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Is SWTOR worth 2 million users

Yesterday IndustryGamers reported that, according to one analyst, EA are looking to get 2 million subscribers when Star Wars: The Old Republic releases next year. Many have since speculated that EA needed this amount of subscribers for the game to break eave. In a genre where only one game has ever exceeded two million subscribers at $15 per month, that’s a very high standard to put yourself up against. Then again, we are talking about Star Wars, beloved by geeks the world over. We’re also talking about BioWare, who have blown many gamers away with the awesomeness of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins. Over at massively they discuss this matter in further details. A a really good read I recommend to check out: Two million is possible worldwide, right? The other issue that I’m hanging on is the fact that 2 million subscribers is a far fetch for…

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SWTOR is EA’s “largest ever” project

Though this should come as no surprise to anyone, Eurogamer is reporting that Star Wars: The Old Republic is EA’s largest ever project. Their text: BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is the most expensive game ever created at EA. The publisher’s chief banker Eric Brown described the MMO as the “largest ever development project, period, in the history of the company”. He said a packaged game usually costs around $30m to make at EA, but “any MMO costs significantly more than that”. When asked by a member of the Wedbush Morgan Securities audience in New York today how the cost compared to World of Warcraft, Brown said Blizzard spent “$100 million, perhaps more” to ship the game in 2004. “That’s lifetime [research and development] to actually ship it and obviously then there’s maintenance subsequent to ship and expansion packs,” Brown added. These days, WOW makes around $100m a month…

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Endgame is “Brand New System”

ComputerAndVideoGames, the digital arm of PC Gamer magazine, has posted a message noting that James Ohlen told them that the endgame content in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a combination of classic MMO systems and something new. Here’s their article: Bioware has revealed that end game content in Star Wars: The Old Republic will mix the classic MMO system with “something brand new”. The ‘endgame’ content offers players incentives to stay in the game once they’ve reached maximum level. Speaking to PC Gamer in its new ‘MMO issue’, the game’s creative director James Olhen said: “We’re looking at classic [endgame] systems, but we’re also doing something brand new that hasn’t been done in an MMO before. So we’re going to mix those two together.” Olhen then got hushed by the game’s product manager, but added that Bioware was keen for players to continue questing after hitting maximum. “We…

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Can BioWare Put The RPG Back in MMORPG?

You can’t help but wonder whether BioWare’s upcoming MMOG, Star Wars The Old Republic, will be able to port the same roleplaying aspect their successful single player games are known for to a new platform. Tentonhammer Have an excellent editorial about this: With story based MMOGs, I had hoped games would give us direction and purpose without losing the ability to make choices. Alas this was not to be–most current quest-based games give you little more than a choice between taking a quest or not taking a quest. I want to take a quest to kill a target and then be faced with the decision whether to actually kill them or let them go. Either way, there could be consequences for my actions. Let me piss off an NPC and have to face him or his minions later. Let me refuse to take a quest from an NPC vendor and…

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EA Earnings Call

Yesterday EA had its Q3 FY10 earnings call, during which (as I understand) they let shareholders know how the company is doing and where it is going. That means that we get a sneak peak at what they’re planning to publish in the coming year. Regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic they made statements which seem to suggest that (unsurprisingly) the game won’t be released before March 31, 2011. As VG247 reports: EA’s confirmed that BioWare’s Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic, won’t make the publisher’s next financial year. Speaking in EA’s Q3 earnings call last night, CFO Eric Brown said the game won’t ship in the 12 months ending March 31, 2011. “We are not assuming that we bring a major new MMO to market in fiscal ‘11. We will continue to increase significant development cost as we prepare this title for launch,” he said. Both EA and Lucas…

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IGN Video Preview

IGN has a short (two-and-a-half minute) video that they’ve titled “Star Wars: The Old Republic PC Games Preview“. There’s nothing new in it at all, it’s just IGN summing up in broad strokes what we already know over a composite of old footage (particularly the gameplay trailers). But it’s a nice overview and might be useful to explain to people roughly what Star Wars: The Old Republic is if they haven’t heard of it yet. I still can’t help but cringe at seeing some of the character models though. [link] to “video preview” at IGN.

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IGN’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Clichés

There’s a brief article over on IGN looking at the Star Wars clichés that The Old Republic has to have to be a truly authentic Star Wars experience. The article is clearly tongue-in-cheek and is as such a fun read. Here’s an excerpt: Affirmative Action: The Republic has always been a leader in providing good jobs to non-Basic speaking races and shown particular acceptance to those races who mangle the language by confusing word order or inserting an annoying “sa” at the end of every pronoun. This tolerance even extends to droids who communicate through a sophisticated system of beeping and shoving. All the human player characters will be required to have at least one non-human or droid sidekick that doesn’t speak any Basic but is still able to understand and be understood by everyone else in the game. To keep these sidekicks in their proper place as defined by…

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GameSpy: An Inside Look at Star Wars: The Old Republic

GameSpy has a preview article up for Star Wars: The Old Republic. This looks to be from the November press event where they unveiled the Jedi Consular and the Sith Inquisitor (and the Imperial Agent IIRC). Here’s an excerpt: Before delving into the gameplay demo proper, BioWare unveiled the final list of classes. The approach that the developers are taking with class design eschews the traditional roles you’ve seen in most MMOs, where a balanced party is comprised of an aggro-generating tank, damage-dealers, and a healer. Instead, the intent is to allow players to live out their Star Wars fantasies, presenting familiar but flexible character archetypes. The eight playable classes are as follows, with noteworthy inspirations from the Star Wars universe. It’s a fairly brief article without anything new that I’ve noticed. In fact, some of their points are questionable (such as their list of iconic characters with each class;…

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SW:TOR in Total PC Gaming UK Magazine

I went to buy my Christmas cards today and as I walked past the magazine rack in the store I noticed that one magazine had “Exclusive Star Wars the Old Republic” in big, bold letters on the cover, on top of an image of a Jedi that I hadn’t seen before. Picking up the magazine (which turned out to be “Total PC Gaming”) found that it had a five-page preview (not counting the title page). And since it includes the last two classes it’s definitely new. So I bought the magazine. The magazine comes with a DVD containing screenshots and videos of the game (some 45minutes worth), but it’s nothing you haven’t already seen. All the screenshots can be found on the official website as well (a number of them fairly old in fact). The videos consist of the cinematic trailer from E3, the gameplay walkthrough from CamesCom and the…

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Threat of Peace, Issue #19

The nineteenth issue of Threat of Peace™ marks the start of the third chapter in the story, beginning with the Bounty Hunter Braden returning from his visit to Coruscant. Reporting in, Braden gets further orders from Nok Drayen, and an insightful question. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Tavus meets Jedi Knight Fortris Gall in the ruins of the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. The truth about the recent attacks begins to unfold. Fans of the series will be pleased to know that the Star Wars: The Old Republic: Threat of Peace webcomic will be published as a graphic novel by Dark Horse Comics in Spring of 2010. The book will comprise all issues of Threat of Peace as well as all new, previously unreleased content. Additional materials will include all-new cover art and previously unseen sketches from the comic as well as concept art from the Star Wars: The Old Republic video game. Liner…

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