BioWare Mythic Swears Warhammer Online Isn't a Money Pit

BioWare Mythic Swears Warhammer Online Isn't a Money Pit

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Despite what you may believe, BioWare Mythic would like to inform you that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is actually turning a profit.

Before the launch of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning in 2008, I spoke with Mythic's then-boss Mark Jacobs about his hopes for the game. Jacobs told me that the mark of a healthy MMOG - one with an expanding playerbase - was that it was adding new servers, rather than consolidating them. "If we ever end up merging servers," Jacobs said, "We'll be in trouble."

Last March, Warhammer Online massively merged its servers. Uh-oh. Even so, though the game - once billed as the game to take on World of Warcraft - has been going through tough times, BioWare Mythic promises that it's reached a profitable equilibrium.

Speaking with Eurogamer in advance of the game's two-year anniversary, general manager Eugene Evans said that the game was healthy and not, in fact, a giant money sink for BioWare Mythic's parent company EA. "We're still running it. The game is profitable. We have a team that's engaged in it. We're seeing a great response from the community as they rediscover the game."

"When we launched we were up against the biggest competitor in the business, and arguably one of the biggest franchises in our business, with World of Warcraft. That was a huge challenge ... Here we are two years later, and despite all the naysayers we continue to improve."

According to Evans, the Endless Trial promotion - which allows would-be players unlimited access to the first tier of the game's content rather than a standard 10-or-14-day pass - is working fairly well for the MMOG. "We were able to present a new trial experience that gave people the time to discover what was great about the game ... We're still getting tens of thousands of people a month coming through trying that experience."

Though producer Carrie Gouskos admitted that WAR had perhaps tried to do too much at launch and had overextended itself, Evans argued that MMOGs shouldn't be defined by how they launch, but how they grow down the line.

"These games are not defined by the product you have at launch. They're defined by what you do with the game and how you respond to the community."

(Eurogamer)

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Good on them I guess. Its good that there are constant MMO competition, it means Blizzard has to work hard to constantly improve WoW.

Yea, Warcraft would probly have a difficult time if it was difined by what it was was at launch against more resent mmos, although that was quite a while ago that it was...

You know, I'd actually believe it.

But

John Funk:
BioWare Mythic Swears Warhammer Online Isn't a Money Pit

"These games are not defined by the product you have at launch. They're defined by what you do with the game and how you respond to the community."

(Eurogamer)

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That, is a load of crap. You cannot make promises you don't keep, you can't deliver a halfhearted, bullshit experience and expect players to sit in your pointless endgame. You can't take a 2 month long break after Christmas, which was 3 months after game release, perhaps one of the most important times as most people started hitting end game. You have to release a product that is finished, the model of MMO's, release something then fix it later is dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. You can't do it anymore, you can't. Not when I can go and play a game like WOW that is finished and actually has end game and a reason to log on. You have to release a finished full fledged product, or don't bother. Age of Conan failed for this, Warhammer failed for it, Aion failed for it, every game since WOW has hit its stride is doomed to fail for this. When WoW launched, there was no all encompassing MMO, Everquest was big, but nothing compared to what WoW became. Even if later they become great games, no one will ever look back, Vanguard is a prime example.

And, they didn't respond to the community. Their stupid armor system, that EVERYONE in beta said was a bad idea, was implemented, and nobody liked it. I have to do a stupid PvE grind so I can compete in PvP content? Stupid fucking idea. And that was the first of many things they refused to look to the community for, because they were too busy trying to get the casual WoW crowd that were never actually going to play the game for long, just long enough for Lich King to come out 2 months later.

Not to mention you shouldn't make a game that competes directly with WoW. Mythic turned what should have been a PvP experience into a PvE one, which burned their most fans and caused the game to fall apart. I was there in it's glory days, and they are long since past.

I am rather bitter.

It's pretty easy to turn a profit when you charge people 30 times for a month's subscription =P

Ironical I played this at launch then stopped playing it because I just wasn't feeling it. About two months ago I remembered I never closed the account, I have been being billed automatically every six months for 77$. Thats around 450$ that I have been paying them for no reason. You're welcome.

I really quite enjoyed WAR when I was playing it last year, although I played it over the summer when there was no one else around really in my University town (I'm stuck here doing a PhD). It definitely had issues but I really enjoyed the RvR stuff, I think the biggest problem for the server I was on was an imbalance between Order and Destruction, meaning that Order were constantly outnumbered.

Performance issues plagued this game more then anything.

gilthanan:
-snip-

Pretty much sums up my views on WAR, well said. Thanks for saving me 5 mins of typing :)

I gave Warhammer a solid three months of play, I have to say I really enjoyed myself. The PvP was fun and addicting; with a little spice of strategic positioning thrown in. My two favorite classes were the engineer and sorcerer (rain death from on high with aoe dots :3 ) I think I leveled both to the third tier of gameplay.

