Blizzard Admits The Old Republic Stung World of Warcraft

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Blizzard Admits The Old Republic Stung World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft Senior Producer John Lagrave admits that the recent dip in subscribers is at least partially attributable to the popularity of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

World of Warcraft is still the top banana in the MMO bunch but it's definitely seen a slide in subscriber numbers over the past year. After peaking at 12 million in late 2010, user numbers were down to 10.3 million at the end of September 2011, still a huge amount but a significant loss nonetheless. Much of that drop, according to Lagrave, has to be attributed to EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO that launched in December.

"We certainly do look at [where WoW players go], and we have a very smart bunch of guys who do our analytics for us," he told Eurogamer. "Of course people are trying Star Wars - our development team are trying Star Wars! I'm one of the few people who's still playing it actually, but yeah we've seen a dip in subs."

He said that some of the loss can be put down to people waiting for the Mists of Pandaria expansion, which doesn't yet have a release date, but acknowledged that many former players are simply finding other games to play. "Are they going elsewhere? Yes they are. We don't have a lock on all the best games in the world - Skyrim was an amazing game," he continued. Skyrim didn't cause a drop in subscription numbers, he added, "but people definitely did that as well as WoW."

And while the idea of extending the free WoW trial period beyond level 20 to attract new players is a possibility, don't expect a full free-to-play changeover anytime soon. "We're comfortable with the subscription system. I won't say never on that, but gosh not now and it's been seven years!" Lagrave said. "You'd think we'd have gotten there before now, so I don't think so."

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Understandable; I'm having a great time with Old Republic because what it does better than WoW is making it feel like it's MY STORY. Questing isn't agonizing, though it did improve over time in WoW, and the Flashpoints are much better than "go in here and kill these dudes and the occasional tougher dude". There's a legitimate story to each Flashpoint.

Blizzard Admits The Old Republic Stung World of Warcraft

Huh. I never would have seen that coming.

Nope, not ever.

Or maybe WoW players don't find the thought of playing as pandas appealing.

Just a thought.

Of course. Every time a new MMORPG comes out, people will leave WoW to try it. I'd say that a lot of them are going to come back to WoW as soon as TOR wears out its welcome, though. Eh, the cycle continues.

Anyways, how are TOR's sales doing nowadays? I'm genuinely curious.

Stilkon:
Or maybe WoW players don't find the thought of playing as pandas appealing.

Just a thought.

A lot of WoW players don't find the thought of any change appealing. Every time there's a change, there's a determined faction of players that think "WOW IS RUINED FOREVER."

Personally, I don't understand how anthropomorphic cows are okay, anthropomorphic wolves are okay, but they draw the line at pandas, who have been canon since wc3.

deff enjoyed old repub & still playin wow a little but monotony is soo prominent in all mmo's star trek in my opinion has best idea for story if you want to replay a particular mission/story element go ahead they allow all missions to be replayed

We WoW producers was here before ANYONE!
De Star Wars and their Republic came to drive us out.
But we never give up.

or we dont want kung fu panda, pokemon and farmville in our gameplay experience

WoW was in slow decline well before TOR launched. *shrugs*
Oh wells. Swapping one grind for another isn't all that strange to me; and my friend who dropped WoW back when Cataclysm started picked up TOR, played to level 25, and went back to WoW.

It didn't leave much of an impression on me either.

We should be glad that wow actually has competition now, alternatives are good for everybody. I cannot even fathom keeping an active wow subscription paying to do things I've done many times over when I could be playing Mass effect 3 or tales of graces.

TechTim:
or we dont want kung fu panda, pokemon and farmville in our gameplay experience

1. The pandaren have been canon since wc3. Go look up Chen Stormstout. Ergo, before Kung Fu Panda.

2. Pokemon is entirely optional. The fact is, people want more gameplay options cause they're getting bored, but if that's not your style of play, you don't have to do it.

3. Farmville? Who said anything about Farmville?

Taunta:

3. Farmville? Who said anything about Farmville?

There's a new farmville-like faction in MoP called 'The Tillers'.

Which, just like Pet Battles, is entirely optional. "Oh noes! More possibility for stuff to do! WTF BLIZZARDS!?"

Hilarious.

Meh, WoW is just reaching it's elder years. It's slowing down in its old age and people are leaving. The fact that it is still top of the heap by a wide margin though is impressive. It will keep going until it starts losing money, then it will be replaced.

I think it's more just World of Warcraft fatigue. I has it too.

Old Republic is just a convenient outlet. I'll leave it.

But I also think it helped me break free of WoW forever, so it was worth the $$$ and time.

Amnestic:

Taunta:

3. Farmville? Who said anything about Farmville?

There's a new farmville-like faction in MoP called 'The Tillers'.

Which, just like Pet Battles, is entirely optional. "Oh noes! More possibility for stuff to do! WTF BLIZZARDS!?"

Hilarious.

Huh. Call me crazy, but I'm excited about both Pet Battles and The Tillers now. Now more than ever I really want that beta to come out.

Yeah, I don't understand the hatred. I mean, I don't necessarily like PvP (partially because I lock up like a deer in headlights) but its mere existence doesn't ruin the game for me. I just choose not to do it, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on the whole game.

Like I said, every time there's change in WoW, the game is "RUINED FOREVER".

I love how everyone seems to think "Stung" means "Slain"

TechTim:
or we dont want kung fu panda, pokemon and farmville in our gameplay experience

Stilkon:
Or maybe WoW players don't find the thought of playing as pandas appealing.

Just a thought.

I really can't believe the hate the pandas are getting. Pandas are cute. Pandas are also big tough carnivores (technically). It's fun to play as a cute panda. I don't get it.

