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View Full Version : Shake-up puts LucasArts back in the game


Char Ell
02-13-2006, 09:44 PM
My cursory check of Ahto Spaceport Cantina and The Unknown Regions didn't find anything about this so here goes. Oh yeah, I wasn't sure which of the two this should get posted in but I flipped a coin and Unknown Regions it was. If our venerable mods disagree then I'm sure you'll use your mod powers as you see fit. :D

Here is a link to a Jan. 30 article in the San Francisco Business Times about LucasArts reversing their financial shortfalls: Shake-up puts LucasArts back in the game (http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2006/01/30/story2.html)The "Star Wars" games that topped the movie-based list included action game "Star
Wars Battlefront 2," which sold 2.1 million units, and its predecessor, 2004 release "Star Wars Battlefront," which sold just over 1 million. Despite mixed reviews, "Episode III-Revenge of the Sith" sold 1.5 million... Well, it's good to know that LucasArts is doing well financially. At least we can eliminate that as a reason why KotOR 3 wouldn't get made.

On the other hand however, KotOR isn't mentioned as one of the top selling LucasArts games although I don't know exactly how the reporter defines "movie-based." KotOR may not qualify as "movie-based" but perhaps "movie-related" or "movie-inspired." With the understanding that LA is focusing on fewer titles and that next-generation game programming will require more resources (translated as money) it's hard to predict what LA will do if KotOR isn't a top selling title in their library. Of course LA has gone on a hiring binge. But when games like Empire At War start well out of the chute and today's announcement that LEGO Star Wars II will be developed. I dunno but I'm feeling like KotOR isn't getting much love over at LA. :crybaby:

Clone L68362
02-13-2006, 11:47 PM
Why does it seem like 1 million is a small number for a video game?

Hmm. Maybe I'm comparing it to movies.

Dunno what to say about LA quietness about KOTOR, maybe they don't have anything planned right now, and since K2 was a while ago they didn't bother talking about it.

Phaedra36
02-14-2006, 12:28 AM
Maybe they are waiting for Obsidian to finish up some of their other projects?

JediMaster12
02-14-2006, 02:37 AM
Completely plausible. Still there are other reasons as to why KOTOR isn't mentioned and maybe it is that they are working on it but they chose not to announce it just yet. A PR thing ya know, but what do I know, nothing.

Cygnus Q'ol
02-14-2006, 09:42 AM
"I have a bad feeling about this..."

Renegade Puma
02-14-2006, 09:44 AM
Could be a marketing ploy I suppose. I am pretty sure that they will be making KOTOR III, it wouldn't make sense for them not to.

Here is a little clip from Bioware's site, proving that KOTOR was indeed a very succesful game.

STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC
Released on the Xbox in July 2003 and on PC in November 2003 and published by LucasArts, this was the fastest-selling Xbox game in history at the time of its release
The game has sold over 2.5 million copies to date (Xbox and PC) and spawned a successful sequel which was launched in Xmas 2004
The first Star Wars role-playing game, takes place 4000 years before the time of the films
Epic roleplaying storyline in the BioWare tradition, where the player gets to become a Jedi, following either the light or dark side of the force
Advanced, state-of-the-art graphics which pushed the envelope on both Xbox and PC
Ranked 17th best game of all time, and 3rd best Xbox game of all time at Gamerankings.com
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has won nearly 50 Game of the Year awards and over 30 RPG of the Year awards
In total the game has accumulated over 100 awards including acknowledgements for its excellence in storytelling, technology, sound and more.

Also I couldn't find exact numbers anywhere but KOTOR II sold well over a million copies as well.

Prime
02-14-2006, 11:12 AM
Could be a marketing ploy I suppose. I am pretty sure that they will be making KOTOR III, it wouldn't make sense for them not to.The same could have been said for the X-Wing series and the JK series, and yet there aren't going to be any more of those...

Cygnus Q'ol
02-14-2006, 11:30 AM
The same could have been said for the X-Wing series and the JK series, and yet there aren't going to be any more of those...

