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JediAthos
11-05-2010, 11:06 PM
When it came to discussing the ambitious massively multiplayer collaboration between BioWare, Electronic Arts, and LucasArts, Bigpoint CEO Heiko Hubertz didn't mince words.

During his keynote at the London Games Conference, Hubertz explained his skepticism regarding the upcoming Star Wars MMO, saying "A big publisher does not understand that a subscription model is not the future. With micro-transactions and longer lifetime, maybe I see a chance for this game, but I don't think that EA or BioWare will be profitable with this game. Ever."

These are strong words from a rival MMO developer, but they certainly shouldn't come as a surprise considering two of the MMOs Bigpoint has in development, Battlestar Galactica and The Mummy, adopt the free-to-play model. Many recent games like Lord of the Rings Online and Champions Online have switched to free-to-play after running into budget problems using the subscription model. Internet rumors pin the budget for Star Wars: The Old Republic anywhere between $100 million and $300 million.

Regardless of the budget, given the size of the rabid Star Wars fan base and BioWare's RPG pedigree, I'm not so quick to dismiss The Old Republic as an inevitable failure. Only time will tell if Hubertz's hunch proves correct.

source: http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/11/05/bigpoint-ceo-the-old-republic-won-t-ever-be-profitable.aspx


Interesting comments...and as GI pointed out from a rival MMO developer. Thoughts?

Nedak
11-06-2010, 03:12 PM
It's probably going to be terrible.
I'll still try it though.

logan23
11-06-2010, 09:56 PM
I believe it will be actually good with some minor issues which players or reviews wish were different and they will get slightly attacked for using concepts from WOW.

The biggest question is...the end game and the amount of content since players will be large chunks of hours playing and you don't want your player to play through all of it to fast or some will leave.

It will be interesting to see at release what this will play like from start to finish..or to endgame actually

MajinMikeyX
11-07-2010, 01:58 AM
The game so far looks promising. I haven't been into MMOs at all until I saw this game.

Since it does have story and I'm assuming the Sith Emperor or whatever is the final boss. So I'm wondering as well how much content it in between the Start to the Final Boss.

adamqd
11-07-2010, 06:23 AM
The Problem is, the people who generally Pay to Play MMO's for 6 years at a time 7 days a week aren't being catered to (From what we've seen) and the people who enjoy Story and RP dont want to pay more than once for their game. I think they have got the concept all wrong, they have massive amounts of Talent working on this and they have put so much effort in to it... but I still think it would be better as either a straight up farm mobs and PVP MMO, or a better looking off-line RPG not as Hybrid.

Fredi
11-07-2010, 09:12 AM
It's probably going to be terrible.
I'll still try it though.

Agree.

Ctrl Alt Del
11-07-2010, 01:52 PM
The Problem is, the people who generally Pay to Play MMO's for 6 years at a time 7 days a week aren't being catered to (From what we've seen) and the people who enjoy Story and RP dont want to pay more than once for their game. I think they have got the concept all wrong, they have massive amounts of Talent working on this and they have put so much effort in to it... but I still think it would be better as either a straight up farm mobs and PVP MMO, or a better looking off-line RPG not as Hybrid.
QFT. TOR may have impressed a lot of people in a good way but it also managed to rile a good deal of fans.

JediAthos
11-08-2010, 02:10 AM
This game I think has the potential to draw in a unique group of players as you will have some people as has been mentioned here that have never touched an MMO that will want to play the game simply because it is Star Wars. Then you'll get MMO players who are SW fans, as well as RPG players that are SW fans.

Truth be told I think they'll end up turning a profit as long as they can make the game viable over the long term which is where Blizzard has really been successful with WoW. They continue to make their game interesting and engaging to their subscriber base hence the reason people continue to pay for it and the reason they draw in new subscribers.

If Bioware can do that then TOR will be successful and profitable, if they can't it will likely fail within a few years like many other now defunct MMOs.

Roerschack
11-18-2010, 02:02 PM
I believe it will be actually good with some minor issues which players or reviews wish were different and they will get slightly attacked for using concepts from WOW.

I hear this again & again, and I don't quite understand. Logan is right, people seem anxious to make attacks for developers using aspects of WoW in their games. I think this is silly. WoW has been #1 for years as far as MMOs go. I have often wondered why no company has COMPLETELY ripped WoW and made a new game that uses all the beloved features of WoW but in a new format with fresh ideas. Seems like good business. Besides it's not like Blizz invented all the nice features we love in WoW... I saw almost the whole game in a sci-fi format years before, it was a game called Earth & Beyond.