Unfortunately at the end of the day while all that PvP was fun and compelling I felt the game was lacking in a satisfying PvE experience. Granted I understood quite well it had been billed as a very PvP centered game. There was also the nagging sensation in the back of my head that at every turn I found similarities to WoW. No, I'm not one of those people who say they copied WoW, to say that about an MMO in a fantasy setting is just stupid. The problem was the setting though and the more I played the more I had the itch to return to WoW despite the fun I was having on Warhammer. Eventually though, I did succumb and returned to WoW.

In the end Warhammer lost me as a customer simply because I had a longer history playing WoW and thanks to the setting was reminded at every turn about it.

This game just didn't feel like Warhammer to me. When I think Warhammer, I think hundreds of Orcs smashing Dwarves and Goblins to tiny bits in massive melees. This game turned that into a couple of Black Orcs soaking up damage while a few dozen Wizards waited turns throwing fireballs at each other.

I stopped playing the game when i found out they lied to me horribly! I was under the assumption that all the (kill)quests can be completed prior to excepting the quests, that all your kills are tracked. But a las that is not true!

On the upside, the ability to raid any player area, including n00b areas at will made for a very exciting when adventuring alone or in small numbers! (getting ganked wasnt annoying since you lost nothing in the process, only the distance traveled) I mean really nothing is more fun than having a n00b raid where a dozen or so low lvls beat up on a player that is 10 lvls above them! XD

Saikonate:
It's pretty easy to turn a profit when you charge people 30 times for a month's subscription =P

Still waiting for my money back from them as well.

Terrible customer service over there.

Warhammer Online was a very well-made game, but it just felt too similar to WoW to hold my interest. It was actually slightly better than WoW in my opinion, but it really felt like I was playing the same game.

Plus, I loved the Choppa class during beta, and they just removed it before launch. That made me a little sad.

Timbydude:
Warhammer Online was a very well-made game, but it just felt too similar to WoW to hold my interest. It was actually slightly better than WoW in my opinion, but it really felt like I was playing the same game.

Plus, I loved the Choppa class during beta, and they just removed it before launch. That made me a little sad.

They took it tout so they could hold an event and release them after a month or 2, they are a proper bad ass class. Really really dangerous if they are played well.

I've been playing this solidly since release have almost maxed out my main characters pvp rank, and I have to say I have some very fond memories of this game. Battering down keep doors and slaughtering all the destruction players inside is mmmm :)

Performance was its biggest problem imo, sometimes keeps had so many people in them that it became a slide show eventually leading to server crashes. Even though they are up again withing miniutes it's still a huuge drag. There was one point where we crashing our server 2 or 3 times a night due to the sheer amount of people that were attacking one point.

I really liked my time playing, on a sort of break atm. Dont have a credit card and cant pay with my laser card anymore so I'm just playing other games. The end game content which very quicly became stale and boring has been revitalised into one of the best experiences I have had playing an mmo.

24 v 24 instances culminating in the death of a king, they used to have 48 v 48 but the unpredictability of who you could get (good bad opposition or allies) meant it generally turned into a stupidly one sided game 99% of the time.

Joined a small guild with imo some of the best players we have on the server, we have had times where we have won despite being outnumberred 5, 6, 7 to 1. Moments like that are what make the game worth playing.

All I care about is the fact they have quite a refreshing trial-experience. Allows you to really dig into the game and see if it's worth further investment. 14 days for WoW was too short, but then again, many would get into the game anyways. It's Warcraft after all.

"These games are not defined by the product you have at launch. They're defined by what you do with the game and how you respond to the community."

Wrong. They're defined by both. You get only one chance to make a good first impression and even that can be later ruined through things like what happened to Star Wars Galaxies. Still I remain hopeful that they manage to pull through, even though server consolidation is usually not a good sign. But who knows...anyone know of an MMO that went through a rough patch, but later swung back upwards due to good response to community complaints?

war was alot of fun, altho they definatly pushed it out too soon, when I joined a few months after launch it still had weird problems like getting stuck on things and others but once it got patched it was so much more fun to play, altho by that point it was loosing ppl too fast and since the game is built around pvp you have to have good numbers for it to be fun, its pve worked but it was like wow around launch, not enough good content. If they had waited a few months, fixed some of the bugs and been able to get some of the ppl who would at that time be getting a bit tired of the new wow expansion they could have had a very successful mmo but they launched just before a wow expansion with a buggy game so once the expansion game out, war just started hemoraging players as they went to check out wow

Funny he should make that comment about the launch, seeing as Warhammer had the most successful and smoothest launch ever and Mythic wouldn't stop reminding us for two weeks afterwards.

I went back and tried it when they made the first levels free-to-play. The performance issues are gone; shame the main problem for me was the infestation of PvEers and the neglect of world-PvP which was so WoW-like. Almost all PvP was confined to instances, like WoW and for all Mythic's platitudes: I didn't see their heart in it and they weren't taking the instancing VS world-PvP/RvR seriously.

Glad to see it is...nothing worse than hanging onto something dead

I enjoyed it in it's early days...

The setting was - and still is, in my opinion - absolutely superb, I love the dark grim setting of Warhammer. The designs were pretty nifty too.

