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Subscriber loss surprised some

There a lot of people in the gaming and Star Wars communities, and they were really excited when EA announced about a year ago that it was investing $80 million into a Star Wars themed MMORPG. That game launched as Star Wars: The Old Republic and racked up a large number of users very quickly. It appears that the popularity of the game may be cooling.
 
According to EA, the game had 1.3 million subscribers at the end of April. At the end of February, the game had 1.7 million subscribers. The reduction coincides with the game's launch in the Asia-Pacific region. Star Wars: TOR comes with a free month subscription so some subscriber fall off was expected shortly after the launch, but the number of losses has surprised many.
 
EA maintains that the subscriber drop-off is consistent with its projections. Subscriber losses being consistent still didn't prevent EA's shares from dropping as much as 10% in after-hours trading. According to EA interim CFO Peter Moore, "a substantial portion of the decrease [was] due to casual and trial players cycling out of the subscriber base, driving up the overall percentage of paying subscribers."
 
Casual gamers tend to drop out and stop playing when their free month subscription is over. EA is talking about plans to keep paying customers paying with character expansions and more. EA CEO John Riccitiello counters that the MMORPG is one of the company's top 10 profitable titles. 
 
"It's a business contributor, while important, is not as important as Medal of Honour or Battlefield or FIFA or Madden or The Sims or SimCity," he said.
 
Many think competition in the MMORPG sector will only get more intense with the announcement that The Elder Scrolls Online is coming next year. 

Source: BBC



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RE: I tried it
By bah12 on 5/11/2012 11:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
You've basically nailed down the problem. The real issue is that the MMO world consists of a fair number of wowers. Problem is WOW is not really a strict RPG. It sort of is, but it leans heavily toward an action RPG vs a true story based role-playing game.

The fact that you don't like that each class has a story tells me that you don't really like the role-playing aspect of the game. In short you could care less about the story, and it is all about the action and endgame. Endgame and action are really NOT what a RPG should be. They are components for sure, but the focus should be playing the role of your character (hence the acronym RPG).

Here in lies the problem. A story based RPG should end or at least to be continued, and that doesn't fit the monthly subscription model that EA wants to milk.

The goal of a true RPG should not be to play after the story ends. Endless play is really more of an action game concept. Stories complete. Taken from that perspective, I think SWTOR nailed it. Great cut scenes for each quest, and a plethora of story lines. However if you want endgame it really isn't the goal, IMO. Hit 50 and start another story, that is the essence of a true RPG.

FYI i was a wower for 8 years as well.


RE: I tried it
By bah12 on 5/11/2012 11:03:22 AM , Rating: 2
Before I get blasted, I should be clear.

Both have their merits, and both can be fun. But just because we call them both MMORPG, doesn't mean they are really comparable. We really should categorize them further and call them either Story based or Action based MMORPG.


RE: I tried it
By JediJeb on 5/11/2012 1:51:12 PM , Rating: 3
That is why I like Star Wars Galaxies so much, even once you played through the story lines what little there was, it was a totally open sandbox system where you could create as much RPG story as you wanted. It was almost as if you took the pen and paper RPG and made a virtual world for it. Then after a good two year run Sony decided to completely change it and try to entice the FPS crowd into playing it and catered to the ones that wanted every class/profession to be completely equal and it got to the point it didn't matter what class you played you did the exact same things to level up. Only crafter and entertainer had different xp systems, and by the end entertainers had morphed into somewhat of a combat class. In the original if you were medic you gained xp by healing or crafting medicine, in the end you gained xp by shooting things :( Jedi, in the end all xp came from killing things, not a very Jedi like way to do things.


RE: I tried it
By chrispyski on 5/12/2012 1:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, someone who actually liked Galaxies. It's like finding a unicorn!


RE: I tried it
By mattclary on 5/11/2012 2:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not big on storyline, but actually REALLY like the story line of the Inquisitor, it was thee CLASS I didn't care for. None of the other stories really appealed to me (I tried 4-5 different toons).

IMO, they could make the game 50% better if you could choose your background in addition to your class so you can have more control over your character's personality.


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