EA has a history of dumping games when the profit isn't high enough. Be warned. If I want to buy a subscription, I'll get a magazine. And I used to like this franchise. There was a time all my favorite games were by EA. Now I can't find a game that I would buy.
BioWare reveals new user milestone following business model conversion; thousands of new players join every day.
Since Star Wars: The Old Republic adopted a free-to-play business model in November, over 2 million new accounts have been created and thousands of new players join every day. BioWare executive producer Jeff Hickman revealed the news in a "State of the Game" blog post today.
Recalling the past year, Hickman acknowledged that there was "uncertainty" surrounding The Old Republic as it began to lose subscribers, while some players grew frustrated over the state of the game.
"In fairness, many of the complaints and worries were justified," Hickman wrote.
He explained that BioWare addressed these issues by making it easier to find friends to play with through Group Find, regularly releasing new content updates, and "bringing back vitality to the game" through the introduction of a free-to-play option and new purchasable items.
"So how did it go? Well, you can see for yourself when you log in to the game. Our new, high capacity servers are teeming with people," Hickman said. "Since launch of the free-to-play option we have had over 2 million new accounts created and have thousands of new players jumping in every single day. This means more people to play with, more growth for your guilds, more Warzone matches, and more ways for players to continue to advance their characters."
Hickman said some "dissent" from gamers still exists, but noted this is true for any massively multiplayer online game. And in fact, he said player feedback regarding The Old Republic's new business model and offerings has been "very positive."
In addition to this spring's Rise of the Hutt Cartel digital expansion, Hickman today revealed that The Old Republic will add a new customization feature this summer. This will allow players to change a character's hair style, eye color, body type, or species using Cartel Coins, the title's in-game currency.
Hickman concluded his blog post by noting BioWare still has much to do to make The Old Republic "the best experience it can be." He said the developer is aware players want a hood toggle option, improvements to the Cartel Market pricing a content, and to see various improvements and bug fixes.
"In fact, our major focus after Rise of the Hutt Cartel launches is going to be on 'quality of life' improvements. We will keep at it, I promise," Hickman said. "We’ll keep listening to your feedback and continue to dedicate ourselves to making the game the best it can be. Nothing is more important to us than getting it right."
They are counting how much new accounts are created not how much are cancelled. The funny thing is till now you cannot really cancel an account with them so their number show a lot of accounts that are really not active at all. Only the payment sub can be cancelled but not the whole account. I, as many other people have tried to totally cancel my account, as to have my data erased from their servers, unfortunately that is not possible. Yay for corporate manipulation of artificially keeping their sub numbers high!
So what that doesnt mean F2p is better than a pay to play model. 99% of the time you pay more on a so called free to play game. THIS game is total crap because it isnt even a proper mmo its linear as hell its the most linear game Bioware has ever made....
2 mil yea right.. this game is dead, everything they release since f2p relaunch is based only on milking players via cartel market.
TESO will steal even the few remaining loyal subscribers this failure has left.
@bruta I have a feeling that TESO will also be a failure of a game as well... I stopped giving a rat's ass on all the new MMOs being release because they all are just bad. Just because it's an Elder Scrolls MMO doesn't mean crap, SWTOR proved that already.
This sounds all very good, but I don't care that much about this game. The thing I like about this is that although ToR is seen as a commercial failure (one of the reasons EA's CEO left the company), the Star Wars brand is still popular. Probably popular enough to warrant new games being made. Star Wars 1313 and that RPG Obsidian pitched, http://www.gamespot.com/news/fallout-dev-pitching-star-wars-rpg-6403654, seems very promising, but we're almost as in the dark (side of the Force :P) about 1313 as the RPG, so I hope we hear more on those soon.
this is a no-brainer. i'm not going to waste 20-30 bucks every month to play a game. that adds up. f2p is the future
@bongsyas_23 Not neccesarily.
A subscription based game has a responsibility to release frequent high quality content which many developers cannot provide in the long run. World of Warcraft was succesful because it maintained high quality updates for a long time. In the first two year of my WoW subscription i bought, perhaps, 2 other games. IN TWO YEARS.
My point here is that a high quality subscription based game will not be anymore expensive than a pay-once game because you get that much more content and will likely spend less money on other games. You've only got so many hours in a day afterall.
Personally, i'd rather play a high-quality subscription based MMO than a f2p MMO that releases infrequent, less substantial updates. I'm not trying to argue with you (each to his own) just trying to provide some perspective.
