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Editorial Bioware Meltdown Watch - The Burning of Star Wars: The Old Republic

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Tags: BioWare; Electronic Arts; Star Wars: The Old republic

As you've probably heard, Bioware's beleaguered MMO, Stars War: The Old Republic, recently adopted a free-to-play model in response to plummeting subscriber numbers. As usual for Bioware circa 2012, the transition has not gone over quietly. Over at Gamasutra, Simon Ludgate has written a devastating takedown of TOR's F2P policies.

Back when F2P was first announced, I created a trial SWTOR account to talk to some existing subscribers.​

They all said roughly the same thing: They were looking forward to F2P because they hoped it would mean a lot more players for them to play with.​

The existing queue times for Flashpoints (group dungeons) and Warzones (PvP battlegrounds) were tediously long, and it was exceptionally difficult to find people to do world boss raids or create new Ops (raid dungeons) groups. More people would mean all this multiplayer stuff would become better.​

Unfortunately, that's exactly where BioWare aimed its shotgun when blasting holes in SWTOR's available content.​

Locking players down to a handful of Flashpoints and Warzones a week and out of Ops entirely was a big part of the plan (and the source of that $56-a-month fee). Which means the F2P solution they came up with does nothing to help address the concerns subscribers had when they were cancelling their subscriptions in droves.​

So, on the one hand, BioWare is trying to create an F2P experience so horrifically bad that it brutally coerces players into subscribing, but on the other hand they actively sabotage the very thing subscribers wanted in order to remain subscribers. Two hands here, folks.​

Apparently, they can't even get greed right:

The one major free thing in all of SWTOR's F2P is the single player storyline. If you're happy doing nothing but the storyline in a fairly single-player-esque and slow, limited, grindy fashion, and you don't mind not getting any quest rewards (you have to subscribe for those), you really don't need to spend a cent on SWTOR. And that single player story is probably SWTOR's most redeeming feature.​

So here's the conundrum. Droves of people are going to download SWTOR for free, connect to the servers for free, play through the story for free, and quit (for free). BioWare doesn't just get nothing from these F2P players, but in fact pays for all that bandwidth so the F2P player can do it on the servers. It'd actually make more sense for BioWare to release an offline, stand-alone version of SWTOR on The Pirate Bay then to build its online F2P MMORPG around that model.​

You can read the entire thing here. Be sure to check out the comments section. Why are you such a meanie, Simon?
 

Zed

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So you can play the SP story for free? Then I would kind of recommend it. At least to people who enjoyed KOTOR. It's not particularly grindy.
 

Moribund

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More like SWTOR already did kill bioware. You don't sell out when you are poised to make a billion dollars, but when you have made a blunder than forces you to sell, and then it's not really the same company any more.

Now it looks like it's going to kill bioware twice. Maybe even before DA 3 can come out and kill it the second time.

Maybe after they sell it next time a toilet paper manufacturer will get the name.
 
Self-Ejected

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Why is this in the news? Do you have a deal with gamasutra or what?

Everyone already knew all that the moment EA released the list of f2p/vip features, like, two months ago. They even limit the number of pvp battlegrounds you can do in a day unless you pay, it's the worst f2p model in history.
 

Black

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dnf

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Paul Tozour said:
There's no justification for the contemptuous tone of this article. NONE. The idea that you might think there is, is disappointing.

:lol:
Lots of devs must hang there, so his sarcastic article generate tons of butthurt indeed(from bio devs).
 

Major_Blackhart

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Dude, that is so fucking awful. If they're gonna get a tattoo, get something that's timeless, something that everybody enjoys.

:mhd:
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Will you answer the dire call?
 
Self-Ejected

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I don't know man, more video game companies should adopt branding. I'd like to see a developer try to kickstart an old-school game with FRANCHISE RAPE 3: NEW AUDIENCE tattoed on his forehead.
 

Major_Blackhart

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Listen, tattoos in general are never the best idea in the world.
That one is just fucking retarded. Getting a video game tat for an MMO is stupid as hell.
Any video game tat is stupid.
But for a fucking Star Wars video game?
For something Star Wars that doesn't deal with the Empire Strikes Back?
No, that's beyond stupid.
That's fucking retarded.
You could get Lando Calrissian giving the thumbs up to a frozen carbonite Han Solo done to the size of your back and I wouldn't say shit, except to maybe say 'that'll do pig, that'll do.'
Anything else? Fucking retarded as shit.
 

Jick Magger

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Their being branded for their mistakes. Like women getting their head shaven and swastikas carved into their foreheads for marrying Nazi officers.
 

Major_Blackhart

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Hehe. Good times, good times.
But, I wonder, has EA released the broken down cost info yet to their investors as to what this game cost them versus what it's made back?
 

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