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EA Wants Star Wars: TOR To Thrive 10 Years

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 24 comments

Is it possible for a MMOG to have a ten-year lifespan in a World of WarCraft era?

During the UBS Annual Media and Communications Conference in New York, EA CFO Eric Brown indicated that the company is looking to keep Star Wars: The Old Republic around for at least ten years.

"Our assumptions for break-even and profitability are not seven digit subscribers," he told the audience. "We think we can run and operate a very successful and profitable MMO at different levels. The key thing here is to really perfect the product. We're shooting for an extremely high quality game experience."

"We view this as a 10 year opportunity," he added.

While that sounds like a very long lifespan for a MMOG, just keep in mind that SOE's EverQuest--launched back in March 1999--is still up and running. Funcom's sci-fi-themed MMORPG Anarchy Online still has paying subscribers as well, launched for the PC back in June 2001.

The problem EA will face is publishing a new Star Wars-themed MMOG in a post-World of WarCraft era. Then again, BioWare is highly capable to tackling Blizzard's MMORPG head-on (sorry Tuan, it's true).

Last week Brown announced during the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference that Star Wars: The Old Republic would launch during EA's 2012 fiscal year which begins April 2011. While the new schedule doesn't conflict with a previous forecast of Spring 2011, it does eliminate any rumors that the MMOG will appear in Q1 2011.

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  • 2 Hide
    braneman , December 8, 2010 10:54 PM
    if it makes it past its first year with a good playerbase, it just might.
  • 1 Hide
    skit75 , December 8, 2010 11:08 PM
    SWG launched in mid 2003 if I recall correctly. There was a server merge done just over a year ago but, it still has a decent(not relative to WoW) subscriber base considering all the options available out there.
    I think 10 years is a little too optimistic but, then again, I never thought I would still be playing SWG going into 2011 either.
  • 1 Hide
    molo9000 , December 8, 2010 11:09 PM
    Even World War 2 Online, a MMO game nobody has ever even heard of, has survived for 9.5 years and is still in development and has enough paying subscribers to keep Cornered Rat Software alive.
  • 2 Hide
    proxy711 , December 8, 2010 11:26 PM
    I don't think 10 years for good a MMO is a unrealistic goal, many have done it. The keyword being good. WoW is the most popular because it:

    1)Had a huge franchise before the mmo (much like SW)
    2)Came out at a good time, as in there wasn't a huge all powerful super MMO at the time.(imo wow is starting to fade from being the all powerful MMO king it once was)
    3)Blizzard has done a good job fixing and adding content / features etc.
    4)Other MMOs that have come out after WoW either copied a lot from WoW (poorly) or were released with very big flaws, half assed beta builds renamed to retail (FFXIV), or a lot of missing content (WAR).
    5)????
    6) profit...err wait a sec.

    The more I read about SWTOR the better the game looks. It looks like a solid MMO that has a different feel then WoW (as in the more story orientated game play) and most of all is developed by a good company (BioWare).
  • 0 Hide
    FloKid , December 8, 2010 11:42 PM
    Have doubts i'll be playin it, even though i liked some starwarzz games. Maaan I miss those first experiences!!! Just to many other MMO games out right now. May the force guide you to give up your thousand dollars in ten years.
  • 1 Hide
    ct1615 , December 8, 2010 11:56 PM
    Proxy711(imo wow is starting to fade from being the all powerful MMO king it once was)


    care to back that opinion? they just broke 12 million subscribers in October and that was before the launch of catalysism...a game that may be the best selling PC game of the year and it was launched in December...and if it doesn't become the best selling PC game of the year then no sweat of blizzard's back...since that title is currently held by SC II.
  • -1 Hide
    BulkZerker , December 9, 2010 12:21 AM
    Maybe because they aren't getting game of the year awards by adding twisted metal into the game and nerfing the big 3 classes (Pally, rogue, druid) again, and again.

    Almost everyone has played WoW got tired of newb basing ganking and gold farmers of all racial decents. WoWs too popular, its like facebook now. Eve's just as bad if not worse. And single player rpgs being so much less frustrating is just another reason that WoW is beginning to plateu. WoW loyal will of course buy the expansion, but don't expect new people to start joinging in on the expansion pack bandwagon.

  • -2 Hide
    kutark , December 9, 2010 1:35 AM
    I literally burst out laughing at my work when i read this title. I'll be surprised if it lasts 1 year, much less 10.

    The reality is the game is far too ultra casual single player friendly to last that long. I mean honestly, what do they think people are gonna do, just create new characters and replay the "single player story experience" over and over ad nauseum?

