MMOs the 'toughest' sector of games - Old Republic dev

BioWare associate lead designer says massively multiplayer online space is most challenging, claims Star Wars MMO boasts an enviable subscriber base.

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The massively multiplayer online genre is the "toughest" sector in the industry, according to Star Wars: The Old Republic associate lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi. Speaking to PC Gamer, the BioWare staffer also weighed in on the recent round of layoffs at the firm.

The Old Republic's subscription numbers are enviable, says Lusinchi.
The Old Republic's subscription numbers are enviable, says Lusinchi.

"The MMO is the toughest part of the game industry without a doubt, and we live in tough economic times in general," he said. "So that's very unfortunate, and on a personal level it's quite difficult to have people that you've been working with for a long time that you know personally, you go to their barbecue and you meet their families and it's never easy. I doubt it'd be easy in any industry for anyone, but it happens."

Lusinchi went on to note that the team working on The Old Republic remains "one of the largest in the industry," and mentioned the studio has a "complete and detailed plan" for the rest of the year. Looking back at the game's first six months, Lusinchi was pleased with how The Old Republic has progressed.

"I think we did a good job of listening to the players and delivering some of the features they wanted with a quick turnaround," he said. "Of course, from a player perspective it's always going to take too long, but the game has changed quite a lot in the last six months if you think about it."

Lastly, Lusinchi spoke to The Old Republic's waning subscriber base, which fell from a total of 1.7 million in February to 1.3 million as of earlier this month.

"We have subscription numbers that many of our competitors will envy, maybe not all the competitors, but we're doing good," he said.

For more on Star Wars: The Old Republic, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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