Q&A: SOE's John Smedley on the kinder, gentler Galaxies

You say it's not the same Star Wars Galaxies? The game's developer explains why--and talks about what's ahead for the MMORPG space in general. Part 1.

Last month, Star Wars Galaxies developer Sony Online Entertainment and publisher LucasArts put the marquee title through a number of significant changes.

Central to the strategy was the goal to make the persistant world game more inviting to the hundreds of thousands of Star Wars fans who may have felt the game presented too high a barrier to entry. While estimates of subscribers remain north of 200,000, even at two, three, or four times that figure, it's a tiny percentage of the millions of people who are enamored with the Star Wars backstory.

In a move designed to tap that underserved market, the game's developer and publisher released an update to the original 2003 title last month. The changes include a slimmed down number of professions a gamer can assume, a revamped and simplified "early" or "new player" experience, fewer obstacles to becoming a Jedi, and a streamlined pay model--offering users a chance to download the update for free, as well as free play in the game's first 10 levels.

What's behind the strategy, and what's ahead from the game's maker? GameSpot spoke with SOE president John Smedley.

GameSpot: Tell me a little bit about the process that goes into this kind of product management and repositioning in the marketplace. How do you get to that point?

John Smedley: I guess this all started when Jim Ward became president of LucasArts. [As a group], we asked ourselves what could we do to significantly improve Galaxies. Star Wars is a big mass-market IP and we always felt like we had underdelivered on the Star Wars experience.

I think the numbers that we had, while they're OK for the MMO space, could be a lot bigger, given the amount of people that know about Star Wars.

GS: How did you drill down to know what aspects of the games were right for a change?

JS: We spent quite a bit of time and money doing product research. We did a number of focus groups and talked specifically about changes that we could make to the interface, to the combat, and to the overall gameplay experience--to make it a lot more fun. We also did surveys asking the current user base what was missing, what were things we could do to make the game better.

GS: How does the internal team participate?

JS: One of the things that we do is that everybody, literally everybody in the company, from our legal department to our finance department to our development group, gets into the game.

GS: And what did you find out after all that playing with the game?

JS: Star Wars never hit that excitement level around here. It never got--there never was a critical mass of people here that wanted to play it. So we knew we could do way better. And I guess as much out of a love for making these kinds of games, even though that sounds corny, though it's true, we wanted to make this game better.

GS: How influential was Jim Ward, really, in getting you guys to rethink the SWG formula?

JS: What Jim brought to the table was a renewed desire to work with us. I think that's the biggest thing. It brought our companies a lot closer when Jim came on board. They became really serious and strong partners and very enthusiastic partners.

A lot of people don't realize, but in addition to running LucasArts, Jim also runs all of marketing for all of LucasFilm. This guy knows Star Wars like nobody knows Star Wars. He knows this brand and what it's capable of delivering. Jim has been a great partner and has been working with us really closely.

GS: One thing you didn't change was the revenue model. Now, when I think of you, I think of you as a keen observer of what's happening in the Asia markets... Do you see anything happening in the future with products at SOE that might build off of the billing and pay-model trends building in Asia?

JS: What I'm seeing over there is a trend toward more the upsell model. You can play a game without subscription, but maybe you're buying cosmetic items, or maybe you're purchasing a cheap subscription with a kind of "behind the velvet rope" [gamespace]. We've been trying to adopt a variant [subscription] model for an upcoming game we have coming out next year--I can't really give you details about it.

But we're also considering adding other models for the current set of games. We think the best strategy is to get these games into the hands of more people. We believe that the social bonding that occurs really makes them like the experience and want to come back for more. Then getting gamers over that subscription hurdle is--gotta be job number one for us after making great games.

So we think that [free-to-play] model could easily apply to other games. Is that going to happen to Star Wars? We have no plans for that, but let's put it this way, if we're very successful with this [upcoming] model, we could see making radical changes across the board. But we'll just have to see.

GS: And you'd have to wait for that game to be released next year, right?