I hope that if this MMO does NOT do just that, (take the good things in WoW and add more good things) that someone else soon does. I have played WoW for a long time now and as a player that talks to other players, many are sick of the pandering to non-gamers. When WoW began for instance it most definitely did not pander to non-gamers. It was tough and you had to pay attention and many of us liked that, and would like to see it again. Still, it gathered a following and it is my opinion that a game MUST be for gamers. If you build it ... we will come.

deadplayer
11-22-2010, 03:36 AM
still quite expect for this game.
would gonna give it a shot when it finally released.

Darth Avlectus
11-23-2010, 01:58 AM
Since it does have story and I'm assuming the Sith Emperor or whatever is the final boss. So I'm wondering as well how much content it in between the Start to the Final Boss.

Well, maybe or maybe not. I hear it actually depends on what character class and how you choose to evolve through the game that will determine what role your character has in the overall storyline.

We'll see.

logan23
11-24-2010, 12:30 AM
Since it does have story and I'm assuming the Sith Emperor or whatever is the final boss. So I'm wondering as well how much content it in between the Start to the Final Boss.

I doubt this.
Each class will have its own boss and what we will see is something happen that complicates things and these complications will be in part related to the boss in the game depending on the factions etc

Ztalker
11-26-2010, 08:15 AM
Well, maybe or maybe not. I hear it actually depends on what character class and how you choose to evolve through the game that will determine what role your character has in the overall storyline.

We'll see.

I'm with GTA on this.
This game has potential and I'm fairly positive. We'll have to wait and see though. We've only seen small action gameplay, how does it feel if you play it three-four hours straight? Is it like WoW with side quests and cool stuff on every didigtal street corner? Capable of doing many interesting stuff besides battling?

Darca Lar
11-26-2010, 11:14 AM
Bioware's never disappointed, I don't think they'll start failing now.

Jae Onasi
12-28-2010, 07:00 PM
Mmm--sounds like the Bigpoint CEO has a bad case of sour grapes. The pre-release lifetime subscription sales paid for Star Trek Online's entire game development costs. Granted, those were lower than what TOR's are, but I suspect if Bioware/EA sells pre-release lifetime subs, they'll sell a ton of those. Any subscription fees after that will be gravy for keeping the game running.

Tommycat
01-05-2011, 02:26 PM
I can see the Bigpoint CEO's position. The development costs of TOR are so high that the game has to literally fly off the shelves at an alarming rate. In order to be popular enough to make the dev costs worth it, it has to beat WoW. Then again, maybe not. If they offer free to play main story, with optional pay to play extras, then we could see initial sales making up the bulk of costs, as those RPG fans who refuse to pay a sub lose their main argument. Then there are the options of lifetime subs for pre-purchase. Microtransactions, and a number of things I personally dislike would be other ways to get additional revenue. Heck they could even go so far as one character per license. Each additional character requires another purchase. Expansion packs released regularly that give some new feature, race, story or whatever is how WoW keeps bringing in new players and old players. And of course something that SW:Galaxies didn't do... ADVERTISE THE GAME!

And I'm pretty sick of people saying "X MMO is a WoW clone" because it has Y feature. If that's the case we could say that WoW is an Everquest clone. WoW used features from many existing MMO's and just refined them into an enjoyable game. I can't think of a single feature that WoW has that was not done in an MMO before it.

LordOfTheFish
01-05-2011, 11:48 PM
The fan boys won't be able to resist. It will make profit, but not beyond a year or two.

Tommycat
01-06-2011, 11:08 AM
The fan boys won't be able to resist. It will make profit, but not beyond a year or two.

That's what they said about Galaxies. Of course this game has more going for it than Galaxies did.
1) Story
2) CONTENT
3) TONS of attention
4) Not SOE
5) Jedi from the start(and they actually make sense in this era)
6) BioWare
7) NOT SOE

JediAthos
01-11-2011, 09:02 AM
I don't necessarily think it has to "beat" WoW to turn a profit. What they do have to do is something that Blizzard consistently does which is keep the game fresh with new content, and updates for their subscriber base.

I don't think Bioware will go the micro-transaction but I could see it given the popularity of that particular model these days.

