BioWare Says SWTOR Subscriptions Haven't Dropped

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BioWare Says SWTOR Subscriptions Haven't Dropped

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Players might not be cancelling their Star Wars: The Old Republic subscriptions, but they aren't logging in as often anymore.

If you've been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic lately, you might have noticed that there aren't as many people hanging out on Alderaan as there used to be. "Wow," you may have said to yourself, "I guess all those players left to go back to WoW or something."

It turns out, though, that BioWare hasn't yet seen any such exodus. Speaking with PC Gamer, BioWare's Daniel Erickson said that SWTOR numbers were holding steady. However, he admitted, peak numbers are down - that is, there are fewer players logging in during the most common play hours than there were before.

While a situation in which you have subscribers who just aren't playing is admittedly better than a situation in which people are unsubscribing, it's still a problem. A player who doesn't see any value in logging in is somebody who probably won't be subscribing for much longer, after all. This is especially problematic for BioWare, given that the fully-voiced, story-driven nature of SWTOR means that the development of new content takes longer than it might have otherwise.

According to Erickson, BioWare has some plans up its sleeves including one-off events like this months' Rakghoul plague, and quality-of-life improvements to make players' experiences in-game all the more convenient, like a guild bank or an improved group-finder system.

While these might encourage players to come back and see what's what, these are only temporary stopgaps at best. MMO players are accustomed to a steady diet of new content in their games, and adding new planets and missions may be the only real thing that BioWare can do to keep their subscribers subscribed and playing the game.

(PC Gamer)

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Well I just cancelled my account 2 days ago. So they have actually dropped by at least one. More lies from BioWare herp derp.

Holy shit John Funk!? You're back? I heard you were in China or something O.o

Also, on topic: A lot of people currently not playing all that much are probably considering their options. TERA just came out and Guild Wars 2 is just over the horizon. I really don't see Swtor surviving on the subscription model for all that much longer.

There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.

De Nile is a river in Egypt...or so as my mother would say....

Deny

Deny

Deny

We arent sinking.... We have plenty of subs... This wasnt a failure of a game...

*Is circling around TOR like a vulture, eagerly awaiting it to become F2P*

Not really a surprise, considering they have just published a major patch and gave a free month to active accounts (only a week to inactive). And the game has been 25% off on Origin for most of March and is 50% off since early April and until mid-May (bet the people who bought it in March are totally fine with it).

They are really going all out with inventing new ways to retain subscribers.

Fappy:
Holy shit John Funk!? You're back? I heard you were in China or something O.o

Also, on topic: A lot of people currently not playing all that much are probably considering their options. TERA just came out and Guild Wars 2 is just over the horizon. I really don't see Swtor surviving on the subscription model for all that much longer.

^I agree. This, coupled with the whole Bioware-is-evil sentiment recently, I wouldn't expect anything less

Yeah, numbers seem about steady as I've been playing. The main problem is that the game has too many damn servers, which makes it feel like there's less people playing than there actually is.

We need a server merge. They opened with too many. Though if they do that, everyone will have a damn field day and make the game look like it's worse off than it really is. There's plenty of people playing, problem is that they're all spread out.

WickedFire:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.

IT'S FINALS WEEK ARHG

Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.

the first 3 month subscriptions just expired 2 days ago,(3+1free=4 month old mmo), I imagine this interview was done before the guys at BW had the new numbers which would take a couple days to come down considering there was a weekend in there.

And yes, like 2 of my 3 friends who played SWTOR, I just ended my subscription.

I dropped. Like after my first month of subscription. The game got really dull really fast. I know it's ironic to say when I'm currently stead fast in WoW, but that game has establisehd smoething of a community for me, the content isn't a bitch and a chore to just get into, PvP doesn't feel like a imperial agent/ sith assasin butt fuck fest, and the overal feeling of the "worlds" in SWTOR despite it's scope feels... surprisingly Clostrophobic. I'm a casual raider, light PvPer, heavy Roll Player. WoW just has enough that it keeps me going, where as SWTOR ran out once I finished a story campagn. Felt like the good old days with Bioware and their single player games... but thats about it.

Irridium:
Yeah, numbers seem about steady as I've been playing. The main problem is that the game has too many damn servers, which makes it feel like there's less people playing than there actually is.

We need a server merge. They opened with too many. Though if they do that, everyone will have a damn field day and make the game look like it's worse off than it really is. There's plenty of people playing, problem is that they're all spread out.