JS: Yes.

GS: Which is going to be a game that carries the more creative revenue model?

JS: It's going to be a major new release from us next year. We [haven't announced] time frame or anything like that, or what the game's about, but it's been in development for quite a while now and I can't wait to reveal it. I'm excited about it, and my colleague in PR here has given me the sign to shut up about it!

GS: OK. Another thing that they do differently in Asia is that a lot more people play a single game.

JS: Yes.

GS: What's it going to take for a Western MMO to replicate the number of users that Asian MMOs are tallying?

JS: Part of the reason is a cultural thing. Let's take Korea, for example. When you go to Korea you will see 18-year-olds and 12-year-olds in PC cafes. And if you turn on a TV, rather than Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, you're going to see Starcraft being played, or other games being played--on national television. People dress up in costumes [based on game characters]. These things would be very, very foreign to us here in the US. So, I think part of that is cultural.

Also, broadband penetration, which is at a much higher percentage than here in the US, is contributing to a big shift in online gaming. It started as kind of a cultural phenomenon and now it's becoming a part of their cultural identity.

GS: What do you see in the other Asian markets?

JS: The same thing is happening in China, where for years, entertainment has [consisted of] pirated movies and things like that. There's never been any real gaming industry because nobody can rent games--so you haven't been able to make money over there. Well, online gaming has changed that. You're starting to see an explosion of Asian-based online games with an Asian cultural influence.

GS: It doesn't sound as if we could ever get to those high numbers, though.

JS: I don't think that's true. When you look out there and you see the amount of people that are actually playing online games at any given time in the US, it's pretty amazing. The difference is, we have much broader games than they're playing.

GS: What does your research tell you?

JS: If you look online at any given time you might have 120,000 to 150,000 Counterstrike Source players, then another 75,000 regular Counterstrike players. In Battlefield 2, another 40,000 or 50,000 people there total. You add up everybody else and the EA stuff, and then start adding in MMO games like ours, and World of Warcraft and many other MMOs out there, and you're getting to the numbers.

GS: Which is what?

JS: I think the number of online game players at any given time in the US during most nights is probably about 1.2 million. Seeing those kind of numbers really gives me hope that we can see that kind of explosion. Just two years ago, those numbers were in the 600,000-700,000 range. At the rate that it's growing, we are going to see that number get to 5-6 million people online at the same time within a few years.

No one game may have as many as in Asia now, but one day, there will be some massive titles that everybody just has to play.

GS: And the winner will be...?

JS: Years back it was us. Right now World of Warcraft is certainly owning a lot of online play. And we have some big stuff planned, so as time goes on you're going to see the interest here climb.

[Read part 2 of our interview with SOE presidient John Smedley next week.]

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81 comments
MindFever
MindFever

I remember when SW:G was coming into the market... I was quite astonished of the features.Though i dont have a credit card, i never actualy wanted to play a game ,just to pay it every month.But, let me point this out: THIS ONE THE ONE it really made me rethink my philosophy of "what's worth playin'". I saw the features, it was mind bogging.Finaly ,i said, A game that lets you explore your own potential and can let you develop your own character as you see fit (in a virtual world of Star Wars even!). I said, Finaly a game that doesnt make you ADJUST to the gameplay,but rather YOU adjust the GAME ITSELF how it plays out. Then, after a year or so ,i gave it a go ( this was last year)... I expected depth and everything it promised years back (32 classes and all...). I downloaded the TRIAL VERSION , made an account and i was all happy to try it out - becoming a potential buyer. Ofcourse i realised that the real world we live in , has dissapointments ofcourse (for example:maybe the game is not so great as they say...i took this into account) ... but this was too big to expect.I never expected such lowsy and boring gameplay from this game.It totaly dissapointed me.When i started to read the forums, it became everything clear: SOE is not trustworthy. I played this game for 1 hour - maybe ... and immediately quit.It was THAT bad - i even played EARTH AND BEYOND for a week !! This is my experience... SOE must understand that by doing such things: replacing quality with QUANTITY (quantity as in attracting new players), they are really really short-sighted.This is NOT a long-term investement. Ok,so i never payed a penny for this game.I tell you : WHAT A BLESSING! Now people, immagine folks who played this game when it was still "OKAY".BAM! New changes and everything screwed up - i admire your patience people, since you didnt boykot this thing right away.This is allmost as bad as the "Derek Smart - Taco Commander" fiasco. Cheers - sorry for my long "statement",but i truly needed to say this :)

