CNN makes some big assumptions but just doesn’t get it.
SWTOR sucks. It is a shitty WoW clone with a tenth of the content (yes, even shitty content counts) and none of the soul. People pay $15 a month for WoW STILL because they’re addicted.
What could SWTOR have that could possibly justify spending a subscription for? The frequent content updates?
Please. Bioware flunked that test with the incredibly lame, pointless, and completely worthless Legacy patch that contributed to the happiness of one guild of RPing losers.
CNN goes on to further demonstrate their cluelessness with this quote:
That hasn’t stopped the traditional publishers from flocking to it. Star Warsjoins a free-to-play club that includes Everquest, Aion, Guild Wars, Dungeon & Dragons Online, The Lord of the Rings Online, and other landmark games.
Guild Wars isn’t free to play. Aion, DDO, and LOTRO were all “WoW killers” that failed spectacularly and were relegated to f2p purgatory. I don’t even know if CNN means EQ or EQ2, but the point stands if they’re speaking of EQ2. EQ1 is in its second decade of existence and therefore gets a pass.
Then there’s this jewel:
The Old Republic, which launched in late December, was supposed to be the next Warcraft. It started off strong, attracting more than 1 million players in its first three days — a record pace. But within a few months, the subscribers began drifting away. EA won’t comment on the game’s current paying audience, saying only that it’s north of 500,000.
Rather than impugn SWTOR, CNN chooses to make a sweeping generalization and state that the industry itself, not just another shitty game, is to blame for a 50% loss of subscribers.
There are many reasons why SWTOR failed, and I know it will be discussed for years to come as how not to build a MMO. However, the fact that WoW is able to continue to operate as a subscription-based MMO is a dagger in the heart to CNN’s premise that f2p is the future. There just hasn’t been a game worthy of $15 a month that has come out since 2004.