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FeelFlow
12.23.2012 , 03:43 PM | #70
Quote: Originally Posted by Pernicia View Post
Allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute and step into the shoes of a businessman at EA. SWTOR has attracted, for various reasons, the 3 distinct groups I identified in my last post. The development budget, I think we can all assume at this point, is not high enough to go after all 3 groups and probably not even 2 of them. The question now becomes "Which group of players do we pursue in order to create a sustainable income and stable subscription numbers at minimal cost?" So, with that in mind, I will try to look at all 3 groups in terms of longevity of subscription and cost to develop content aimed at them.

SWG Crowd
Cost - Initially, it would be quite high. The game has few to none of of the requisite features. Once these are in place, however, the cost to maintain becomes quite low.
Benefit - High. they'll keep on replaying minigames and grind out decorations for houses so long as there's enough like-minded players around.

KOTOR Crowd
Cost - High. Story content is by far the most expensive aspect of this game and takes the longest to develop.
Benefit - Low. The replayability just isn't there when compared to social or MMO content. After you go through it once or twice, that's it. These guys are not likely to stick around for repeatable content.

MMO Crowd
Cost - Moderate. These guys need frequent updates of decent cost. It's cheaper and faster to develop than story content, but more expensive over the long haul than social content.
Benefit - High. Like the SWG Crowd, these guys will stick around and continue to subscribe for repeatable content provided it is fun and challenging.

So, to answer our question, which group of players do we pursue in order to create a sustainable income and stable subscription numbers at minimal cost? For starters, we can rule out the KOTOR crowd. An MMO just does not lend itself to this play style, hence the high cost and low benefit. Also, this game does not really have the investment capital to develop social content right now. That leaves the MMO guys. There's no initial investment required and has the potential for high returns. This is really just the decision that makes the most business sense at the moment.
Agree with your analysis it'll be MMO content all the way now with story content only because the rest of the game has it i.e. releasing content without story would seem weird.

I don't think we'll ever see any more class stories - for the reasons mentioned - and even then, I'm betting that the new content will have mostly alien language (ie subtitled) dialogue with the 'stock responses' from us.

I wish in a parallel universe we had got to see the KOTOR 3 RPG though. Oh well!