Hrm.. can anyone explain to me how exactly The Old Republic can be attributed to the drop in subs from 12 to 10 million in September of 2011 when the game did not launch until the ass end of December 2011?( Hell even pre order early access did not start until the beginning of December) Or does this imply that they know the WoW subs are dramatically lower than the 10 million mark now and simply have not released that to the public yet.

Pearwood:
Pandas are also big tough carnivores (technically).

They're technically herbivorous carnivorans. (Carnivora is their order, and while they do eat some meat on rare occasions, it's not enough to qualify as even omnivorous, nevermind carnivorous, as their primary diet is bamboo, 99% of their food.)

Amnestic:

Taunta:

3. Farmville? Who said anything about Farmville?

There's a new farmville-like faction in MoP called 'The Tillers'.

Which, just like Pet Battles, is entirely optional. "Oh noes! More possibility for stuff to do! WTF BLIZZARDS!?"

Hilarious.

Going on raids for gear ad infinitum is optional too, but apparently such a compelling option that it took away from what I joined the game to do(group role play and world PvP). So I quit the game. Just saying that adding new optional content can be a negative to some people if it changes the way the populace in general plays the game.

Understandable, and I would probably play ToR if there was a trial of some kind, but until then I'm staying with WoW, speaking of, why is a Panda so silly when you could play as a cow person from day one?

Furioso:
Understandable, and I would probably play ToR if there was a trial of some kind, but until then I'm staying with WoW, speaking of, why is a Panda so silly when you could play as a cow person from day one?

Existing players can refer you for a trial. Gimme a mail and I'll hook you up

I'm not sure there were many that left WoW for TOR, more like they left WoW and have been searching for alternatives for a while.

I bet people just got a bit sick of it, 7 years? Good lord.

Nope. What Mists of Pandaria is going to do to talents massively contributed to me cancelling my subscription, not TOR. Well, that and I can't afford to pay both for WoW and Xbox Live at the same time.

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WoW has been declining since WoTLK, losing subs every patch. They staved it off with the Cata hype, but not for long.

Now they're entering the embarassing pandering stage where they'll desperately introduce all the gimmicky crap anyone ever asked for, in hopes of slowing the tide. It happens to every huge MMO - UO, EverQuest.

Looking at WoW's massive cultural impact, it still has a good 8-10 P2P years in it, but they'll be slow and unfruitful ones.

Pyrian:
They're technically herbivorous carnivorans. (Carnivora is their order, and while they do eat some meat on rare occasions, it's not enough to qualify as even omnivorous, nevermind carnivorous, as their primary diet is bamboo, 99% of their food.)

Hence the technically carnivorous ;). Looking at their anatomy you'd think they'd be carnivores.

Stilkon:
Or maybe WoW players don't find the thought of playing as pandas appealing.

Just a thought.

You're an idiot if you think that is the reason subscribers will dip.

You're already playing in a game with talking anthropomorphic cows, butsomehow pandas becomes a no-no.

WoW will start to lose numbers as people stop with the hardcore stage of their lives and realise that the people they were feeling empowered over really don't care, or try as much as you (i.e. like saying you won a urine-drinking contest, the only reason you won is because no one else cares).

Whether it takes you a day or a decade to figure this out, your time will come.

Taunta:
Huh. Call me crazy, but I'm excited about both Pet Battles and The Tillers now. Now more than ever I really want that beta to come out.

Yeah, I don't understand the hatred. I mean, I don't necessarily like PvP (partially because I lock up like a deer in headlights) but its mere existence doesn't ruin the game for me. I just choose not to do it, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on the whole game.

Like I said, every time there's change in WoW, the game is "RUINED FOREVER".

I'm just looking forward to a more laid back expansion as opposed to the previous THE WORLD IS ENDING WE MUST BAND TOGETHER ones.

Don't get me wrong, they were fun, but how many times can Azeroth get attacked before it starts to get old? I think three is enough.

"I'm one of the few people who's still playing it actually, but yeah we've seen a dip in subs."

I see what you did there, Mr. John Lagrave.

Well played sir.

Well played.

What Blizzard Said: "We lost subscribers because of ToR"
What People Hear: "Pandas ruined wow"

How did TOR, which came out in December, lead to a dip in subscription to 10.3 million subscribers 3 months before TOR released, in September? To me, that makes absolutely no sense.

Which suggests that either this is spin, or that the numbers have dipped still further since September...

Mydogisblue:

I'm just looking forward to a more laid back expansion as opposed to the previous THE WORLD IS ENDING WE MUST BAND TOGETHER ones.

Don't get me wrong, they were fun, but how many times can Azeroth get attacked before it starts to get old? I think three is enough.

You're right. Personally, i'm a faithful WoW player, but even I am starting to wonder "What haven't we killed yet?"

People who speed through SWTOR and bitch about end game while shouting TORTANIC!! HAHAH FUNNY JOKE are idiots. Theres 50 levels of story telling for every class with a multitude of options for everything. Yes, the kill 10 mobs quests are still kill 10 mobs with dialogue in front of it, but it still freakin' helps! Its good to have context behind everything you do especially when its presented nicely. People need to enjoy the ride and stop bitching because they speed through games. The game is essentially Kotor 3, 4, and 5.

Captcha was an add for Little Caesars, and I had to type in Little Caesars. I mean, its good pizza, but WHAT THE HELLS CAPTCHA!?!?!?

Thoric485:
sniped

I almost feel sorry to snip that very good post.
Anyway, so you're saying that this is less because OF SWTOR, and more because of timing?

I figure millions of WoW players are suddenly realizing "holy shit, this game isnt fun! What am I paying for?!" and dropping their subs.

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