This is a rather amazing back and forth. Quite a long read to get the full story, but well worth your time.
It’s rather hard for me to comment on anything specific because I’ve never played SWG, but like everyone else, I’ve read plenty. I disagree somewhat in the statement that you can’t radically change an MMO mid-way in, especially one that is already approaching deaths door. But even if you do radically change it, you have to at least TRY to retain the aspects that worked, and that people loved. Assuming you listen to your player community, is it that hard to identify those features, or to keep them?
Plus explain this to me. You spend five and a half years developing a game, and then think two weeks of work is going to fix everything and magically make it better, especially when the changes dramatically shift everything around? How that even went through, or who thought it would actually work out, I would love to know.
The entire story with SWG is an odd period in MMO history though. I mean you have an IP that is almost guaranteed to print money whenever applied, from a developer that made, at the time, the biggest hit MMO, and you end up with a train wreck that went from bad to make history awful. And then shortly after, we witness the release of a game (WoW) that completely changed the market and blew previous expectations out of the water, showing us that rather than setting a goal of 300k subs, we need to think in millions.
I still don’t get how EA f’ed up The Sims Online either. That WAS a money tree, and it had to take an epic amount of effort to cut it down. You practically already had The Sims Online with all the player made content and community sites that existed, and somehow you come out with a game that disappoints all those millions of pointless expansion buying lemmings… how?
In bright sunshine news, it’s Friday, and the Celtics will be flying home with banner 17 on Sunday.