SW:TOR – Unreal

This can’t be real life right?

First they LotRO us with “number of character created” (how many people are sitting on 8 character to reserve Hannn Solololo?), Xfire us with “hours played” (I wonder if people play a game more when it’s first released?), and then admit they have just over 1m accounts atm? What happened to all that 4m+ boxes talk? Are 75% of SW:TOR customers stuck at account creation?

critics around the world are giving the game high praise for dramatic, genre-changing innovations in the MMO category

Can someone please find whoever reviewed SW and thinks it’s genre-changing? What forum was EG reading?

Is it 3 months yet?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Mass Media, Rant, SW:TOR. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to SW:TOR – Unreal

  1. Gank says:

    I may be wrong (not likely) but I do believe Warhammer Online had a million subs on launch. Now I think they are down to 100 die-hards, aren’t they?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would imagine that right now there are a shit-ton of boxes sold w/o active accounts. Review those numbers in 2-3 days, after christmas presents are opened and processed.

    Not that I care at all about SWTOR, but right now I’d really expect a heavy difference between boxes sold and account activations, being christmas eve and all.

  3. Jaggins says:

    For the record, I have never played a theme park this good. It is seriously WAY more fun than EQ, WOW, AC, AC2, LOTRO, GW, Lineage, and other various MMOs I have tried. I also haven’t played much of theme park MMOs since finding EVE in 2008, so I may be less jaded to the genre…

  4. Martin says:

    So they get twice the number of people signed up than they need to make it profitable and this is a bad thing? Sure it’s far too early for this to mean anything good but it also means you can’t use it as evidence of failure.

    Your writing is much more interesting when you are not writing trash talk about TOR. We all know nothing could make you change your mind so why not stop acting so whiny and bitter and stick to writing stuff we want to read.

    • Rammstein says:

      Is it a bad thing when a company lies about the numbers by a factor of 4? No, it’s not, because we all know that we all want SW:TOR to fail. We also all know that we all want Syn to keep gloating about SW’s failure, which we all agree is a good thing.

      Since you are arguing with what 100% of the population of the universe wants, you are wrong. You are unable even to know what you yourself want. This is indubitably evidence of failure.

      • Azuriel says:

        Unless you have an alternate link somewhere, I have found zero evidence anyone from EA predicted 4m boxes. There’s one guy, an analyst named “Sterne Agee’s Arvind Bhatia,” that said it.

        • Rammstein says:

          Even if they had predicted 4m, it wouldn’t affect my post, as being wrong in a prediction isn’t a lie. Luckily, my post was just a parody, and every sentence in it was intentionally false. Guess you missed that.

    • loire says:

      Where did you get your 500 000 number from? It makes very little sense from what we know unless EA is planning to become profitable only in the long run.

      • SynCaine says:

        EA/BioWare, after first claiming they needed 1m+ subs over time, later said that with 500k they will be OK. Of course maybe what they meant was if they sell 25m boxes, and then retain 500k, they will be ok. Or maybe they mean 500k over 10 years without recording another word for the game. Who knows, but yea, after first saying 1m+, they said 500k at some point.

  5. spinks says:

    One thing both SWTOR and EVE get right is no stupid in game xmas festival.

    • Paul says:

      The one in Rift is incredibly lame.

      Having said that, going after Santa in Null Sec could be fun.

      • bhagpuss says:

        I don’t think any MMO that launches a week or two before Christmas is going to have a holiday event right off the bat. Wait til this time next year and see if SW:ToR still resists the trend.

  6. Paul says:

    You might want to read the post on SWTOR sales numbers at Digital Castration.


    • SynCaine says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much, the game is build to start slow and grow over time. The number of interesting and new ways they can take the game, and expand it horizontally, should mean years and years of slow and steady growth.

      Seven years later it’s working just as planned.

      SW:TOR on the other hand is fucked. Wish someone could have predicted that…

      • spinks says:

        But when your ‘long term growth’ is mostly due to hardcore players having multiple accounts, it can give a misleading notion of how many new players you are actually attracting. Is it growing the playerbase over time, or are the hardcore just getting more hardcore?

        • SynCaine says:

          On the server at any time there are between 20-50k pilots on at the same time, orders of magnitude more than any other MMO.

          From those 400k or so active accounts, CCP collects ~$15 per, whether its one guy with 400k alts or 400k unique players.

          And while the game is certainly good-enough to justify picking up a second/third/tenth account, it’s hard to imagine all, or even most, of the growth coming from that source, don’t you think?

          In other words, I’m not seeing the problem here.

  7. Martin says:

    Oh, and PS – its called Marketing. The fact you have to ask why companies put a positive spin on things undermines your attempts at intelligence. Unless you’re just trolling TOR (again)

    • Rammstein says:

      I think you’re referring to the fact that when you know your product has no long term viability whatsoever, then there’s no reason to avoid pissing your customers off by lying to them, right? Obviously companies generally put a positive spin on things, the point is that when the spin reaches a critical mass, then it becomes so over the line that the normal conclusion is “man, they must really be screwed or they wouldn’t issue such a steaming pile of spin.”

