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.
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)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).
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).
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.
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.
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.......