Yeah, they probably need to merge servers to have a steadier population. Though most of the hours I'm logged on are during people's work/school hours. My guess is that the numbers will increase during the summer when people have more free time.

WickedFire:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.

Agreed. I've had to cut back on playing as I have one annoying set of IT coursework to get done before the end of next week followed by the start of the exams slog two weeks after.

DVS BSTrD:
Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.

I have to ask what? Do you mean incentive to play the Republic faction or the 'lightside' morality? Cause its not clear in your post what you mean. Additionally, there is equal incentive to play either faction or morality. You get your own set of faction quests for either faction and each class has their own string of quests. Also focusing on either morality will net you access to rewards which can be bought on the faction specific space station as well as unlocked in the legacy system. So again I ask what do you mean?

Edit: Derp is derp, I originally put citadel instead of Space station. Damn ME, why you mix with other space games?

Nile McMorrow:

WickedFire:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.

Agreed. I've had to cut back on playing as I have one annoying set of IT coursework to get done before the end of next week followed by the start of the exams slog two weeks after.

DVS BSTrD:
Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.

I have to ask what? Do you mean incentive to play the Republic faction or the 'lightside' morality? Cause its not clear in your post what you mean. Additionally, there is equal incentive to play either faction or morality. You get your own set of faction quests for either faction and each class has their own string of quests. Also focusing on either morality will net you access to rewards which can be bought on the citadel as well as unlocked in the legacy system. So again I ask what do you mean?

Well my decision to play sith was simply cause lightning beats throwing rocks any day :)

But I'm happy with the game and I'm having lots of fun.

Sure you are. Lets see how subs drop when you are competing for time with GW2. In any case, they haven't kept all former WoW players. With every MMO so far, WoW players see it as a vacation. They come, they spend a month maybe 2, then they go home. They go home because nothing keeps them from doing so.

It was never content expansions that kept me playing when I played MMOs it was the people. In fact I hated most expansions and "features", and it was those that made me quit.

Fr]anc[is:
*Is circling around TOR like a vulture, eagerly awaiting it to become F2P*

your not missing anything.

its OK, and the heavy story focus in a nice touch, but ultimately, it's kinda dull

I believe this or rather i can believe this with experinece i'm having with the game. I am still sub to tor despite not playing it as often as i did. I find it just a fun time to play a character once in awhile when i'm bored or feel like playing. This is exactly what i did with Wow back in the day and that lasted for 5 years.

Nile McMorrow:
I have to ask what? Do you mean incentive to play the Republic faction or the 'lightside' morality? Cause its not clear in your post what you mean. Additionally, there is equal incentive to play either faction or morality. You get your own set of faction quests for either faction and each class has their own string of quests. Also focusing on either morality will net you access to rewards which can be bought on the faction specific space station as well as unlocked in the legacy system. So again I ask what do you mean?

I think he's saying Good is incredibly dull, and Evil is incredibly awesome. It's even worse with the extreme black/white nature of the force in Star Wars. Straight Jedi are just soooooooo boring.

Nile McMorrow:

WickedFire:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.

Agreed. I've had to cut back on playing as I have one annoying set of IT coursework to get done before the end of next week followed by the start of the exams slog two weeks after.

DVS BSTrD:
Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.

I have to ask what? Do you mean incentive to play the Republic faction or the 'lightside' morality? Cause its not clear in your post what you mean. Additionally, there is equal incentive to play either faction or morality. You get your own set of faction quests for either faction and each class has their own string of quests. Also focusing on either morality will net you access to rewards which can be bought on the faction specific space station as well as unlocked in the legacy system. So again I ask what do you mean?

Edit: Derp is derp, I originally put citadel instead of Space station. Damn ME, why you mix with other space games?

Sorry I was under the impression that the balance was heavily tilted in favor of the Dark Side and that there wasn't much monies to be made being the good guy.

Fr]anc[is:
*Is circling around TOR like a vulture, eagerly awaiting it to become F2P*

haha i imagined hk-47's voice there with a "statement" and "query" in there.

OT: if they had just listened...and went with kotor 3...all would be well in the world.

DVS BSTrD:

Nile McMorrow:

WickedFire:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.

Agreed. I've had to cut back on playing as I have one annoying set of IT coursework to get done before the end of next week followed by the start of the exams slog two weeks after.

DVS BSTrD:
Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.