molivers7
molivers7

Look how long these comments are, smed. The reason, you are a liar. SOE does not listen to the gaming community and the gaming community is turning its back on you. Have fun trying to find another job when the SOE higher ups fire you. Your resume will be filled with many accomplishments......not so much.

AdmiralJedi
AdmiralJedi

What really cracks me up is Mr. Smedley's picture. Seriously, that picture just SCREAMS OUT, "I sneak off to play golf at lunch time." Does he PLAY the game? Nobody should be the president of a gaming company who doesn't PLAY the game. Straight up.

goremyka
goremyka

Online game is not an online game without all the Doomsayers. I like the changes and I've been here since the beginning but most people only get to hear the negitive comments.

ibanez_slinger
ibanez_slinger

Ahhh, just another reason for consumers to get a World of Warcraft account.

Hydrolix
Hydrolix

I'd like to see the numbers of subscribers they lost due to these changes. Nearly all 100+ people in my guild quit because of them.

Omega-Protoman
Omega-Protoman

Sounds like the game was pretty radically changed. I wonder why Gamespot hasn't reviewed it yet. Yeah I know its not technically an expansion but it may as well be.

nikgrid
nikgrid

Hey I'm not sure if people realise this, but SWG was NEVER released in Australia and New Zealand, hell I'm not even sure if it was released in the U.K. This shows tremendous confidence in a game that Smedley says they want to get out to All the Star Wars fans.....Hey guess what there are Star Wars fans WORLDWIDE john! Myself and my friends had to import SWG ourselves, so we're even more pissed about them screwing it up with thw CU and the NGE. Now we have a useless F%#king game sitting on our shelves! Damn! Hopefully Lucas sees the numbers this crap is making and gives the licence to someone competent.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

i've had enough of star wars.

mastergamerandy
mastergamerandy

We got survey's? From a player of 2 years never seen the survey.

SirChuckalot
SirChuckalot

As you can see, This is a touchy subject. Two things: One, I hope gamespot is prepared to ask tough questions unlike the softball stuff that other online sites are asking Mr. Smedly and company. They shouldn't be let off the hook that easy. Second, What new players have to realize is the fact that many people spent a lot of time and money in this game. I like to refer to SWG as more of a hobbie than a game. Imagine spending 2 years on a project and in one swift move that was not expected, your work was wiped out. Imagine taking Half-life or Civilization and changing it to an adventure game or a cheap 2d scroller. You bought one game, but wait, the producers want to change it to another. The idea of taking a game which had the same gameplay and operation for 2.5 years then COMPLETELY changing everything is just a dumb thing to do. NGE is the worst thing to happen to SWG. The refunds they gave for the latest expansion tells you that they knew they did something wrong. The fact that Smed is here pleading his case and all the TV/media ads they are running tells you they know they did something WRONG! Funny how SWG never needed advertising for over 2 years...just print ads. Since the Combat Upgrade, you see, or have seen TV ads all over. Also, this is not about "uber" players that got their characters' "jewels" cut off. I wasn't a high end player and I just can't stand the "diablo", FPS(really a 3rdPS), so-so rpg thing that they dumped on the community. If you read the forums, or better yet, go online and in the game, the population is devastated. Will they get their numbers back? Doubtful. World of Warcraft is a popular game because the other game "Warcraft" was popular for years and the idea of "living" in that universe appealed to that fanbase first, then word of mouth and great reviews drew more people in. If Blizzard completely gutted that game, there would be a mass exodus by that userbase as well. Jumping on the bandwagon is never something people respect and for the SOE team to do just that is shameful and just shows a lack of original thinking on this current team's part. It's obvious that they have copied the best elements of WOW and other mmorpgs out there but have failed in a big way. I read a comment from SOE that said that is was too difficult to keep track of 32 professions which tells you that this current team isn't as skilled as those who were the original creators of SWG. They did fine for a long time. If you are curious, go ahead and try it. But I would read all the forums on the swg website, the reviews here on gamespot, pcgamer, ign, amazon and others and you will see that less than 12% of people accept the NGE as good. I am a HUGE star wars fan and had been a player since September of 2003. Now, I wouldn't play Star Wars Galaxies with the NGE even if it were FREE! As it stands now, you pay $15 a month to BETA test and in some cases it's no better than an Alpha test. Look, I'm not a hater.....the people who are flaming are people who loved this mmorpg and have been wronged by the deceptive practices of Sony Online Entertainment. If someone could get the old code from LA.SOE and start a few new servers, they would fill up a lot faster and have more subscriptions than this "New" swg ever will. NGE=Nail in the coffin for Star Wars Galaxies. Suck it up, Smedly....roll it back before it's too late.