      I personally don’t think they’re quite over that line yet, not that I’d expect anyone who uses phrases like “undermines your attempts at intelligence” to understand the distinction.

  8. Kelenas says:

    SWTOR is a great game, I have to say I’m enjoying it quite a lot. It’s good at what it is, being a themepark MMO. I have to agree with others, you’ve become quite jaded in your posts. Do I think SWTOR will be hugely successful? No. Do I think SWTOR will do well compared to any other MMO in the past few years? Why yes I do. I really love your blog but I truly feel like you’ve become quite ignorant to any MMO that isn’t a “hip” sandbox game.

    Maybe you’re correct and EVE really is the best MMO out there at the minute, or maybe you’ve just gone crazy, who knows?

  9. adalon@gmail.com says:

    This blog is better when the author isn’t intentionally trolling a big chunk of his audience. Kind of a dick move, honestly.

    The only thing you get by being a harpy, SynCaine, is to drive away your more loyal readers. We don’t come here to_read_ someone being an asshole. There’s quite enough of that everywhere else without injecting bitterness into things other people enjoy.

    TOR doesn’t reinvent anything and this PR message is bullocks. That said, if you don’t think the way they’ve changed quest delivery isn’t an evolution for this genre, you’re deluded. Despite extremely familiar gameplay, they’ve removed static text from the questing experience. Reading and interactive entertainment _of this type_ clash; the experiences contradict each other: combat vs quest text. Longevity is a whole other issue, but let’s put that aside. Making questing more entertaining means for a more entertaining leveling game, which services the “WoW Tourists” very well — and they’re the majority, so who are we to cast judgment? The elder MMO crowd couldn’t support a project as large as SWTOR. Being bitter doesn’t change the fact that Bioware had to find a middle ground between new playstyles and old, and they did it well.

    It’s also pretty ironic that you have so much hate for a game that’s so very similar to WoW 2004 but modernized. How many hours did you play that again? Yeah, enough to make you a total hypocrite for this venom you spew. Tell me, when a game or game-type entertains you for hundreds upon hundreds of hours, then suddenly it feels repetitive and you quit, is it a bad game? No. For that reason alone, that you liked old WoW, you should try not talking being such a dick about everything, eh?

    • Paul says:

      I found the cutscenes made questing less entertaining, not more. But then, questing was never all that entertaining.

      Not surprisingly, I put this game back down and don’t plan to return to it.

    • SynCaine says:

      I think a large portion of my loyal readers come here for the venom. I know the most important one does.

    • bhagpuss says:

      I can’t see why reading text and playing MMOs clashes. If nothing else, reading text is much, much faster than listening to voiceover so if you want to get to the action faster but still know what’s going on text is going to beat voice every time.

      • pkudude99 says:

        I’ve activated the subtitles and mostly just spacebar through as fast as I can read them, especially for the non-class specific quests that I’ve already done a time or 2 before on alts. Yes, I already have alts…. incurable alt-itis, that’s my affliction.

        But anyway, yeah, the text is short enough that I usually have it all ready before the VO gets more then 203 words out, if even that.

        I do watch the cutscenes on the story quests, at least, but that’s about it.

    • Aufero says:

      Intentionally trolling a big chunk of his audience is pretty much SynCaine’s schtick. His success is such that I often get halfway through a long, angry screed in reply before remembering that.

      I call that entertainment.

  10. Max says:

    Only 1mill subs? Wow… if that is true that is massive fail. They are probably in the black financially but SWTOR has no staying power. Its a better GAME right of the bat than RIFT for example, but once you done with story its actually worse MMO than most already present on the market

  11. Beerhead says:

    I was a hardcore hater of Swtor up until 3 days before headstart when I decided to try it. I can’t believe how much I have enjoyed NOT reading quest text and letting the characters deliver the story to me instead. It’s been a breath of fresh air and has injected new life into someone who was extremely bitter at MMO’s in general.

    I don’t care for the venom Syn’s been spewing lately either but I still read. I actually read the venom more than the recent eve posts. I skip over those completely. I still don’t see the reasoning to want any game to fail though. The delusion that people will start flocking to sandboxes I think is pretty far fetched. Currently there is something out there for everyone. I don’t see the problem. I hope eve succeeds and I hope Swtor succeeds. To each his own I guess.

    • MMO Tomb says:

      One thing bothers me though… when talking to an “alien” with an alien language and reading the subtitle… the voice of the alien make reading the subtitles a little hard for me. I’d rather just mute their “Gachu Chuwa Wa Lu Tu Pupapatu” which is irrelevant since it’s all Popo papa dada gaga language and just focus on the text. With their gibberish mongolian language blabbing at me it just makes reading the quest text harder.