Dang-it!!
You had to bring that up, didn't you.
I *miss* my X-wing.

...thanks Prime(sob), for bringing (sob), that up again. (choke-snort-sob).

Lantzen
02-14-2006, 11:49 AM
How you know there not gonna be any more in the JK serie? The darkside ending af JK academy would be a perfect place to continue on

The Source
02-14-2006, 12:00 PM
From the gossip I read, Knights of the Old Republic 2 isn't making Lucas Arts' projected sales. In January 2006, KotOR 2 sold 22,000 - 73,000 units. At the beginning, people look soley at the short-term sales projections. Lucas Arts is more concerned at the long-term sales projections. 'Knights of the Old Republic: The Original' had great short and long-term sales, and it went beyond expectations.

Remember when the game first came out, there were hundreds of great reviews online. However, television game networks were reporting a different reality. G4TV is not the most popular, but they reported to the public that KotOR 2 had holes and it was incomplete. Any type of good or bad publicity affects the sales of a product. If more people saw the bad publicity, the more they refuse to buy 'Knights of the Old Republic II'.

I found through conversing with people online, over the past year, that there is an intresting lexicon. If you are between the ages of 12-18, you liked 'Knights of the Old Republic II' more than you liked the original. If you are between the ages of 19-28, people believed that both games were equal in value. If you are 29+, people believed that Knights of the Old Republic II was a good game, but it didn't hold an equal value to the original. I believe this gap is due to what each age group brings to the table. The younger you are, the less expectations one has. As you get to the older generation, the more experience with Star Wars shows up. Novels. magazines, and comics influence our expectations. We also draw back upon how we felt about the original version. Each group's interpretation is correct according to their lexicon. As the younger generation gets older, they will develope the same cognitions about Star Wars as the older generation. Experience with Star Wars is what seperates the age groups.

What was all that about? Well, when it comes to sales, who is going to buy the product? If Lucas Arts doesn't make a product that crosses all groups, the less lilkely that their sales projections are meet. 'Knights of the Old Republic II's sale projections were based upon the original's sales record. Knights of the Old Republic I related to every age group, and brought in high sales. Knights of the Old Republic II, did not relate to all age groups, and brought in less sales.

All this garbage I was talking about influences a game success. I predict that Knights of the Old Republic III will have mediocre sales expectations. Unlike KotOR II, the third installment will have low short-term expectations, and high long-term expectations. This will make any game publisher worry. Because there is now the potential for failure based upon the first few months of game reviews. It is all interconnected.

At the end, that is why KotOR II is not considered a success by everyone. It is not considered a top selling game for all the above combined.

JediMaster12
02-14-2006, 05:24 PM
Such things could depress a person but you do make the point and drive it home. I remembered a phrase in passing, "No product, no profit" or was it the other way around? I'm going out on the limb and say that it was, "No profit, no product." If you don't make a profit then what's the point in making the product? Nothing. Good point MacLeodCorp though it was depressing.

Cygnus Q'ol
02-14-2006, 05:54 PM
As I had feared...

If McLeodCorp's deduction is correct, and I must admit that I think it is, then what would be the incentive to make a KotOR III?

I realize that some developers would love the chance to get to work on the next game in the series, but, who's going to pay them?

LucasArts has so many things on their plate right now, that I really am struggling with the assumption that this game might never be made.

...can't believe I actually just said that.

If K3 was "in the works" as we say, wouldn't we have heard something by now? If TSL was a huge smash and there were massive sales and rave reviews, then I could see the reason for all the hush-hush.
Kinda like TSL after KotOR. Even then we heard tiny tid-bits.

But there wasn't the huge sales explosion and most of the press was mediocre to bad.
So, by deductive reasoning, all the hush-hush must be for a different reason.

...and I fear what that reason could be.

lukeiamyourdad
02-14-2006, 06:46 PM
From the gossip I read, Knights of the Old Republic 2 isn't making Lucas Arts' projected sales. In January 2006, KotOR 2 sold 22,000 - 73,000 units. At the beginning, people look soley at the short-term sales projections. Lucas Arts is more concerned at the long-term sales projections. 'Knights of the Old Republic: The Original' had great short and long-term sales, and it went beyond expectations.