DBReilly
DBReilly

It seems that SOE can't decide what they want SWG to be. They first seemed to want a mix of Ultima and EQ which allowed people to be in a community and fight and level grind if they wanted too. But now SOE has looked at WOW and other combat focus MMOs and decided thats what they want. They saw Ultima doing terrible and EQ doing badly but as Sony always does they think its not their fault but people wanting something new. What they don't realize is that Ultima needed a true sequel not another expansion and EQ should be hardcore player only not designed so its noob friendly. I haven't even talked about customer support which like most things from Sony is bad, they don't care about bugs unless enough people complain about it. They don't care about their subscribers as long as they get their money. Compare them to ArenaNet and Guild Wars where there is no subscription fee and ArenaNet relies on people buying their game and the expansions. They have the best support period even though they already have your money. They also care about their fan base and listen to their people. They have fansite fridays where a site can ask questions about GW and get answers from lead developers and programmers. When you compare GW to SWG you can see that SOE does it for money and Arenanet does it for love of the game.

melkior13
melkior13

Honestly, I think the pre-NGE SWG was a very good MMORPG for hard-core players. This is exactly where I think SOE & LucasArts messed up from day 1 - appealing to hardcore MMORPG gamers. I have to agree with their theory that if we have so many Star Wars fans why can't we grow the number of players? I remember several years ago when the game industry said MMOG was the wave of the future and everyone would be trying to do it - mainly because they were attracted by the monthly user fees. And then many MMOGs did come out - and many of them died or linger on with shrinking user bases. Why? Because all of these games are way too similar and have failed to grow the number of MMOG players in the US. The first game to get it right since the inception of the idea has been WoW. As far as I can tell, SOE blew their chance with SWG - it is marginalized - as is EQII - why do you think you can get a station pass subscription to both? That wasn't how it was when the games first came out. WoW is dominating this market here now and SOE is finally trying something new - which they should have done in the first place. In order to get those huge numbers of extra players you have to cater to casual players, not hard core MMOG players. Unfortunately from an internet press perspective - the hard core gamers are much more vocal than the casual players. I do agree with the sentiment that they have put out just a little bit of good content and then it just lingers after the new intro stuff - but this is exactly how they released the game in the beginning. Maybe they should have just made SWG2 - but I'm sure they don't want to support both.

