs," reports senior World of Warcraft producer John Lagrave. "It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old Republic, but it's also attributable to people who want to wait and get Mists of Pandaria, so it's not surprising."

Since the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blizzard has offered an aggressive promotion to get players back into Azeroth. Called the Scroll of Resurrection, current active members can send the virtual scroll to previous subscribers who in turn receive a free upgrade to Cataclysm, seven days of free game time, a boost to level 80 for one character and more.

Earlier this month Blizzard announced that it laid off approximately 600 employees worldwide although the reduction wouldn't have any impact on the development of World of Warcraft. The company determined this was necessary after conducting a review of its business based on current organizational needs. Approximately 90-percent of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development.

Yet despite the layoffs, Blizzard is still hiring talent. It's also pulling members off the World of Warcraft team to work on the super-secret Titan MMOG. On Monday the Orange Country Register asked Blizzard how it plans to manage two MMOGs now that Blizzard has been reduced by 13-percent worldwide.

"There are people that had worked on the 'World of Warcraft' team that now work on that team [Titan] where we've had like a slow trickle of expertise," said game director Tom Chilton. "Meanwhile, we've also hired people in and trained them up over the last four to five years to take the place of some of the people that have gone to work on the other games."

Chilton added that it's possible the movement of development talent to project Titan could accelerate in the near future. "It's hard to say though," Chilton said. "I do believe there's room for us to have two highly successful MMO games. I don't feel like there's going to be a time where we just say 'OK, everybody on the WoW team, pack it up you're moving over to the Titan MMO.' I don't see that as being a realistic probability. I think we're going to try to staff up both teams and actually end up with two large, strong MMO teams."

Finally, there has been mention that the "trial" version of World of Warcraft could be extended beyond the level 20 limit, the amount of gold the player can carry and so on. Will the game go free-to-play? Probably not... at least, not in the foreseeable future. After all, EverQuest finally caved in after 13 years and went F2P last week, so it's not entirely impossible.

"There's a fair amount that you can experience up to level 20, because you really get most of the core systems in by that point," Lagrave told Eurogamer. "But we can absolutely say, 'Hey, why don't we make it level 40?' 'Why don't we make it level 60?', do we let you at least experience the old world? It's all possible. Right now, no, but that's all absolutely on the table."

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  • 20 Hide
    rantoc , March 21, 2012 6:10 AM
    WoW now is 8 bosses over and over if your mostly intressted in PvE, its frankly boooooring! Considering they get about 120MIL $ each MONTH from the subscribtions alone i think the end content is way to small.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    memadmax , March 21, 2012 6:01 AM
    When Aeon came out, alot of people left then came back.
    Warhammer, same.

    They'll be back.
    WoW will never let you go!
  • 20 Hide
    rantoc , March 21, 2012 6:10 AM
    WoW now is 8 bosses over and over if your mostly intressted in PvE, its frankly boooooring! Considering they get about 120MIL $ each MONTH from the subscribtions alone i think the end content is way to small.
  • 0 Hide
    franky4ro , March 21, 2012 7:27 AM
    i played wow a lot but what swtor has is the heroic areas that are basicaly right smack in the middle of the regular quest/road...it is awsome...it never gets boring:D 
  • 7 Hide
    beetlejuicegr , March 21, 2012 7:46 AM
    WoW is the first love, you may cheat on her eventually but you always return to her :p 
  • 9 Hide
    alidan , March 21, 2012 7:59 AM
    rantocWoW now is 8 bosses over and over if your mostly intressted in PvE, its frankly boooooring! Considering they get about 120MIL $ each MONTH from the subscribtions alone i think the end content is way to small.


    everquest, in its prime, only a small fraction of the most elite guilds made it to the end game durring an expansions endgame... i believe it was something like 4 guilds across every server beat the end game content. at least till seeds...

    in wow im just guessing that the end game content you are talking about was at least hard to get to and beat, but you have to think of everyone else, how many really make it to hat point. there is a reason there is so little content at the absolute top, because few make it that far.

    beetlejuicegrWoW is the first love, you may cheat on her eventually but you always return to her


    i played everquest sense it came out, so i have some insite on this.

    untill you hit the end game, that game has you, and there is no letting go.
    once you hit end game group... the game turns into a grind fest that can burn you out faster than any other mmo (you have to re level from 50-51 several thousand times to even come close to killing end game content) because the grind in eq isnt only about gear, but alt advancement. once you hit the end game from the most recent expantion, the game loses its magic... and its so easy to burn out on it...

    once you burn out on it, the only thing that can bring you back is a new expantion... however the problem is that even that may not be enough, and your need/want to play the game dies.

    mmos are an addiction, but its also one of the few where treatment is overdoseing.
  • -5 Hide
    demusernames , March 21, 2012 8:26 AM
    "I'm one of the few people who's still playing it actually"