    Yes, the game will sell well, and probably retain subscriptions a little longer than most MMOs, it will do that simply because of two words, "Star Wars". After that, people will realize what a hulking piece of crap it is and will start looking elsewhere for a real MMO. All this game is amounting to be is an over-glorified rehash of the same KOTOR/Baldur's Gate formula they have been doing for 15 years, but with online elements.
  • -1 Hide
    haze4peace , December 9, 2010 1:48 AM
    With all the MMOs that are coming out this year, i believe WoW will start to fade, but of course not die. My prediction is the days of a massive 12mil people MMO is over. I think that MMOs will start to serve more niche markets and therefore splinter people into different games that suit their tastes. I can see there being 6-12 popular MMO worlds that will all do well comparatively to each other.
  • 1 Hide
    kingssman , December 9, 2010 1:49 AM
    Blizzard did good with Cata. By introducing a whole new realm, and revamp from of lower level zones, this encourages folks to not only just level their character to max, and coast it out on a daily grind, but to start all over from level 1 and experience a whole new world from ground level.

    EVE is very open in gameplay but most content is for 'elite' players who've been around for years on end which affects about 5% of the user base. However the new "newb friendly" learning tweaks allows new players to jump into the game more and possibly join in more daring PVP lands without getting destroyed by the more "elite" players. But the redeeming property is a theoretical lvl 1 character can almost jump right in and find a position and use amongst the vets as they take on high end content (usually as a tackler or salvager).

    Hopefully TOR would have a good combination of elements and not become a "Warcraft with lightsabers" or an "EVE without the ships", let alone a City of heros.......
  • 0 Hide
    lachow , December 9, 2010 2:12 AM
    I think they'd do better if they listened to their players more instead of deleting their posts on the forums/articles that relate to the graphics. This is a big sign for me that they are shoving a pile of crap down our throats. A bunch of my friends were really looking forward to playing this but now most of them are going to avoid it because of that issue alone, since they already have experienced the developer nazi's from SOE.
  • 0 Hide
    edilee , December 9, 2010 2:29 AM
    EA ruined Warhammer Online partially due to staff cutbacks which delayed serious performance fixes that were killing the end game...I fear they will ruin Star Wars as well.
  • 0 Hide
    theshonen8899 , December 9, 2010 3:54 AM
    I love Bioware, but TOR look horrible stylistically. Who thought cell shading Star Wars was a good idea? I'd rather play a MMO with KOTOR graphics.
  • 0 Hide
    stingstang , December 9, 2010 4:46 AM
    kutarkI literally burst out laughing at my work when i read this title. I'll be surprised if it lasts 1 year, much less 10.The reality is the game is far too ultra casual single player friendly to last that long. I mean honestly, what do they think people are gonna do, just create new characters and replay the "single player story experience" over and over ad nauseum?Yes, the game will sell well, and probably retain subscriptions a little longer than most MMOs, it will do that simply because of two words, "Star Wars". After that, people will realize what a hulking piece of crap it is and will start looking elsewhere for a real MMO. All this game is amounting to be is an over-glorified rehash of the same KOTOR/Baldur's Gate formula they have been doing for 15 years, but with online elements.

    Somebody didn't read the game description before commenting!!!
    If you'd be so kind as to look at what the game is that you're critisizing, you'll find that the single-player experience has nearly unlimited different playouts. It's not just going to be a good or evil side, it's going to play in to factions, moral decisons, ally storylines, and even the players are going to control how the entire story unfolds. You are going to eat your words when this game comes out. Trust me.
  • -1 Hide
    dEAne , December 9, 2010 5:15 AM
    EA likes what happen with starcraft 1, maybe it will happen.
  • 0 Hide
    elcentral , December 9, 2010 6:53 AM
    yes ofc but you need realy active ppl on the game, and if you gonna run it for 10 years you might like to haw a team to upgrade grapics to so it whont to to stale at the end. like wow been doing altho for me they culd do 20x more
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , December 9, 2010 11:31 AM
    EA rep "we'd liek it to last 10 years"
    press "how long ae you expecting it to run though "
    EA rep "it might last 10 years"
    press "be real with us"
    EA rep "WoW will crush us but we'll keep the servers up for 10 years for the couple thousand players who keep playing after the first 6 months when people go back to WoW"
  • 1 Hide
    reggieray , December 9, 2010 12:10 PM
    First to mind, EA = "WE will try and milk the consumers for everything." Want a green light saber, that will be a $1.50. I can see it now, count me out even though I like the Star Wars universe.
  • 0 Hide
    wizardprang , December 9, 2010 1:07 PM
    This is Electronic Arts, we're talking about, right?

    I'll believe it if I see a real commitment like "if we cancel before ten years, we'll refund the last six months' fees" or somesuch.

    Otherwise its just the usual PR guff.
  • 0 Hide
    tsnorquist , December 9, 2010 1:08 PM
    It could certainly go into 10 years if it had more than 8 character classes.

    That's what was great about SWG - too bad SOE killed it.
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