@gufberg@bongsyas_23SW provided such updates but was killed by D3 and GW2. and as to your premise i would prefer to buy a 60$ Dragon Age each month rather than farming endlessly to no end as a future patch would render my work futile in a couple of months. blizz destroyed gaming with their endless hunt for future useless items and created a whole generation of gameless gamers. prince of persia 2d was more of a challange than wow. swtor did that it emerged you into a story made you feel like you had choices and it was different. it had difficult Fp's and operations. all in all it IS a better mmo game than wow.
This is one of the better MMOs, FREE. I mean... a little restrictive but... I paid 4.99 just to upgrade to a better status account.. you get alot of content then :D
I am really starting to hate people that call themselves gamers now. Maybe it is just the online comments that I hate, But I miss the days were people knew that the story line of a game is someone's novel and not open for debate. If you like a game fine if you don't like a game fine either way people didn't spend month after month trolling or trashing a game that others will enjoy just fine. They just played something else END OF STORY! Take a Free to play MMO. Gamers are complaining that they are not getting enough stuff when the stuff they are getting is Free. That is sick.
@Digifox006 But the big problem isn't that they're complaining about the content. It's that SWTOR is advertised as "free" to play, but that's very misleading. Someone will see their website ("Now free to play, download now!"), download the 38GB client, and after playing for a while, discover that you get XP slower, you MOVE slower, you can't equip purple Artifact equipment which you NEED to survive past level 35, and you only get 2 quickbars - 24 slots for attacks, skills, heals, buffs and items - and later in the game, you need at least TWICE that many to survive! It's unfair that they call this "free-to-play" when the reality is that it's nearly impossible to make it to the end of the game for free unless you're really masochistic and have loads of free time to burn. They should really make it clearer that you're getting an extremely nerfed character who has all these restrictions and will move through the game much slower. If you want to argue that one should spend money for enjoying all that content, fine - but then you shouldn't call that "free" to play to begin with! Overall, the f2p and subscription versions are two very different games and they shouldn't disguise the f2p the way they are - as being able to play SWTOR for free. SWTOR: Slow and Impossible Edition would be more accurate.
not to mention we all paid for the full price game at one point
I stopped reading at "Artifact equipment which you NED to survive past level 35." This is malarkey at its finest; my wife and I each ground up three toons to level 50 in only Premium or Prototype gear, both before and since the F2P conversion, so don't give me or any prospective player that load of bull. I've had no problems grinding in the F2P model, and if you are, you must have simply died once and complained that the game is too hard for you. The game is challenging at times, and that's what a lot of us like about it; heaven forbid an MMOG exists with a little thrill to go along with its story. The game is F2P. You can play it for free. You can play it adequately well. Just because some higher perks are justifiably offered for those willing to shell out a little cash doesn't mean the game isn't F2P. Get over yourself.
@marzipanwarrior Pot, meet kettle, you're responding to some tough love criticism with an ignorant assumption that my wife and I slave eight hours a day to a game you assume requires your every winking minute of wakefulness to play. Flawed logic, my friend, and it will get you nowhere but more deeply steeped in ignorance. Speaking of "getting out more," I'm currently forward deployed in the Western Pacific, hearing air raid sirens every day, because a maverick president who probably killed mice for fun in his prepubescence has his finger on a trigger somewhere while our own paralyzed leadership decides what the hell to do with itself. I take breaks like these for gamespot.com with much gratitude, because it's the closest I'll ever get to any video game until I get home, and the last thing I want to read is ignorance by an indolent player who thinks they have to dump their entire soul into a free to play game. It's free; you have no time=money obligations. Get real, buddy.
@marzipanwarrior "You have no choice but to do the never-ending mess of mind-numbingly dull sidequests, killing the same mobs repeatedly and going around finding all the highlighted blue objects to right-click on."
You've just described 90% of MMOs.
People who've played MMOs for years are quite used to the routine.
@Jarek_Cyphus @marzipanwarrior You and your wife must have a whole lot of free time on your hands if you leveled free-to-play characters to level 50, with XP nerfs and all. You have no choice but to do the never-ending mess of mind-numbingly dull sidequests, killing the same mobs repeatedly and going around finding all the highlighted blue objects to right-click on. Not exactly fun for most people, but don't take my word for it. If you're that pissed off and sensitive that you're telling a polite critic of its f2p system to get over themselves, you should probably get out a little more. Away from the keyboard. Stop right-clicking blue things for no reason ad infinitum. That will make anyone bitter.
I'm kind of sick of seeing these "f2p success stories."
It's bull**** and it's going to kill future MMO's
I just hope companies don't give up making games that are actually worth the buy and sub, and don't resort to nickel and diming.