@LordoftheFish: So you would agree with Mr. Hubertz then? Personally I think the game will draw more than just fanboys. You'll have some of those yes, but I think with this game you will get people who like Star Wars, people who like MMOs, people who will play it based on the fact that its a Bioware game etc...and as with any game there will be those who play it and like it, those who won't and leave, and those who won't and stay to see if it gets better.

decalibron
01-12-2011, 09:31 PM
So just to clarify, TOR will not be a pay to play? we'll just buy the CD and then no subscription?

JediAthos
01-13-2011, 12:06 AM
So just to clarify, TOR will not be a pay to play? we'll just buy the CD and then no subscription?

I very much doubt that. There will be a subscription in some way shape or form I think. MMOs cost money to run...

adamqd
01-13-2011, 05:42 AM
I'm pretty much certain it will be at least a $14.99 a month sub.

decalibron
01-13-2011, 06:02 PM
oh. i heard somewhere it would be a microtransaction thing. the base is that you can play after buying the game, and then if you want extra gear or equipment, you have to pay for them.

Pho3nix
01-13-2011, 06:21 PM
I still have hope for it, and even if initial reviews aren't praising it sky high I'll still try it out.

adamqd
01-14-2011, 03:49 AM
oh. i heard somewhere it would be a microtransaction thing. the base is that you can play after buying the game, and then if you want extra gear or equipment, you have to pay for them.

I hope so, especially for the lower income or younger players, But I dont think a game of this size and Cost can survive on a "Clone Wars adventures" payment system.

Astor
01-14-2011, 04:19 AM
I remember them mentioning micro-transactions a while ago, but that doesn't rule out subscription fees.

Star Trek Online uses micro-transactions to buy extra gear and unlock special features, but that's on top of the subscription fee - and I can't see EA or LA getting rid of subscription fees.

My bet is that it will stick with subscription fees for a year or more, and then eventually go free-to-play like LOTRO and many other MMOs have recently.

decalibron
01-24-2011, 04:18 PM
yea, im one of those lower budget guys, so a microtransaction or something would be great, so i only have to pay for what i want extra, not a base cost every month. and what's the latest guesstimate on the release date? i've heard from late 2011 to before fiscal 2012 begins, to February. it's quite confusing. I suppose if that's what happens i may pay for a couple months, and then wait until it turns to free-to-play if i like it. from what i've seen it looks pretty interesting, tho, so i suppose we'll see.

MajikMyst
09-11-2011, 06:59 AM
Rumors pin the budget for Star Wars: The Old Republic anywhere between $100 million and $300 million.

I think the CEO has rocks in his head if he really pins the budget for this game that high..

The Budget for Episode 3 was only $113 million.. Now you can't tell me this game costs more than making one of the most special effect rich movies of our time..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Episode_III:_Revenge_of_the_Sith

Either that article is simple wrong.. Or Mr. CEO doesn't know what he is talking about..

I could be wrong about all this.. But man!! I just don't see how.. Although, it is said that WOW makes a $100 million a month.. So.. Who knows..

Maybe they should just make the game into a movie and just bank on the $800 million or so that it would make.. I don't know.. Can't find anything to shed some light on this..

adamqd
09-11-2011, 07:10 AM
I wouldn't be so sure Majik, remember, special effects take a few guys in an office somewhere and a Mac. Episode 3 is a couple of hours long, in the Old Republic there are 200+ hours story driven gameplay per class, thats a lot of voice acting, animation, cutscenes, world building item creation dialog writing etc...

DarthJacen
09-11-2011, 02:25 PM
They should go Free to play, even Pirates of the Burning Sea is doing that, and that game still maintains it's paid look to it. More people would buy this game knowing it won't drain their monthly income.

MajikMyst
09-12-2011, 05:54 AM
I wouldn't be so sure Majik, remember, special effects take a few guys in an office somewhere and a Mac. Episode 3 is a couple of hours long, in the Old Republic there are 200+ hours story driven gameplay per class, thats a lot of voice acting, animation, cutscenes, world building item creation dialog writing etc...

You need to watch 'A minute in Star Wars' or whatever it was called.. It is on the bonus disc to Episode 3.. It takes thousands of people to make a single shot in a film.. Not all are special effects people.. And there are more to special effects that just a few guys and a Mac.. Yoda was completely digital.. Not a muppet.. Every try to get a digital character to act?? It isn't that easy..

Recording voice overs is easy and simple and doesn't take that long.. Care to guess how many voice overs were in Episode 3?? Yoda for one?? One of many..

