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.