Is of course, gossip you've read. Whether those numbers are real or false remains to be proven. I doubt it was that low.

Remember when the game first came out, there were hundreds of great reviews online. However, television game networks were reporting a different reality. G4TV is not the most popular, but they reported to the public that KotOR 2 had holes and it was incomplete. Any type of good or bad publicity affects the sales of a product. If more people saw the bad publicity, the more they refuse to buy 'Knights of the Old Republic II'.

Which the effects are not proven either. It is merely speculation that television game networks can greatly affect sales.

I found through conversing with people online, over the past year, that there is an intresting lexicon. If you are between the ages of 12-18, you liked 'Knights of the Old Republic II' more than you liked the original. If you are between the ages of 19-28, people believed that both games were equal in value. If you are 29+, people believed that Knights of the Old Republic II was a good game, but it didn't hold an equal value to the original. I believe this gap is due to what each age group brings to the table. The younger you are, the less expectations one has. As you get to the older generation, the more experience with Star Wars shows up. Novels. magazines, and comics influence our expectations. We also draw back upon how we felt about the original version. Each group's interpretation is correct according to their lexicon. As the younger generation gets older, they will develope the same cognitions about Star Wars as the older generation. Experience with Star Wars is what seperates the age groups.

Which is not a scientifical research. I'm not saying you're wrong, but since it's only what you got from "conversing with people on the internet", you can hardly make solid conclusions.

What was all that about? Well, when it comes to sales, who is going to buy the product? If Lucas Arts doesn't make a product that crosses all groups, the less lilkely that their sales projections are meet. 'Knights of the Old Republic II's sale projections were based upon the original's sales record. Knights of the Old Republic I related to every age group, and brought in high sales. Knights of the Old Republic II, did not relate to all age groups, and brought in less sales.

Which does not stop a third installment from relating to all age groups.

All this garbage I was talking about influences a game success. I predict that Knights of the Old Republic III will have mediocre sales expectations. Unlike KotOR II, the third installment will have low short-term expectations, and high long-term expectations. This will make any game publisher worry. Because there is now the potential for failure based upon the first few months of game reviews. It is all interconnected.

Of course, you predict that, but I think publishers are smarter then that. They will probably do a small market study to see if there is enough potential buyers.
Since when has there not been the potential for failure? If that was so, only sequels would get made. There would be no new franchise starting. We'd be still stuck with Pong 2006 if things were as you claim them to be.

At the end, that is why KotOR II is not considered a success by everyone. It is not considered a top selling game for all the above combined.

No, it's not considered a top selling game because it didn't sell that well, not because of everything you said. Not because of projected sales or game television networks. More things affect sales then you might think.

Why did Ep3: The Video game and SWBF 1/2 sold so many units? There are many answers to that, answers we must get before we can correctly look at what happened to TSL.
First, marketing. I watch many sports channel. LucasArts spammed ads for SWBF 2 and the Ep3 video game on those channels.
Second, accessibility. Both SWBF games and the Ep3 game had versions for both the PS2 and the XBox (add the PC for SWBF). The PS2 is the biggest selling console of the last generation. All of those games were really accessible.
Finally, timing of release. SWBF was release around the OT DVD, Ep3: The Game around Ep3 and SWBF2 around the release of the Ep3 DVD and a rather dead fall season for gamers.

Now, let's apply that to TSL.
First, marketing. How many ads for TSL were they? Not many. It didn't get half the attention the first game did.
Second, accessibility. The XBox only has 21% of the market shares, the PC, even less. How can you sell a lot to only a maximum of maybe 25-30% of the whole gaming market while you hit over 80% by adding the PS2 to the mix?
(Forbes' numbers on the console market (http://www.forbes.com/home/2003/12/22/cx_dd_1222mondaymatchup.html))
Note:The numbers are old, but still reliable. Microsoft may state that they have beaten the PS2 in North America, but their assertions are not backed up by much and it's only about the North American market.
Finally, timing. TSL on XBox came out in december 2004. What came out around that time period? Half-Life 2, Halo 2 and World of WarCraft. It was dwarfed and could not even stand up under the shadow of those giants. It was easily eclipsed by Halo2 on the XBox for the holidays.