      Is this just me?

  12. MMO Tomb says:

    SynCaine can you confirm your quote in the post? where did you get that from? Who has the guts to claim that SW:TOR has dramatic, genre-changing innovations?

    I’m okay with all this McDonnalds “We sold billion hamburgers” companies do that to market their products… but to spread fallacies like SWTOR innovated something and pushed the genre forward should stop.

    • coppertopper says:

      Just click thru his link and massively’s source to the actual press release where they admit to limiting admission in order to artificially inflate interest. Amazing *boggle*

      • Paul says:

        Limiting admission also gives them plausible deniability, at least for a time, if interest isn’t as high as they had wanted.

  13. Mag says:

    Anything Star Wars will always have those die hard advocates singing it’s praises and calling it “fun”. Most MMO’s are fun early on because it’s a new world with new classes, environments, quests, etc…. The same went for Aion, Rift, and most of the other mmo’s released over the past 5 years or so.

    The fact is this game is the same ordinary pile of shit wrapped up in a new package.

  14. Joes says:

    If Star Wars are struggling in any way, shape or form with box sales – why is the digital version of the game marked as sold out? Basically since release. Doesn’t sound like a comnpany desperate to push box sales. Secondly, the game has not even been released into many countires. Granted, the big North American and European markets can buy the game (the box – digital it is sold out as I’ve said), but the southern hemisphere centres such as Australia, New Zeeland, South Africa, Brazil, etc. will also buy a large amount of copies once the game is released here. And I’m not even talking about some of the Asian markets. I really cannot comment on the merits or quality of the game, as I’m not playing it (the whole not released in my country bit) However, it seems to me that any gloating as to the failure of SW:TOR is slightly premature.

  15. thade says:

    For a theme park MMO, I really like TOR. I do think it brings something new to the table for its genre: specifically Bioware-style dialog and voice actors. Whether it stands up to the end-game fandango is anybody’s guess, but my feeling is that it will. The Bioware story-style is very effective at bonding people to their characters, so if the end game takes notes from Rift (dynamic events) and WoW (scripted encounters) I think it has potential.

    We’re getting to a point I think where comparing SWTOR to EVE is like comparing Mario Galaxy to Halo. They are very different games for very different demographics.

  16. Crevex says:

    Because reading is too much work for the average themeparker, lets dress up wow in Jedi robes, and voice the quest dialogue, brilliant! Pathetic MMO, great SPRPG (like most bioware).

    Yes i have the game. Nothing to see (hear?) here folks, just rehashed stale mechanics, uninspired time sinks, same old tired car under a shinny 300m paint job.

    Here’s to personally wishing they would have just made KOTOR 3

  17. theJexster says:

    Let me describe this blog in SWTOR marketing talk. Just to be clear inspiration=story in SWTOR speak:

    Former World of Warcraft player Syncaine takes an innovative and inspiring approach to covering the ever changing genre of MMORPGs. His inspirationally innovative approach not only inspired millions of his devoted readers, but has garnered attention for his blog from numerous gaming magazines and websites, and even helped him forge a direct relationship to one of the most innovative MMORPG’s in the genre. To quote a very important corporate person “Mr. Syncaine is a breath of fresh air, his inspirational approach is a real game changer. He is a true instrument of change to the stagnant blogsphere. I can’t believe how well his blog is performing, he has inspired millions of followers. I would go as far as to say if you haven’t read it, your missing out on some never before seen concepts and innovation that will really inspire you.” Even his rivals can’t stop reading him.


    Syn is wrong on a few things though. SWTOR did innovate several things.
    It removed the need for uniqueness in character design, why waste time making a character look unique, you should be leveling!

    It removed the need to interact with or play with others, also good, who plays Massive Multiplayer Role Play Games to play with others anyway.

    It removed consequence, I have that in real life why would I want it in my fantasy life.

    It did nothing to innovate, also good, we all know people hate change or anything new.

    It made diversity in race pointless. I mean people always play typical humans the most anyway, so why have ugly non human races.

    It added story, which as we know had never existed in a mmorpg game prior.

    It added voice over, which had also never been done prior, and saves my eyes from reading strain. Now I can just sit back, close my eyes so I don’t see the terrible animations and listen to the story like it’s the greatest (and most expensive) audio book ever made.

    Why world when you can instance? Why Multiplayer when you can solo? Why play when you can listen?

    These are just a few examples of the type of innovative and genre changing things SWTOR has done.

  18. Paragus says:

    I can’t fucking wait for the forum gold that will ensue when people get to “end game”.

  19. bonedead says:


  20. Targeter says:

    i guess folks aren’t allowed to like SWTOR anymore? Is that the hipster thing to do? Oh well, to each their own. I have to log into my agent now and save the galaxy.

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