Many of the stuff they reuse.. Like any other MMO.. Animations?? Do once, do them a million times.. Voice overs I am guessing are also reused to some extent.. Who knows.. Cut scenes are easy to make.. There is your few guys over a pizza and a mac making a cut scene.. World building is also easy.. Ever do any level editing for any other games?? Once you have the base code and the editor.. Making maps is childs play.. Add the textures, the doodads, and other decorations.. Lay down the NPC's and assign them.. Pretty much done.. Just polish work.. Even shadows is somthing that the game builds during compiling of the game.. UT2K4 did that when you compiled maps for the game..

Don't get me wrong.. SWTOR is a pretty big project.. The story and being totally voiced being the big parts.. But the game itself, from what I have seen in videos is a dressed up version of WOW..

I am sure they didn't get a voice actor to for every single character that speaks a word to a player.. So I am sure many are reused.. They probably recorded all the lines from the various people inside of a month, with a call back for any changes.. To my knowlege there are no big name people doing the voice acting.. I hear that Felicia Day did some voice acting.. How much was she paid?? How much were any of them paid??

Item creaton is easy.. Once you setup the paramiters.. The game can generate items for each and every class automatically.. Diablo II did it 10 years ago.. They only items that weren't generated were uniques..

I may be wrong in that the cost to make this game is some outragious number?? I would be curious as to why?? Making a movie to me seems much harder and much more expensive.. But that is just how I see it..

Lynk Former
09-12-2011, 06:30 AM
*sigh* I think the last post and what it quoted gave me cancer...

Making movies and video games are both pretty difficult and require a lot of people working together. Both movies and video games use tricks to cut corners...

In the case of TOR's voice acting, every single character is voiced, there won't be any text conversations. If you walk up to a character who has a side quest or whatever, that character has a voice.

Add to that the fact that each player character needs to have alternate voices for male and females, then on top of that you need to record multiple variations of certain instances... and then on top of that you need to also go through all of the different choices the player makes and have a voice response for that. And then on top of that you need to direct the voice actor to do multiple takes, getting then to say things over and over in different variations and then editing stuff together, possibly even from different takes... it's not as simple as you'd think.

As for the voice actors. I'll put it simply, there are a lot of very big names that were cast for TOR, we're talking people who have done many video games, anime and other forms of animation. There are over a hundred of these voice actors and most of them are pretty big names to me. They didn't just grab the janitor and office clerk and decided to put them in a recording booth.

In terms of comparing TOR to other games, it's pretty damn huge compared to other games just for voice acting alone. There has never been another project that has been so ambitious simply because no one has tried to do it. Just remember it's not just the story that's being voice, the ENTIRE GAME is voiced.




If tl;dr... then read this bit... both MajikMyst and adamqd... if you think that it just takes a few guys and a mac to do any of this stuff then you're both dreaming.

adamqd
09-12-2011, 11:38 AM
*sigh* I think the last post and what it quoted gave me cancer...



You opinion is valid Lynk and you are right my comment was over simplified I meant that Majik underestimated the vastness of an MMO, but Cancer? grow up mate, when you have a few family members suffer for years then die like mine it slaps your ignorant head back into reality regarding throw away comments.

Mav
09-12-2011, 11:42 AM
ITT: Lynk hasn't seen what my '96 iMac can do :carms:

Astor
09-12-2011, 12:50 PM
Cut out the Cancer chat, please. It adds nothing and is only going to cause trouble.

To my knowlege there are no big name people doing the voice acting.. I hear that Felicia Day did some voice acting.. How much was she paid?? How much were any of them paid??

So first there's no big names involved, and then suddenly there are big names?

And looking at the cast list, there's a LOT of big names.

Dee Bradley Baker (all the Clones in TCW, Klaus from American Dad!), Steve Blum (too many games to mention), Tom Kane (video game voice of Yoda), Jennifer Hale... and Anthony Daniels himself.

And I can't imagine any of them working for meagre amounts.

RogueJedi86
09-12-2011, 04:56 PM
A point to be made in this topic is that Bigpoint is the makers of a free to play MMO. Of COURSE they're trying to badmouth an upcoming big-name subscription-based MMO. They're just worried about competition. Their words are no more relevant than id saying Valve's Team Fortress 2 will never be profitable, or something like that.