DFalcon999
DFalcon999

SWG is actually the fault of many. It's SOE's fault for not making a good Star Wars game with an action-packed combat system in the first place. It's Raph Koster's fault for making it into a Player Merchant game instead of a Star Wars Game. Frankly, I feel that people leaving SWG now are justified in doing so and more power to them. They've had to deal with radical gameplay revamps at least 2 times now, that's definitely disenheartening. However, as a Star Wars fan from an early age, I have to say the game is closer to being Star Wars than it ever has been before. Granted, it would have been better if they made this game so that it had been set in the Old Republic or in the New Republic (shortly after the movies) but what there is now is still alright. People that have never played SWG before and enjoy Star Wars in general will probably like the new game, the vets however, have already left. I'm probably one of the last launch people still playing the game at all, though it's only because of my guild that I play.

Komok
Komok

Gamespot just lost itself 1 reader.

flaknugget
flaknugget

One major handicap SWG has always had. And something I've never seen addressed in any of the dozens of post-mordems I've read about it, is the crippling economic drain designed to make players constantly work just to maintain what they already have. Building 'maintenance', item decay, dissappearing factories and harvestors, etc. I played SWG for a year, and I can't tell you how many people quit because they took a week off from playing, and lost every item they owned because their house dissappeared. Also it's left no incentive for former players to return to the game. It's a huge slap in the face actually... I personally had millions of creds worth of items when I cancelled my subcription. All that stuff is simply gone now, and if I re-opened the same account I have already spent a year playing, I would have no items, short of the creds in the bank... and with this NGE I wouldn't even have any experience or profession ranks. That is the major hurdle to making SWG a success in the future. Anyone who spent anytime playing it before probably doesn't want to come back and have to spend months just getting back to where they left off. Just short-sighted MMO design at it's worst.

Igiss
Igiss

"...everybody, literally everybody in the company, from our legal department to our finance department to our development group, gets into the game." This passage explains clearly why they screwed up the game. It's not easy to please legal department. But absolutely necessary when you prepare to defend against outrageous fans.

geldonyetich
geldonyetich

There's a lot of claims that Star Wars Galaxies NGE has left the game without any subscribers. Established players, discovering that their game has been radically restructured out from under them really want to believe this - that SOE isn't going to get away with swapping their paid subscriptions for something else entirely. Yet, I have to wonder how true it really is. Smed isn't kidding when he says Galaxies was never as popular as it should have been, and for good reason. Is the NGE, despite what it's done to its existing players who had grown accustomed to teh old game, a step in the right direction?

threx808
threx808

Patmacfad, dont kid yourself, and dont lie to us. You have not been playing since the beginning or pretty much the beginning. because if you had, you would not even give them a chance to redeem themselves. After all this time and we are still testing their game.

patmacfad
patmacfad

I really don't understand why most of these people are getting so mad. I like the changes, the previous versions of SW:G boiled down to endless grinding on Dantooine for hundreds of hours until you finally masterd a profession...then what? Hardly anybody would want to go pvp, everybody else was still grinding! With this new system, at least it opens the whole game up to thousands of more people, without having to dedicated hours of mindless grinding, moving from nest to nest killing the same animals for HOURS. With quests ebing the main way to get xp, at least they offer some variety and a sense that your actually making a difference in the galaxy. And as for pvp, now a great deal of it depends on the players ability to PLAY the game, rather then buy credits off ebay and get the 1337est of 1337 armor and weapons. I've been playing this game pretty much since launch, and I don't feel "betrayed" or any other overly emotional phrases. I feel like SW:G is becoming more like a videogame based on a players ability to play, rather then their ability to endure hours of boring hunts and grinds.

ysauve72
ysauve72

We don't give a crap about our players base, all we want is more money.

TequilaSunShine
TequilaSunShine

My faith in Gamespot has been rattled and taken a beating. What's with this obviously staged interview? Hard questions? No where to be found. The answers to questions everyone wants to know? Dream on(though we already know the answer: Greed). Then they talk about Asian markets and whatever when they can't even satisfy their players in their own country. Do these people have one shred of decency? Interview is also littered with idiotic buzzwords and totally misleading euphemisms. Usually, Gamespot has reviews of games before they even debut. This game has been out for weeks and still no review. Perhaps it takes a while to review a game of this scale so I guess I'll have to wait a while longer before my faith (in Gamespot at least) is restored.