    Really subtle ^^

    TORtanic is sinking. F2P within a year.
  • 5 Hide
    Goldengoose , March 21, 2012 8:55 AM
    Guild wars 2!
  • 3 Hide
    kartu , March 21, 2012 9:00 AM
    Hard to justify loss of first 2 million subscribers with SW:TOR isn't it?
    It's an old game, people got bored.
  • 2 Hide
    namecnassianer , March 21, 2012 9:53 AM
    Perhaps because of the siphoning of the original (and best?) development talent to Titan, combined with the continuing insistence on mind-numbing low-probability RNG rewards, World of Warcraft has become formulaic, predictable and.... not fun. It is a waste of both time and money.
  • -1 Hide
    officeguy , March 21, 2012 10:34 AM
    Quote:
    I think we're going to try to staff up both teams and actually end up with two large, strong MMO teams."
    If WOW is losing its people, how can he honestly says they will have 2 strong MMO? Especially in 3 to 4 years when Titan actually comes out. Correction, this is Blizzard. Titan will be out in 4 to 6 years.
  • -2 Hide
    CaedenV , March 21, 2012 10:42 AM
    of all the MMOs I have tried the only one that has help my interest was EVE. I hate the leveling system of most games, and eve did away with that by really letting me choose what path and game play style I want. Yes, there is still a leveling system, but it is one where you get to choose the direction of your character, and not one where if you smack someone around long enough then you can beat them easier. It's all about having the right skills, and the right equipment, beautifully simple and yet involving at the same time.
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , March 21, 2012 11:02 AM
    alidaneverquest, in its prime, only a small fraction of the most elite guilds made it to the end game durring an expansions endgame... i believe it was something like 4 guilds across every server beat the end game content. at least till seeds...in wow im just guessing that the end game content you are talking about was at least hard to get to and beat, but you have to think of everyone else, how many really make it to hat point. there is a reason there is so little content at the absolute top, because few make it that far.
    i played everquest sense it came out, so i have some insite on this. untill you hit the end game, that game has you, and there is no letting go. once you hit end game group... the game turns into a grind fest that can burn you out faster than any other mmo (you have to re level from 50-51 several thousand times to even come close to killing end game content) because the grind in eq isnt only about gear, but alt advancement. once you hit the end game from the most recent expantion, the game loses its magic... and its so easy to burn out on it... once you burn out on it, the only thing that can bring you back is a new expantion... however the problem is that even that may not be enough, and your need/want to play the game dies. mmos are an addiction, but its also one of the few where treatment is overdoseing.


    They could make more instances with the same setup (rf, normal and heroic), no need to make it very hardcore. Fun that you mention it - played everquest in a hardcore guild (6 raids week with 90% minimum attendance) and its no need for wow to go to that - The keying in eq (Vex Thal or Anguish for instance) alone was a pain.

    Wow need more content! Doing the eight over and over with the only thing to look forward is the same gear but with higher itemlevel not even bothered to call them something else. I think they have become to lazy as of late and been taking the subscribers that pays the 120mil$ per month for granted. I hope they shape it up, its a good game at the core - just to little content.
  • -1 Hide
    southernshark , March 21, 2012 11:17 AM
    WoW gets worse. I can't believe 10 million people are still playing it. Its even funnier to read the people who claim that all the people who quit will be back........... LOL No we aren't coming back. The game got too simple and too idiot proof.
  • 0 Hide
    MasterMace , March 21, 2012 11:34 AM
    Why would people buy into Titan? I am seriously confused by this notion that people will just hop on board. People pay for a product in WoW, and in return, Blizzard pulls developers from the game and leaves people without content. Why would anybody expect that Titan would be different? Blizzard is just sitting on their cash cow to fund their new favorite toy, that they will get bored with, and so will you, 3 months after it's out.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , March 21, 2012 11:36 AM
    What you have to realize is that every game has problems when it first comes out, especially MMO's. So as half a year passes by, SWTOR will eventually get better. Especially how it's updated weekly. Now, I can't say it will be better, I'm just saying it has a chance to get better. To me, SWTOR has potential, they just executed certain aspects improperly; maybe as BioWare learns, it will become much better.
  • 3 Hide
    billybobser , March 21, 2012 11:43 AM
    'Waiting for Mists of Pandaria'

    If that is supposed to save wow, they are in worse shape than I thought.

    Despite Warcraft ripping off Lotr/Warhammer story wise, it used to have a decent amount of depth, but it's turning into some rediculous child level anime.
  • 0 Hide
    willard , March 21, 2012 11:45 AM
    I played WoW for a while, did the raiding thing through the first two expansions. At this point, I'm just incredibly bored with the game. It was fun while it lasted, but it's over.

    I played Warhammer briefly and hated it. Aion too. Hell, I even played the Tabula Rasa and Final Fantasy XIV betas, probably the two worst MMOs ever made.

    People who are lumping TOR in with these games haven't played TOR. This one has staying power, especially given the number of people who are just sick to death with WoW. The game is honestly good, and has a lot to offer that WoW doesn't.

    People just don't care about Kung Fu Panda: The Expansion.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 21, 2012 12:27 PM
    "New content, nerf"....... I'm not even sure the delay is long enough that I needed to use the comma. Totally predictable NPC pats. No variations. No surprises. blah blah All these MMOs need to drop the NPC predictability, including the bosses. Things need to be mixed up, a lot more random (NPC movement, grouping, class, number, abilities, etc.) Once we learn the pattern, the only thing left to do is execute on que. Boring. Next Boss. We use the term "rinse and repeat" enough the developers should be able to catch on to the idea "rinse and repeat" is a huge problem.
  • 3 Hide
    zak_mckraken , March 21, 2012 12:51 PM
    franky4roi played wow a lot but what swtor has is the heroic areas that are basicaly right smack in the middle of the regular quest/road...it is awsome...it never gets boring

    WoW had the same thing before. Then they dumbed it down, removed a lot of group quests and turned elites mobs to regular mobs in previous content. That's one of many things that made me turn my back on WoW. I understand they made those choices in order for new players to reach the end-game stuff faster, but that's what made it fun to roll new characters. It's also what kept the game feel alive everywhere. Now, every town is desterted until you reach Dalaran (or whatever city is the main hub right now).
  • 0 Hide
    magnetite , March 21, 2012 1:47 PM
    beetlejuicegrWoW is the first love, you may cheat on her eventually but you always return to her


    I quit WoW in January 2011 and never looked back.
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