Now gameplay, that was a bitch. Sure, I've ran a small guild with a few friends and we've had all we need to succeed in most PvP encounters - my buddy, a zealot, me, a black ork, and a rag tag team of Marauders and whoever else to aoe things down. It was pretty fun to be able to affect the battle field while playing a tank - the Guard ability in Warhammer was absolutely superb, and so was body blocking...

But in the long run, the sieges were shit, the bright wizards were absolutely overpowered (remember, I'm talking about, like, september to december of 2008 here) and by level 30ish one could take down my tank wearing some resistance gear, holding up the shield and being constantly healed in about 5 seconds so I've quit.

I always preferred open free-for-all PvP anyways, and while the proposed RvR in Warhammer Online did sound pretty nice it turned out mostly hype.

Sadly, aside from the setting and some gameplay mechanics I'd still take WoW over it almost any day. Although I hear they did some nice changes now. Oh well, a pointless rant is a pointless rant. Nice to know that they're making money off it, I guess.

Edit: And don't get me started on THAT Tier 3 battle ground... Lava ping pong -_- Although knock back was awesome.

Arec Balrin:
Funny he should make that comment about the launch, seeing as Warhammer had the most successful and smoothest launch ever and Mythic wouldn't stop reminding us for two weeks afterwards.

I went back and tried it when they made the first levels free-to-play. The performance issues are gone; shame the main problem for me was the infestation of PvEers and the neglect of world-PvP which was so WoW-like. Almost all PvP was confined to instances, like WoW and for all Mythic's platitudes: I didn't see their heart in it and they weren't taking the instancing VS world-PvP/RvR seriously.

Yeah, and the instant-kill guards around various locations only made the whole "super massive war" premise a huge fucking joke.

Especially the guards in battle grounds...

war was awesome i have multiple t4/t3 chars, taking a break for a awhile and going back when i get some random spare time.

the classes are interesting, the lore and imagery are interesting, but all anyone does is compare it to wow

I mean wow isn't THAT good. people act as if it's the first mmo because its got so many players.

War got alot of its systems from mordheim and the warhammer books. most mmos use decimal systems or a mixture of d20 and decimal(decimal is easier to code i think) saying something is copying wow is like saying babies are copying their parents by being born human.

rpgs have many rules that are centric and unavoidable. so anyone who tries to make to say "WOW copied ultima/everquest, everquest copied D&D/Rifts" is just totally getting into a neverending argument.

I enjoyed wow the pve was immersive and pretty well done but it just got grindy after awhile i found. WAR I could do some pve, while in a pvp scen q and mix up what i was doing and getting xp and loot no matter what the activity so it didnt feel grindy. ORVR flaws and all still feels EPIC. defeating enemies that outnumber you is a rush.

It's turning a profit because it's a good alternative if not the best alternative to other fantasy mmos out there. nothing wrong with that at all.

I'm not just a fanboy I genuinely enjoy the mass variations of player character classes and the game system itself.

Diablo loot rules FTW

Just my opinion though each to their own.

I played for awhile, it was ok, but that was it. Im back on DaoC, because the rvr can't be beat... unless they decide to make DaoC II :)

The Lost Big Boss:
Ironical I played this at launch then stopped playing it because I just wasn't feeling it. About two months ago I remembered I never closed the account, I have been being billed automatically every three months for 70$. Thats around 840$ that I have been paying them for no reason. You're welcome.

Wait what???? 70 bucks for 3 months? Is that American?

Yes.
EDIT: Shit my bad, I paid for a six month plan, so thats 77$ for six months.
Still it is really bad how much money I waisted.

I love the damned if they do, damned if they don't approach of long time WoW players. New game hits the market and garners some hype, so the WoWists come have a look. The complaints go one of two ways. Its either not WoW enough or its too WoW. They want all of the convenience of the interface and HUD they know then complain when it feels too much like their first crush. Frankly I don't think WoW will ever be dethroned. Emotion is guiding its players now not objectivity.

I played the game from beta and post launch for a solid year in a high level guild and I had a great time for most of that year. The reason I left the game was a technical issue that hit my rig and that Mythic/EA couldn't resolve after a patch. I loved the game's way of allowing for dabbling in both PvP and PvE of all kinds (group, solo, arena, etc...) while keeping things fairly well balanced for the majority of the game's lifespan.

The game had some very awesome potential and influenced a lot of things that went into the later WoW expansions and other MMO titles. You still won't find a more diverse and unique MMO or as much flavor and detail poured into each race and class as you will in Warhammer Online. If you have not tried it out I highly suggest you give their tier 1 "demo" a try. Even if you don't pay for a sub anyone you ask will tell you that tier one was probably the very best part of Warhammer in all aspects and you'd be crazy not to try it.

"These games are not defined by the product you have at launch. They're defined by what you do with the game and how you respond to the community."

Sorry but I beg to differ. If your inital offering doesn't even meet basic standards, there's no point in looking at any future progress. This doesn't nessisarily apply to this game as I haven't dealt with it at all, but the statement still stands for me as a consumer, and not an endlessly hopeful project manager.

 

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