SkitzoTurtle
SkitzoTurtle

Talk about beating a dead horse. At one time this was the best game I had ever played. Now it is a shell of it's former self thanks to SOE, John Smedley, and Jim Ward. Stop running your idiotic commercials depicting a rich universe with a loyal player base. You are liars trying to milk a once great idea that you ruined.

nai205
nai205

I was very interested by the comment of Mr. Smedley when he said that he wanted the different employees of SoE to play their games for feedback. This seems a little crazy to me, it would make more sense to look for customer feedback and feedback of other similar titles and what their customers like or dislike. Moreover, who cares if a lawyer or accountant likes a particular game; it would be a better business practice to hang onto as many customers for as long as possible, not to start out with a great many and then rapidly shrink the paying base. Furthermore, if you look at the more "FPS-type" gameplay of the NGE, one must wonder how the focus groups were conducted. It would appear that the focus groups didn't tell the devs anything they didn't already know. Doesn't it seem logical to assume that most gamers are looking for "action" when it comes to a game about Star Wars? I think they may have misunderstood their research data. Just because someone wants "action" doesn't necessarily mean you should implement FPS-style gameplay. It's too bad they didn't try to really revolutionize online MMORPGs and implement something entirely new. I'm very surprised that LucasArts would allow such a blatant abuse of the Star Wars license to continue. Since launch, SWG has seemed like nothing more than an attempt to fleece Star Wars enthusiasts with continued promises of improvement. If LucasArts and SoE are really interested in "synergy" or some other buzzword, maybe they should actually try to be innovative instead of thinking they can focus test their way out of a bad product.

Netsurfer733
Netsurfer733

(My 2 cents) I am currently subscribed to WoW personally, and I think I might switch back to SWG (I used to play it) based on all these changes!! Once they're done, and they release their 'SWG 2.0' pack for $29.99, whenever that may be, you can bet I'll be buying it!!!

BounceDK
BounceDK

What a bumb dibidu dumb idea. Change it back

Iffy350
Iffy350

WHAT IS AC2???? Is that Ace Combat 2?

Iffy350
Iffy350

Did John Smedley ditch his review on Attack of the Show for a staged review for Gamespot! Looser, that guy sucks!

eckertt001
eckertt001

This reminds me of when Turbine killed AC2. I never had played AC2, but they pretty much cancelled it without any reason. Now why would I want to play anything from Turbine if they are just going to kill it eventually? Will they kill another game again? Who knows, but now you see their track record. Now SWG has pretty much been given the axe for something else. I didnt play SWG much at all, but I feel for the people who did, and it plain old sucks. They just come in, swing the axe, and snub their nose at you. A little clue for MMO developers should be, if you want to completely revamp a game, just come out with a new game. But hell, I'd get a better response from a brick wall. Yes its your game, and you can do whatever you want, blah blah blah. These idiots just act like they can walk all over us. Well if I could this would be more colorful, but (beep) them, and (beep) their game(s)! Go stick your freakin numbers up your (beep), and keep your (beep) games! No more Turbine, EA, SOE, and LA! Whose next on my chopping block? Because I frankly dont give a (beep)!!

nytrospawn
nytrospawn

From a business standpoint, this move could very well generate more revenue than if any of the old guard players would have provided them. Makeing a game more accessible means more pople can play it. More people = More money. SOE doesnt need to care about the old players if their new source of income displaces what they lost. Besides, SWG wasnt that great of a game in the first place.

jasper26
jasper26

SOE doesn't know how to talk to its players. They have no clue what the majority of their players want. They just continue to dumb down their games hoping more players will join.

Mako
Mako

Another person made the comment "They are trading in their current customers for the rest of the world". It seesm almost funny, but true. The current customer base is the equivellent as the 40-something mother of 2 where her husband is divorcing her for the 24 year old baby sitter. Your current customers are not where you want to be, so you discard them and look to something fresher. And folks wonder why the current customers are so upset.