I have to ask what? Do you mean incentive to play the Republic faction or the 'lightside' morality? Cause its not clear in your post what you mean. Additionally, there is equal incentive to play either faction or morality. You get your own set of faction quests for either faction and each class has their own string of quests. Also focusing on either morality will net you access to rewards which can be bought on the faction specific space station as well as unlocked in the legacy system. So again I ask what do you mean?

Edit: Derp is derp, I originally put citadel instead of Space station. Damn ME, why you mix with other space games?

Sorry I was under the impression that the balance was heavily tilted in favor of the Dark Side and that there wasn't much monies to be made being the good guy.

Quite the contrary. Granted sometimes choosing one option may lose or gain you immediate access to some credits when the opportunity arises, however when you chose the other option an hour later you are likely to receive a message relating to the quest carrying an item or a similar amount of credits as a reward for that choice. So no there really is no monetary favouritism for dark or light choices.

Fr]anc[is:

I think he's saying Good is incredibly dull, and Evil is incredibly awesome. It's even worse with the extreme black/white nature of the force in Star Wars. Straight Jedi are just soooooooo boring.

Isn't it always like that when there's a choice between good and evil? Also good Jedi consular + cocky attitude = best Jedi ever. Similarly, Sith Marauder + light side = good story.

Maybe if they fixed the amd graphics card problem already...

Hey, it's John! Nice to see an article from you.
OP: Seeing as how the game is single player oriented, I'm not surprised at a decline in people playing. The content is burned through faster.

Eh, I'm currently subscribed but literally the only reason I am is because my SO is bored of WoW and wants somethin else to do.

Don't get me wrong, the first Imperial and Republic character I made were great. You were learnin all kinds of new stuff, doin new things, meetin new people. Awesome. Here's the problem. There is literally only 1 way to level with 1 extra choice. You have to go to each planet, in order, every single time. After each planet you have a choice (or well, have made a choice too). You do a few space missions on the daily to get nice big chunks of xp then jack all xp after the first. You can pvp a bunch and pray you don't get roflstomped over and over. Or you can do the bonus series for the planet you're on. Those are your only options, ever.

The only quests that are different for same faction characters is the first planet, so Hutta/Korriban for Imps and Tython/Ord Mantell for Republic, and the class quests. That means at least 90% of the content in that game is the same content that everyone else on your faction is doing. For someone who really enjoys rollin alts (at least 5 max level characters on WoW with roughly 7 more that range from 30-70), that is a death sentence for me. The emphasis on story makes it even worse truth be told. The first time its nice, the rest of the times? Not so much. I find myself skippin through all the dialogue every single time and pickin completely random responses simply because there are no consequences to doin so. My character can go from a Sith with a heart of gold who will help you move to your new apartment free of charge to a murderous sociopath who goes out of his way to kick puppies all in the same conversation. Its ridiculous.

My biggest gripe is still the fact that no matter what people claim about ToR bein new and excitin, everytime I play and we come across some weird thing my first reaction is to say "Hey! Its like old WoW!" which is not a compliment at all. I shouldn't be comparin ToR to the very first boxed release of World of Warcraft and yet I am constantly doin so because the game is set up like old WoW.

Luckily D3 comes out next month which means I can safely cancel my subscription and can come back to it when they decide that tryin to compare to a 8 year old MMO that has evolved way past that point is a really dumb idea.

shintakie10:
Eh, I'm currently subscribed but literally the only reason I am is because my SO is bored of WoW and wants somethin else to do.

Don't get me wrong, the first Imperial and Republic character I made were great. You were learnin all kinds of new stuff, doin new things, meetin new people. Awesome. Here's the problem. There is literally only 1 way to level with 1 extra choice. You have to go to each planet, in order, every single time. After each planet you have a choice (or well, have made a choice too). You do a few space missions on the daily to get nice big chunks of xp then jack all xp after the first. You can pvp a bunch and pray you don't get roflstomped over and over. Or you can do the bonus series for the planet you're on. Those are your only options, ever.

The only quests that are different for same faction characters is the first planet, so Hutta/Korriban for Imps and Tython/Ord Mantell for Republic, and the class quests. That means at least 90% of the content in that game is the same content that everyone else on your faction is doing. For someone who really enjoys rollin alts (at least 5 max level characters on WoW with roughly 7 more that range from 30-70), that is a death sentence for me. The emphasis on story makes it even worse truth be told. The first time its nice, the rest of the times? Not so much. I find myself skippin through all the dialogue every single time and pickin completely random responses simply because there are no consequences to doin so. My character can go from a Sith with a heart of gold who will help you move to your new apartment free of charge to a murderous sociopath who goes out of his way to kick puppies all in the same conversation. Its ridiculous.
.

