The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated — Samuel Clemens.
So yesterday EA reported that 1.7 million active accounts have been created for Star Wars The Old Republic. They also said that they needed 500K to break even, 1M for a mediocre profit, and it scales into awesomeness after that. The statement was also made that they no longer have to wait for the worst case scenarios.
Still, despite the launch success of SWTOR, there are still heaps of comments about the impending doom of SWTOR.
Hopefully this new info will put those comments to rest. Of course, those commentors that actively wish for the demise of the themepark model will probably continue to make predictions of the death of SWTOR based on wishful thinking, and not the facts. Those are likely to continue for years, flying in the face of the evidence. After all, World of Warcraft has been dying for how many years now?
Still, this doesn’t mean that SWTOR is out of the woods.
Bioware/EA is attempting something new here with the heavy focus on story. I for one hope they succeed, simply because it provides another arrow in the quiver of MMORPG designers if they do. That’s not to say I particularly like the linearity of the SWTOR experience, I’d far more like to see more freedom than an on-rails experience like that gives. But if SWTOR fails, at such a development cost, that means that story in MMORPGs will be either ignored, or actively repudiated in future AAA MMOs. After all the bean counters these days want a sure thing.
If Bioware is at least somewhat successful, then developers may feel it worth to experiment with story in future games.
The big concern with SWTOR, now, is that players do not renew. The character stories are very linear and once complete, what then? Bioware has put a lot of effort into implementing systems that get players to create alts, simply to keep playing, but I wonder if that is going to backfire. Again I hope not, I’d like to see the game become a great success and draw a new generation of players into the genre.