Mako
Mako

I am hopeful that all the difficult questions are coming in the second half of this interview. Right now it looks like a SOE info-mercial. Where is the questions about the huge amount of controversey with the current community? How they out right lied to their current subscribers? I have been playing since beta, not that the game has ever really left a beta state. While the original game had it's issues, with some tweaks and a consistent visione, I blieve they would have been addressed. Instread, the game takes a radical shift, the most radical in the industry, and expects everyone to continue paying to beta test this game. The subscribers have been paying for SOE to find thier way and by no means should anyone have the illusion that "this time they are on track". Even if you like the new direction, wait 6-9 months, because they will certainly change it again. How do I know? I have only history to support the conclusion that SOE has NO vision and they are simply winging it. Why not... they have people paying to let them fart around. I want to play a great Star Wars MMO. Someday, someone will make it. Two years ago, I thought SOE was that group. Now I know that SOE is just another disreputable large company. Somone like Blizzard needs to develop the next Star Wars MMO, because this one is done.

Xanog1
Xanog1

I think that's the main problem with SOE now. They make great games to begin with, but ruin them by making them too easy in order to attract that people who went to WoW. Take a lesson from Nintendo, and pay attention to your fanbase instead of sales.

bladeclone19
bladeclone19

i hope the new version doesn't turn out to be the overexpensive terrible game it is now, and i hope it actually is like the originals.

Xanog1
Xanog1

I hope that they don't do this to EQ2. EQ2 is fun because it's hard, and the community is great because it's hard.

Spookhouse1
Spookhouse1

All that can be said is Smedley will be well and truly eating his own words very soon when this "vocal minority of vets" and the short attention span of "casual" gamers who the NGE is really designed to appeal for, who have little tolerance for monthly subscriptions and then monthly subscriptions for broken games, causes SOE to merge most of the servers to counter the currently very low server populations...Then try to desperately explain to the his bosses at Sony and LA.....and then the gaming media that he's made tiny little blunder! But the total joke is that they expect the community to continue paying SOE for the privilage of beta testing a game which should never gone live in this state, then have to wait about 6-7 months in the off chance that SOE actually keep their promises and get the game up to any type of respectable standard....my guess is that 6-7 months SOE/LA will still be trying to make excuses why these problems are still rampant....

eric2894
eric2894

This worst thing about this game now is that no is laying it .. i could almost bear with the changes if there were peoplw around to play the game with. Now just a bunch of stupid kids that did the trial and would and will quit the game regardless of whats going on in a 2-3 months. The value in the game was the coomunity and the community has been obliterated. I also feel sorry for the people who work at sony and didnt want thsi to happen becasue they knew it would mean their jobs. Alot of the employes that play religiously had to see what a mistake this was but when the boss man said tings are changing ..what can you do .. boss man is an idiot ..i hope youve already horded away enough of our stolen money to carry you into retiremant because i cant see another company hiring you after sony cans you.

Guapsrocks
Guapsrocks

Smed what the heck are you talking about. You destroyed EverQuest.. You seem to bring failure to any project you take part in. Thanks for destorying SWG. As for your secret game annoucement... Save it. The best thing Sony could do right now is fire you!

ColdWind
ColdWind

Gather real feedback from your community, John Smedley. I will never buy that "secret" game if I know you're going to transform it into trash with your LA president friend. STOP THIS MESS, SAVE SWG!

MasterOfSprites
MasterOfSprites

Terrible game. Either turn it around back to its old ways LIKE EVERY ONE WANTS YOU TOO! The other choice you have is continue being a idiot and lose a lot of money. Why would you make such a HORRIBLE bissness choice. You can not trick people into liking such a bad game. Grow up and realize you cant have things YOUR WAY. You must do it THE PLAYERS WAY. Now stop being a big baby saying every one loves our game. We don

PyscoJuggalo
PyscoJuggalo

And we now see what the real problem with SWG is: "A lot of people don't realize, but in addition to running LucasArts, Jim also runs all of marketing for all of LucasFilm." As a SWG vet who has many SWG vet friends , we have always wondered why everything in development felt like a chaep marketing ploy, I guess we know why now. If SWG was developed by MMORPG developers instead of marketing execs, this game would have rocked.