I really don't get why Bioware didn't think this would be a problem, even before release. They have the legacy system that tries to make people play alts in basically all the wrong ways. Merely playing a different class is a good enough reason to level an alt like people do in other MMOs, having a story is an even bigger one. Then doing all the same content just completely kills all desire to have an alt, and ANYTHING the legacy system brings won't change that. The only way they can save the leveling experience is to make it possible to level entirely with flashpoints like you can in wow. Hopefully, counting heroic quests as small FPs, fixing the population and adding the group finder will make that possible, (they will also need to increase the exp from FPs by about 800%) otherwise the games has no longevity and altaholics are just forcing it on themselves and will jump ship as soon as something better comes along.

In wow people play a new patch for 2-3 months then unsub for 3 months till the next one and thats fine cos they always come back. TOR is already at this point and its far too soon for that to be happening, and the patches are not good enough to bring many people back.

Fappy:
Holy shit John Funk!? You're back? I heard you were in China or something O.o

Also, on topic: A lot of people currently not playing all that much are probably considering their options. TERA just came out and Guild Wars 2 is just over the horizon. I really don't see Swtor surviving on the subscription model for all that much longer.

Pretty much this. TOR simply doesn't have much going for it as an MMO. It's a great RPG, but as an MMO there are some very basic failures in the mechanics that simply aren't being addressed. I give it another 5-6 months before it goes FTP.

I'm really hoping TERA doesn't go the same way. It seems promising now, but I thought the same of TOR in January :(.

The hole is a feature.

Also, John I thought you were dead or something.

Well, maybe people have just hit the "end" or whatever and are deciding to move on, at least until some expansion pack or other comes out.

Though I haven't played TOR, I do know that once I finish what could be considered "the campaign" in an MMO I'll get bored and move on.

It's the people who reached max level and now feel they have nothing to do. When BW implements new end game content, I'd expect to see people on more frequently.

Secondly, I believe they need to fold in some servers. I have characters I'd love to play but unfortunately the PVP server they're on is dead and it's pretty boring playing an MMO in a strictly single player fashion.

WouldYouKindly:
It's the people who reached max level and now feel they have nothing to do. When BW implements new end game content, I'd expect to see people on more frequently.

Secondly, I believe they need to fold in some servers. I have characters I'd love to play but unfortunately the PVP server they're on is dead and it's pretty boring playing an MMO in a strictly single player fashion.

Its more than just people who hit the end. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, but I know a lot of people who love to roll alts who quit simply because there isn't enough to do. You have a completely linear quest path that you must follow on every single character. It absolutely kills the enjoyment out of levelin alts when there isn't any other path to take.

WoW has this problem in the later levels. I love alts and I love makin alts. There is so many different ways to level characters now in WoW. You can level through dungeon finder. You can level through pvp. You can quest in half of one continent, flip over to the other half, the go to another continent completely and do the same over there before roundin back and finishin up on the first continent. The quest experience gets somewhat railroaded once you hit outlands, but you can still level through dungeons or pvp and then you go to northrend and have choices on where you want to go to again.

ToR needs more content, period. End game content it desperately needs, true, but it also desperately needs low level content as well. It is not fun to level the third straight character through the exact same zones that your previous two leveled through. This needed to be addressed before they made their ridiculous legacy system, but now that it is out it is imperative that they actually support it with content.

ehhh I'll just wait till TOR goes free to play or until we get a KOTOR 3

The game's failings are a result of bad design. They created a single-player game and expected people to pay monthly for it. They ignored the very thing that made MMOs worth a monthly fee in the first place -- buying real estate in a virtual world.

This generation of MMOs are so linear, or at least heavily corralled experiences. Your primary means of leveling is following someone else's story... so basically, you're not paying for the right to create your own character, you're just leasing one of the pre-mades. In trying to make the story content deep, they've also made it incredibly narrow.

MMOs are probably the one place where, especially at the beginning, it's okay to err on the side of "a mile wide and an inch deep." Players need a variety of things to do, not just one thing that's really interesting (the first time) and nothing else -- that's what single-player games are for.

Of course, the other problem is that it's a Star Wars game. That means you're supposed to play through the story of "your favorite character," which you must select from the short list of archetypes. Are you Luke, Han, Anakin, Maul, or Fett? Those are your choices. It's such a huge galaxy that you can live one of five stories, and ever smuggler gets the same Wookiee companion...

Go F2P or go away.

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