@MuddVader Guild Wars 2's resounding success disagrees with you. Freemium is the future, but not every game company is going to be worth a damn at it.
@MuddVader MMOs are very expensive to produce, and F2P is a more lucrative business model. Expect to see almost every MMO be free to play in the future.
@MuddVader I think the pay to play model is essentially dead at this point. WoW will be the last successful one, and even its days are closing in rather quickly.
Key words "new accounts" that doesn't mean new players. With the craptastic f2p model it's cheaper for people to make new accounts than spending money on character slots. It's like saying Wizards 101 really has 50 million people playing. Also how many of these account are active? no one ever cancels a f2p account. So a number of them could be people being curious got bored shortly after and never played again but their account is still there.
Very restrictive F2P model. But mathematically not that bad if you want to be casual.
Gave a definite shot in the arm to a well-designed, but fading MMO.
Their version of free to play stinks. You can't do anything and are so limited its not worth the time. If they ever open up the game so users get a decent go ill roll a toon till then ill pass.
If they were to tweak the atrocious f2p model then maybe even more people would try it out. Just a thought.
And how many players stay?
I bought the game, paid for a sub for 9 months after that, even continued paying out of principle - wanted to send a message that I loved that they had actual local servers for Australia.
Then they went F2P, and I'm treated no differently to a new player who hasn't given them anything. I loaded it up once, noticed that I had to BUY action bars and the ability to hide my helmet slot, gold was capped, companions gone, etc, quit, and never looked back.
@Daemoroth I subbed for one month and i know that what you said is inaccurate, a subscriber keeps all their customization options, money, and companions, and action bars. You wouldn't have lost any of your companions even if you stopped subscribing. Now, free players do have a cap on credits action bars and customization options but some of those are lessened if you have a preferred account which means that you once had a sub or paid for something. Also if you subbed for as long as you said you did, you would have been given cartel coins(currency for their real money store) for that. If you are going to complain about a game at least be truthful with those complaints.
@lndf117 I think you misunderstand, I subbed before the switch, and I honest to god did not have my action bars - I know because I loaded up my lvl 50 and thought my UI was bugged, flipped to another server for my other toons, created a new one, checked my UI profiles, eventually found a post that it's locked and I had to buy it in the store.
Checked the store and found the unlocks, the bars being amongst them.
Everything I said is exactly what I experienced, if it has changed since then I don't know about it, I haven't gone near TOR after that day.
PS - Nope, you didn't misunderstand, though I did not have 4 bars.
So no, I'm not bullshitting, my experience as I've said is true, but it happened on day 1 of F2P, and I have ignored TOR ever since.
@Daemoroth dude, the action bar thing is because your UI reset, you can customize it to get them back LOLOLOLOLOL
@Daemoroth You realize these are outright lies, right?
Waste of time if you're only gonna play F2P. Not only is it a lackluster MMO with very disappointing end game content, but playing the game without paying the full subscription is completely pointless. You get 1 feature if you play for free, about 5 if you pay $5, and everything if you pay $15 a month. It's not F2P when you are literally restricted from all of the content.
All these games going f2p announcing they've gained X million players, but how many of those actually stick. I tried the f2p SWTOR for a couple of days and stopped playing but I'm sure I've been counted in this statistic.
This is the game that made me realize that I'm just not that into MMO's anymore.
Kind of a tough conclusion to come to after having played them for so long. I really wanted to like another MMO, but the time commitment just doesn't fly anymore. Oh well.
@Bgrngod Yeah, I think after playing years of WoW... I am not really fond of the MMO genre anymore. Maybe that will change and maybe it wont, but I have a hard time sitting down and playing an MMO
its not you man, its the game. bioware ruined this game in many ways. balance being one.
@aryanbrar @Bgrngod I don't know man, going around trying out all the MMOs again and I can't really get into any of them. Even the so called King of MMOs WoW just seems dull and lame. I think the only one that may have kept my interest is Warhammer, but even then I don't play that often to really consider myself a player.
what does it matteR?? WHAT DOES IT MATTER???!!!!
Its REVAN man. He was the crux of the entire Old Republic lore covered in the games. Simply having omitted him from SWTOR would have been justice a million times over, to how cheaply they actually used him in the game. Not to mention finishing off one another badass sith lord that I would have loved to have as my Master, with an extremely weak shot. FU Bioware.
@Bgrngod The exact same feeling I have. I have no idea how one can go wrong with an IP like Star Wars. Oh wait, EA.
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