Hossier
Hossier

Dude, Galaxies is F-A-U-L-T-Y! I bought it 2 days ago, installed it and wanted to play today and it says I need to re-install.

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

I have played both, and as much as I love Star Wars, it doesn't translate that well into an MMO. World of Warcraft is better.

azracs
azracs

No schmootzig,these people bought one product,invested years of their life times and hard earned money,and SOE and Mr. Smedley used that money,not to fix bugs and add content,but to develope another game,one this very people did not paid or asked for,their opinion was never heard or respected,anyone who dares to ask for the product they bought,gets banned from the official foruns,and you are really asking these people to respect Mr.Smedley? SOE does not care about their player base,not before,not now,and never will,they have lied and missleaded every single player for the last 2+ years.

Phlakaton
Phlakaton

I played SWG for the better part of two years and I could never understand how they could neglect the end-user like they have. Unanswered tickets climbed to over 10 for me in that span and the ones that did get answers were weeks in the return. That's just the customer service portion of what was a huge let-down. Bugs are a natural occurance in a game but this game set new standards for bottom feeder sludge... bugs had to have been reported and months (yes--- MONTHS) would go by before a fix was published. Fixes were coming in all the time for stuff that was not even a B class bug in my opinion. What a joke. The new control schemes in the new system are ment for mutants with three hands. Come on... does anyone test this garbage? A 10 year old could tell you this is weak at best and horribly designed.

schmootzig
schmootzig

Haveing been a player of EQ before the days of WoW / EQ2 / GW I remember the days when SoE 'was' on top. There were endless forums and fansites dedicated to the game, a game which people loved even though it did have it's fair share of bugs etc. Then something changed ... Newer games were released, providing fresh eye-candy .. some of them like WoW being designed to at heart present zero challenge for a first time MMO player be they age 12 or 60. As a result, SoE, even prior to this happening predicted that it would. They started doing something that's caused a lot of issues for them since. They started actually listening to their player base. What's followed is hundreds ( sometimes thousands ) of gamers shouting out "LIAR" or "I'll never give SoE my money again !! " following every content patch, every expansion realease. And every time I see it it makes me sick. Reading through the comments posted here by the one-time loyal SW:G fans is no different. Rather than accepting the fact that the game 'has' changed, only not to your personal liking, and moving on you devolve into the mindset of an immature 2nd grader. SoE is a very large company, and you have to understand that for a developer within the current MMO market a company has to do what it has to do to be able to continue that development. Mr. Smedly deserves much more respect than a single of you grant him -- he is afterall only the public face of the company, and sadly he gets egg thrown in his face by his very own subscribers every time he steps outside the door. I know that it's likely too much to ask all of you though .. to consider things from someone's perspective than your own -- afterall , you DO all sound like a junkie who's dealer decided to stop selling heroin.

3055
3055

Whats this crap about the numbers of people rising? Most of my friends from SWG are leaving, and so are more of my friends. The cantina's that were once packed, are now either dead, or have one of two afk people. I hardly believe the NGE is winning people over. I havnt met one person who likes it. Thanks SOE, for killing my MMORPG star was fun. If you were trying to make us all miserable, and hating this game, Success! If you really want the numbers to keep rising, definetely do something about the professions. Like, have a primrary and secondary. And bring back CH! And do something better with the combat. Is this game now explosive? I dont think so. Its more, of a disarmed bomb, that will never be explosive ever again, if they keep heading in this crappy direction.

jpy2001
jpy2001

Death to the NGE(Neglected Game Enhancements) I want the game I paid for back, but this will never happen. Its also sad when I find it more enjoyable to read the SWG forums then play the game itself. :(