I'm not saying my analysis is perfect, but I think it does take into account more elements then just "game reviews" and "not cathering to the right people".
I'll give an easy example of why those can often be erroneous. 50 cent, Bulletproof. That game was nuked by reviews and only cathered to 50 cent fans. Guess what, it sold over 1 million units (Source (http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060124/latu004.html?.v=29)).

Char Ell
02-14-2006, 08:39 PM
My apologies if in my first post I inferred that KotOR 3 will not be made. Personally I feel it's too early to say with much certainty whether there will be a KotOR 3 or not. Of course there is no doubt in my mind that LucasArts should make KotOR 3... :stick: I would even go so far as to say that because they shortchanged us with TSL they owe us. :D Not like that will do any good though... :giveup:

I guess I just find it worrisome when the game series I'm very much into isn't mentioned in a reporter's interview with Jim Ward about the games that brought success to LucasArts in 2005. As I stated, maybe the KotOR series doesn't count as a "movie-based" game in the journalist's view. Maybe Jim Ward did talk about KotOR: TSL but the reporter decided not to use any of his TSL-related comments in her article. Who knows? I'm probably just too paranoid. :(

RE: the talk about KotOR and TSL sales figures - based off what I've seen in sales rankings on various Internet sites that use game sales rankings from NPD, TSL didn't rock the house like KotOR did. LucasArts doesn't release actual sales figures so unless someone has some inside scoop they can share :naughty: we don't know much about actual sales volumes.

I just think there are so many variables that are involved in a decision to make a game.

I'm assuming that LA will use market research in their decision-making process. All we can hope is that the research figures show that there is enough interest in another KotOR iteration to generate the kind of sales that LucasArts wants to see.

I also think it quite possible that LA may want to expand the KotOR market by publishing for PS3, XBOX360, and (hopefully) PC. Of course if that were the case then they won't want to release the game until the PS3 has come to market.

The Source
02-15-2006, 12:02 AM
I have been trying to find the website where I got those sales projections. It was a sales tracking site, but I deleted the bookmark.

Yes. I did say somethings based upon a theory. It would be too complicated to get into my thesis and hypotheses, so I won't bore anyone with the details.

Let me see if I can get those sales numbers from a credited online site. I believe they were very low.

I was trying to comment on why KotOR II wasn't a success. I believe KotOR III will be made, but its expectations will be low.

Sorry people. I deletd the bookmark. I will have to ask my Uncle for the link to the sales tracking site he uses. It tracks GDP units for each month.

Darth Longie
02-15-2006, 02:00 PM
Just a quick comment after reading the rest of this discussion. If TSL didn't sell very well because there was publicity about it having bugs and being incomplete, LucasArts have got only themselves to blame. Maybe next time they won't put undue pressure on the developers to rush the game out in time for Christmas, even though it isn't properly finished.

Vaelastraz
02-15-2006, 03:26 PM
If a game sells more than a million times it is a top seller. Many developers/publishers would be happy to sell 50000.
btw what is "next-generation-game"? I mean, games always get better and better and better and better (techniqualy), that's the normal progress...

Space Goat
02-15-2006, 04:29 PM
If KOTOR II didn't sell as well as the first game did, how quickly and shoddily KOTOR II was made is probably the explanation. People read about how buggy and incomplete TSL was, so they didn't buy it! I would hope LucasArts is smart enough to figure that out truth, and not blame the KOTOR property itself.

Prime
02-15-2006, 05:20 PM
I *miss* my X-wing. You and me both. :(

Jackel
02-15-2006, 06:05 PM
Unless a compnay was a small independant one 50000 units sold wouldn't be very good at all. Rather the minimum these days for a "good" seller seems to be closer to a couple of hundred thousand for a pc game and three quaters of a million or more for a console game.

