Speaking in regards to the upcoming MMOG Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka told CVG during E3 2011 that the team is currently focusing on security, stability, saleability and retention as they head towards the game's Q3/Q4 2011 launch.
"These are some of the basic pillars we're building the game around, and our testing program really reaffirms to us that we're hitting all those goals, so we have a very carefully planned milestone series and we're tracking really well," he said.
Muzyka admitted that the team was getting more and more confident as they progress towards the gold master. "The results from consumer testing are incredible, a fantastic response - really high net promoter scores, extremely high desire to subscribe from the player base, and in fact it increases over time," he added. "The higher the level they get in the game, the more they want to play and the more they want to tell their friends."
And while BioWare is banking on the "tens of tens of millions" of Star Wars fans to flock to its MMOG as eager customers, the team has enough confidence in the final product to predict that it will "more than" compete with Blizzard's long-standing MMORPG mammoth, World of Warcraft.
"World of Warcraft has helped to grow the audience for us and as a seven year MMO now, we're launching some really innovative differentiating features that I think we'll have an opportunity to capitalize on," he said. "I have tremendous respect for the folks at Blizzard, but I think we're building a product that will more than compete."
Ouch. Only you could be so bold, Lord BioWare. The Blizzard will not sit still for this.
Strangely enough, Blizzard wants the Star Wars-themed MMOG to be successful. Why? Because it may bring in subscribers (Star Wars fanboys) who may not have played an MMOG in the past. "This is a game that has an opportunity to grow the MMO market if done right and therefore is very important to the industry as a whole, not just EA," said Blizzard co-founder and executive vice president Frank Pierce.
"[Star Wars] is certainly a strong franchise and BioWare’s a great developer," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime added. "We’ve talked about this internally and from our perspective we hope they make an enjoyable game because they’re going to bring in a lot of new players to the MMO genre, and those players’ idea of whether or not they like this type of game is going to be determined by that experience."
Here that BioWare? Let's not have another Star Wars Galaxies. May the Force be with you. Always.