There is a lot that can be said about this piece from Massively about SW:TOR, but it’s Friday so I’ll just get right to the good stuff:
Based on BioWare’s pre-launch metrics, the team expected players to get through the content in three or four months. This assessment might seem obviously wrong to an experienced MMO player, but we are talking about a game with extensive voiceover and literally thousands of cinematic cutscenes adding up to about 170 to 180 hours of content. So the devs anticipated that TOR would take more consecutive days to complete than the average MMO. But according to BioWare’s metrics, players were tearing through the content an average of 40 hours a week; some players spent more than 120 hours a week in the game. “Within four and five weeks, we suddenly had close to a half a million people at the endgame,” Ohlen said. “It was something we didn’t expect at all.” Players were unsatisfied and began to exit the game.
First, how laughable were EAWare’s pre-launch metrics? It’s almost like no one from that studio had ever played or even seen how MMO gamers have been approaching content since 1997. Then again, we are talking about the studio that ‘announced’ Sunday being the most popular day to play an MMO, so yea.
Second, even if EAWare was right and players did spend a few months watching cutscenes and listening to voiceovers rather than mashing spacebar, you still have everyone quitting your sub-based MMO after finishing the sRPG. No one signed up for SW:TOR because it would eventually have a fantastic ‘elder game’. (Hey EAWare, in the MMO genre it’s called an end-game. You’re welcome). This is the 4th pillar title, KOTOR 4-153 all rolled into one, right?
Finally, I love EAWare telling us their F2P MMO that is shutting down servers is the second-biggest sub MMO out. Yea, it’s so big that during an EA investors call, the former CEO had to downplay the failures of the title and try to convince everyone that dumping 300m+ into voice ac… err, building your terrible MMO engine (wtf…), was no big deal. I’m sure the good doctors that jumped off the Tortanic would also confirm how proud they are of this massive success. Selling hotbars was in the cards all along!
I secretly suspect EA has an internal competition in upper management about who can troll their fans better, and while SW:TOR has clearly been #1 since launch, SimCity the MMO was starting to make noise and this is the response SW:TOR came up wth. 7/10 troll rating in my book, but still not the 10/10 that is “SimCity was always an MMO, we just forgot to tell anyone pre-release”.