You and me both. :(
I wouldn't mind a new space fighter based on episodes 1 - 3. Some interesting ship design from those movies. Can't stand the movies themselves but some of the design work was nice.

Char Ell
02-15-2006, 08:36 PM
If a game sells more than a million times it is a top seller. Many developers/publishers would be happy to sell 50000.:eyeraise: Fifty thousand (50,000) you say? Fifty thousand copies sold and many developers would be happy with that? If you had said five hundred thousand (500,000) then I would have been more agreeable. Perhaps you just forgot to add an additional zero (0)?
btw what is "next-generation-game"? I mean, games always get better and better and better and better (techniqualy), that's the normal progress...To briefly recount recent computer game events, the game console manufacturers are now making their consoles to support multi-threaded programming. The first "next-generation" console to incorporate multi-threaded support was Microsoft's XBOX360. It has three processors and each processor is capable of handling two threads. All game consoles before the XBOX360 supported only single-thread programming. Sony will release the Playstation 3 sometime this year and it too will support multi-threaded programming. In essence multiple threads allow game developers to make games more life-like (or as you say, "better") since they can program the game to do more in a single CPU cycle than they could do before. However programming for multi-threaded games will require more effort than for the single-threaded ones simply because of the increased complexity. I expect that once game designers in general get over the initial multi-threaded learning curve they will be able to reduce manpower requirements for "next-generation" games although I wouldn't expect it to get down to the same resource requirements as single-threaded programming. Make sense? :)
Programming really isn't my cup of tea though so if I got something wrong then I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will correct me... :D

i like cheese
02-16-2006, 12:09 AM
its a marketing ploy...like cartman did w/ cartman land

lukeiamyourdad
02-22-2006, 10:24 PM
I came across this article:
http://ps3.ign.com/articles/685/685124p1.html

According to it, Knights of the Old Republic 2 did pretty well.

Over the past two and a half years, Obsidian has grown to 80 people and has developed and released the sequel to BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic. Knights of the Old Republic 2 has sold nearly 1.5 million units.

Jae Onasi
02-22-2006, 11:23 PM
I googled Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II + sales, and a BBC article came up saying TSL's sales beat out Halo 2 for online sales--my browser decided to crash, so I didn't get to find out if that was just for release week or for a specific length of time. I'll keep an eye out for other info.

Char Ell
02-23-2006, 12:45 AM
I came across this article:
http://ps3.ign.com/articles/685/685124p1.html

According to it, Knights of the Old Republic 2 did pretty well.Excellent find, LIAYD. I'm glad it's not just me that's trying to find out how well TSL has sold. :D I ran across this article a few days ago and bookmarked it http://pc.ign.com/articles/684/684902p1.html but I think it's funny how it's listed in the PS3 section as well as the PC section. :lol:

I agree that ~1.5 million TSL copies sold is pretty good. Also made me feel more confident that LucasArts will make KotOR 3. :clap2: I still don't know total numbers sold for KotOR but I'm guessing KotOR has sold more copies than TSL. Hopefully LucasArts interprets this as, "Demand for KotOR games is there but we need to provide quality content to fully tap the potential." Wouldn't you agree? ;)

Mister Chief
02-26-2006, 01:57 AM
If you think about it, Halo 2 released near the same time as KOTOR 2. Halo 3 is yet to be announced, But speculation says E3 2006. KOTOR 3 is yet to be announced. Anyone see any parallels? I imagine that XBOX 360 games take a lot longer to produce, and developers do not want to announce a product until it is underway in development. (Halo 2 anyone?). If you think about it, Lego Star Wars 2 is probably half done, considering the screens, and yet it is just now announced? I would wager that KOTOR 3 is in the wings, and will be announced following the continuing sucessful release of EAW, during E3 2006.

ViperSkeele
03-14-2006, 03:59 PM
The same could have been said for the X-Wing series and the JK series, and yet there aren't going to be any more of those...

Thats just depressing :O(