But it looks like this topic has moved well past that, so I'll have to catch up on the most recent posts and add a relevant reply accordingly. :p

RogueJedi86
09-12-2011, 07:41 PM
Big names on the game? David "Solid Snake" Hayter as the male JK, Kari Wahlgren(who has done tons of anime, including Haruko on FLCL) is most likely the female JK, Grey Delisle(who has been in tons of cartoons and SW games) as the Female BH, Lacey Chabert(not a big name now, but she was in the 90s on Party of Five and as Meg's first VA on Family Guy) as Mako, and I'm sure the list goes on and on. Those are just names either confirmed(Hayter and Chabert) or pretty obvious from videos(in the case of Kari and Grey's roles). Plus Oteg is voiced by Jim Cummings, who has been a legend in cartoon voice acting for 20+ years.

Lynk Former
09-12-2011, 08:49 PM
ITT: Lynk hasn't seen what my '96 iMac can do :carms:
XD actually dude created an entire 25 minute short anime movie with a Power Mac G4 a decade or so ago... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voices_of_a_Distant_Star

It's still no Episode 3... but like TOR, it is ambitious, one man and a Mac... a huge cast of voice actors and a game that's fully voiced of this scale, we need people to push these limits *in Optimus Prime voice* no matter the cost.

MajikMyst
09-12-2011, 10:19 PM
I don't know.. I guess my standards of a big name are different.. Anthony Daniels is one.. But so far that is all that has been listed..

Frank Oz would be a big name.. Harrison Ford would be a big name.. Come on guys.. Big names!! Felicia Day, although hot is not a big name.. All the rest of the people mentioned.. Are not big names.. At least in my book.. Chris Hayden would be a big name.. Mel Gibson would be a big name..

I doubt anyone of them are going to command any large fee.. Anthony Daniels I would expect to be paid the most.. Other than that, everyone else are pretty much just nobody anyone has ever heard of.. Nobody cares who did the voice for family guy.. Nobody cares about who did the voice for some anime cartoon.. Those aren't big name, well known people.. Lady Gaga would be big name..

Don't get me wrong.. I am glad those people did their work, but they simply don't command the salaries of a truly big name person.. What if Liam Neesom did the voice for the Jedi?? That is a big name..

I don't underestimate how to make an MMO.. I have been involved in making a number of them.. And if you simply watched some of the videos available on this very site.. You would see it isn't all that hard..

Sure.. The voice acting and everything is the largest single most expensive portion of the game.. Enough to eclipse the entire budget of Star Wars Episode 3 the movie?? I doubt it.. Just saying..

RogueJedi86
09-12-2011, 11:40 PM
Big names depends on your circle. In cartoons and anime, the names I listed are big. Steve Blum is practically a voice acting god. Kari Wahlgren and Grey Delisle too, having been in more shows than you've heard of. Plus David Hayter also wrote the first 2 X-Men movies(the good ones), so he's a big name in screenwriting too. Tom Kane is a new legend too, with his becoming the new go-to guy for every movie trailer under the sun, plus his being the official voice double for C-3PO and Yoda when Anthony Daniels(most of the time) and Frank Oz(always) aren't around.

Never heard of Chris Hayden.

Just because they're not big in your major Hollywood circles doesn't mean they're not big in other circles that are in the same geeky solar system as SW movies.

I doubt TOR eclipses RotS' budget. TOR's budget is estimated 100 million, and I imagine the prequels had budgets of at least 200 million apiece.

Lynk Former
09-13-2011, 02:30 AM
@ MajikMyst: There's no reason to cast Anthony Daniels since all he ever does is the voice for C-3P0, that's his thing and that's why we love him for it... as for the big name live-action actors you mentioned such as Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson... they're not voice actors, they're live-action actors... which means you'd be paying a tonne of money for their names and that's it. They aren't talented with voice acting like Steve Blum and Kari (I love Kari) Wahlgren are.

People do care about voice actors because a lot of people follow cartoons and anime and video games and recognise when their favourite voice actors are in those things. Just because you personally don't doesn't automatically cancel out their worth and talent as voice actors.

If they did get Hollywood actors to do the voices I would have scoffed at this entire project and said it was a waste of money and that they were mismanaging funds. Nope, the voice acting definitely didn't cost that much, but that's the beauty of it, they knew the right people so they could get MAXIMUM talent without busting their budget for it getting waste-of-time names like... Mel Gibson. Just because a voice actor doesn't get paid as much doesn't mean they have no talent. These are extremely talented people doing what they love to do.


