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Wired: Peter Moore on SWTOR


Urael's Avatar


Urael
10.31.2012 , 11:04 AM | #1
Q&A: Electronic Arts COO Fights to Lead the New Game Industry:

Quote:
Wired: Tell me about what happened with Old Republic.

Moore: When development on the game started a number of years ago, at that time — and this was a massive undertaking, as you might imagine, working with Lucas, taking this huge universe of one of the greatest IPs the entertainment world’s ever seen, will ever see, called Star Wars, bringing it all to life and in fact doing this 10,000 years prior prequel story The Old Republic, building a game into… what we at that point could see in the future as a subscription based MMO.

As we get closer, you realize the world is changing around you…. We have to change accordingly. Now you’ve got a hybrid model, which is the way I like it, because I’d rather say “give me all you can eat for 15 bucks a month and I’ll play the game if you give me everything,” which is still available. But this fall there will be, we open up the funnel at the top, look, come on in, there’s no cost to play, if you want to progress it gets better quickly.

Price was always the issue…. You talk to people on their way out and say, can you tell me why you’re leaving? [They say] “I just didn’t want to pay $15 a month. I felt kind of locked in. I love the game, but I’m locked in,” and for a lot of people 15 bucks a month is a lot of money. So when we looked at the data that was streaming out of it…. It was very clear to us that if we could knock down that initial barrier to entry that is price, that we could blow out the funnel and instead of dealing with several hundred thousand people on a regular basis we could get into millions. That was the plan. The world moved very quickly around us, and we had to react.
Still pressing cost of SWTOR meme over lack of functionality at release for SWTOR's woes.

Polebreaker's Avatar


Polebreaker
10.31.2012 , 11:14 AM | #2
They continue to read too much into that one exit poll question...

CosmicKat's Avatar


CosmicKat
10.31.2012 , 11:20 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Polebreaker View Post
They continue to read too much into that one exit poll question...
It's just spin. What else are they going to say?

Nilmot's Avatar


Nilmot
10.31.2012 , 11:22 AM | #4
I'd imagine that the majority of $15 is too much monthly reponses were actually intended as "I'm not paying $15 a month for an only partly funcitonal game".

I'm sure there are pure SW fans who joined this game with no prior MMORPG experience, but I think most of us have been around the block on a few games. We're quite accustomed to paying 10 to 15 a month.

ripster's Avatar


ripster
10.31.2012 , 11:25 AM | #5
I started playing MMOs with UO, EQ, AC, DAoC, etc, etc, etc. I'd buy the box and give anything a month or two to decide if I'd stick around longer, even scooping up each expansion and trying it again. Those games never had anywhere near the subscribers companies expect now, and I don't even know if the people who helped those pioneering games are willing to go through that cycle anymore, I know this is the last game I am ever paying a sub for. Doesn't mean that F2P will make everyone play and pay, but it removes a barrier that is definitely keeping a lot of people out. It is not just EA realizing this (in fact, they are just following the trend).

Macheath's Avatar


Macheath
10.31.2012 , 11:28 AM | #6
As we get closer, you realize the world is changing around you…. We have to change accordingly. Now you’ve got a hybrid model, which is the way I like it, because I’d rather say “give me all you can eat for 15 bucks a month and I’ll play the game if you give me everything,” which is still available. But this fall there will be, we open up the funnel at the top, look, come on in, there’s no cost to play, if you want to progress it gets better quickly.

There are things in the cash shop that even subscribers can't get unless they pay extra for. That's not exactly "all you can eat" for $15 per month, now is it, Mr. Moore?

-Macheath.
Remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Rasal's Avatar


Rasal
10.31.2012 , 11:31 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Nilmot View Post
...but I think most of us have been around the block on a few games. We're quite accustomed to paying 10 to 15 a month.
See, this is generally how I look at it. I don't think opening up a F2P option is going to catapult the userbase into WoW numbers. But I could be wrong. I know the industry is moving to this model, so I'll just cross my fingers, keep paying my sub, and hope that this move infuses the game with much-needed revenue to keep it going for a while.

PlagaNerezza's Avatar


PlagaNerezza
10.31.2012 , 11:40 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Urael View Post
Q&A: Electronic Arts COO Fights to Lead the New Game Industry:



Still pressing cost of SWTOR meme over lack of functionality at release for SWTOR's woes.
This game is going to a longer free trial. You can play till end game and then its going to cost you money, which will not convert to revenue in the forms of paying customers en-masse.

The F2P model has to fully embraced. The hybrid subscriber/F2P I see won't work. Its not going to get most people to pay who didn't after they played it a few months. They left cause they don't see the value in the subscription.

For 3 months subscriptions you need to release essentially an expansion pack of content. You basically got paid for a whole new game. Most people expect for the price of a new game I get that sort of service and content.

14.99 to get bug fixes is not really helping you keep customers and a f2p model that is basically so restricted you have to be a subscriber to play at 50 is a joke.
"At last we will have our revenge" -Darth Maul
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Nilmot's Avatar


Nilmot
10.31.2012 , 11:41 AM | #9
Look at it this way. Everyone (or at elast most) who bought this game knew that it had a monthly subscribtion ahead of time. Does it make sense that this pre-known fact is the reason for an exodus of unsubscribers?

Tim-ONeil's Avatar


Tim-ONeil
10.31.2012 , 11:44 AM | #10
It's an imperfect answer to an imperfect question. When you ask to choose from a list of questions for something that has more than 1 cause it's not going to capture the whole of the reason.

The contributing factors I see that caused the subscription loss (this is 100% opinion) in random order. These are a mix of my own observations of people's complaints and things that I've observed about myself in other games. Keep in mind I'm not validating these reason either as some of them are stupid IMO.

  • No game will ever compare to the one that you really loved (like SWG, WoW, etc) so you return to it or resent this one for destroying the other game itself or the population level of your favorite game.

  • Server population decline leads to lemmings unsubs because chicken little syndrome is real. "If everyone else isn't having fun, should I be enjoying it?" complaint.

  • Unhappy with single player focus for leveling. "This isn't an MMO it's a single player experience" complaint.

  • Unhappy with multiplayer focus for endgame content, PVP, Ops, etc. "I should never be forced to group" complaint.

  • Unhappy with end game content, not willing to give the game a chance to mature. "This game should have launched with 7 years of content" complaint.

  • Unwilling to pay for this game when other forms of media are available for no cost. (Consoles, F2P, etc). "Why should I pay to be a beta tester for the next 5 years" complaint.

  • Unhappy with overall game design. "This isn't the game I would have made" complaint.

  • This game is too much like game X. "Why do companies always copy the most successful game models?" complaint.

  • This game is not enough like game X. "Why don't companies copy the most successful game models?" complaint.

  • Lack of groupfinder complaint. "I can't live without groupfinder and being proactive to put together groups is too hard" complaint.

  • Your guild came over from game X. You are a close group and enjoy hanging with each other as much you enjoy gaming itself. After about a month a few members decided they'd rather go back to game X and decided to do so. This presents a problem, you play to be social as much as you play for the game itself. With your guild fractured more and more people choose sides and you eventually find yourself playing game X again because community is that important to you. "My whole guild quit the game" complaint.


Now the problem is that any combination of these are things that contribute to sub loss but as a company you can't fix everything. You have to pick the one that is most likely to solve the problem and go with it. Content isn't a consideration because that's already a given for continued development. Instead you focus on removing barriers to the game knowing that if you present the game to 5 people at least 1-2 will be hooked long term.

Just my 2cents.
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