It seems to be pretty rough over at EA lately. Things just have not been going their way. Good for people who want to stick it to the man, not so good for people who still like many of the IPs that EA owns and operates, and even less good for people who work there. EA seems to have fallen into a perfect storm of losing on some really big gambles. I’d like to quickly explore what’s happening at one of the industry’s biggest publishers and maybe where this is going next.
The decision was pretty simple really. A month had passed since I last played The Old Republic and I was reminded by the glaring entry on my credit card statement. Immediately I decided it was time to pull the plug, there’s no reason for me to be paying for something I don’t use. But really now, that’s the simple reasoning I used behind my decision and there are reasons behind me quitting SWTOR that are much deeper.
There’s been a couple of pretty big exploits lately in Bioware’s new game Star Wars: The Old Republic. So big that Bioware has gone on record to say that there will be quite the reckoning for players who are taking advantage of these situations. I say: why? Because people are playing your game a lot?
See, to me the problem doesn’t lie with the player, the problem lies with the reward system surrounding the exploit.
Its official, I’m in love with SWTOR (I think I’m also going to start campaigning to call it TOR btw). I was pretty confused by the whole companion affection deal for awhile and after talking about it with some of my friends as well as looking up some guides online, particularly this one from oldrepublic.net, I felt confident in putting together a little video tutorial. As usual I’m including my guide notes after the jump for quick reference, enjoy!
In what seems like a completely unnecessary gesture to get you to keep playing SWTOR, BioWare is offering players who stay after the first month a “Founders” title and in-game medal. Now normally I would’ve thought this was pretty cool. I got a badge for my Team Fortress 2 characters that says I played in the beta way back in the day, considering how large the game has gotten its actually kind of a rare and neat thing to have. But this award feels little weird, I’ll explain after the jump.
Half of a billion. That’s the number being reported by MarketWatch that EA and Bioware spent on The Old Republic. I think a lot of us knew that SWTOR had (read: still has) a pretty steep bill, but I don’t think any of us thought it was close to that number.
Considering the initial numbers of $100 to $150 million on development alone, its not too surprising that with building a large server infrastructure and advertising a game for nearly 3 years straight, the final tally would end up being so large. Marketing for video games can often be stupidly astronomical when compared to development costs. A small price to pay for success some might say, but I feel like EA may feel this one for awhile.
Considering the heavy price all of those voice actors for the game probably cost for the game’s insistence on voices being used in every dialog (always with several different options), I think this probably contributed greatly. I hope EA doesn’t have buyer’s remorse over the project, because so far it really is great. My concern now is just how much is the first expansion going to cost them and will it even be worth it?
So do I pronounce it swoo-tor? That’s how I’ve been saying it. It’s probably better to just say “Old Republic”, but you know how we gamers love our acronyms. Bioware just recently released their 1.1 update which was mostly fixes for the various bugs, performance issues and glaring imbalances, nothing major. Bioware doesn’t stand to be content with just what they have, however and do actually plan on putting out some major title updates in the near future.
The Old Republic music just hasn’t been doing it for me. Usually with games I spend a lot of time on I turn off the music anyway so I can play something in the background, but for SWTOR I came up with the novel idea of playing other Star Wars music. The results were absolutely incredible as I’ll show you in the following video.
Yes, for those of you wondering, Star Wars: The Old Republic has many, many technical flaws as well as gameplay imbalances and just general quirks that don’t make a lot of sense. I wouldn’t let that make you think less of the game as a whole, but it is what it is. That’s why fans should be pleased to hear that the first major patch for the game will be coming soon. It is currently in the public testing phase, which means it will probably be out shortly. Hit the jump for a laundry list of fixes and balances to the game.