As for the making of the game... No, it wouldn't be as easy as just making a few animation cycles, plonking down a few area maps and NPCs to randomly populate them. You'd have to take in a number of factors into account while making it including trying to predict what the player is going to do, if the area you've created is balanced enough, is it too difficult, too easy... does the area make sense, if I put this here, does it actually look like a proper landscape or does it look like I've just piled a bunch of random rocks here?

Sure, big companies have ways of automating the process by creating engines to do most of the work, but with this game, like any game, particularly an RPG, there are a hell of a lot of things to be considered and trying to balance all of those things is pretty difficult.

Of course, if it was as easy as you like to suggest, I'd be making my own indie-RPGs right now instead of typing these posts lol.

MajikMyst
09-13-2011, 03:28 AM
Ok fine.. Mike Meyers.. Is that better?? He did Shrek.. Mel Gibson has also done some voice acting.. But seriously.. A number of big name actors worked on the Shrek movies..

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Myers ... Shrek (voice)
Eddie Murphy ... Donkey (voice)
Cameron Diaz ... Princess Fiona (voice)
John Lithgow ... Lord Farquaad (voice)

Shrek cost $60 million to make.. Even with those big names doing the voices..

So seriously.. I question how much this game costs to make.. I feel I have ample reason to.. If you don't that is fine.. But nit picking to prove your point doesn't prove anything.. Mel Gibson isn't a voice actor.. Seriously?? Come on now..

You also don't have to lecture me on how games are made or how MMO's are made.. As I said, I have been a part of making a lot of them.. If you want to think it is this grand complicated process that costs $100 million dollars.. Then go ahead.. While I am not saying that all of it is simple.. It isn't that hard either.. Most of the textures being used are being reused from Kotor and Kotor2.. Much of the code being used is from those games.. The engine being used is simply an upgrade.. Heck some of the animations being used came from those games.. Even the light side dark side mechanic came from KOTOR and isn't new.. Much of this game was written when they made Kotor.. There is a video of them making Corscant, if you watch it, it is mostly cut and paste or copy and paste.. Seriously watch it..

Sure.. Making the quests work and the stories will take some effort.. As will the scripting and the voice acting to match events.. But not $100+ million worth.. Again not even when they aren't using big name actors for characters.. Look at Shrek, Totally digital and still came in at $60 million to make..

Christ!! I am entitled to my opinions.. You don't have to like them or agree with them..

Never heard of Chris Hayden.

My bad.. Hayden Christensen :confused:

I always get his name confused.. I was close.. Sorta.. Played Anakin Slywalker in Ep2 and Ep 3..

Natalie Portman would be a big name too.. Her name is correct..

You right about the circles thing.. But to me a big name actor is someone that everyone for the most part has heard of.. Eddie Murphy.. Anyone that is at least in their 20's or 30's has at least heard of him.. The last time I watched anything Anime was Speed Racer in the 70's.. In a time where anime wasn't really all that popular..

You can go through pretty much all of the Disney Pixar movies and see a list of Who's who in Hollywood doing voice acting.. Paul Newman did a voice in the movie Cars.. Pretty much everyone has done a voice or two.. Tony Shalhoub?? Know who he is?? Remember the TV show called Monk?? Well he also did a voice in Cars..

The Budget for Cars by the way was $120 million.. But if you look at the voice cast, a lot of big names.. Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Keaton, and many others.. Again an all digital movie..

Of course, if it was as easy as you like to suggest, I'd be making my own indie-RPGs right now instead of typing these posts lol.

I never suggested it was easy.. I said it wasn't $100+ million dollars hard.. There is a difference.. I also said that it isn't as hard as some of you think.. But then again you can think what you want..

Merged Triple Posts... please use the 'edit' button in future. ;)

Lynk Former
09-13-2011, 05:32 AM
@ MajikMyst: What games have you made? You've gone on about this for a few posts now, either source your credentials and proof or you're just some guy who's talking big... which is a very common thing on the net so don't expect people to just believe you when you say things like that.

Also, how do you know for sure that textures are being reused and that chunks are being taken from previous games? You have claims but no proof of this, show us definitive proof and we'll believe you.

As for how much the game costs, I assume that some of the money spent was wasted redoing parts of the game. From what I've noticed this game has had its visual redone at least three times now and from interviews with folks from BioWare, parts of the game have been retooled and some things have been completely redone.

On the point of voice acting... so it's a case of status rather than talent?

Mel Gibson has a very distinct and powerful voice, he's a damn good actor (even if he has lost his mind the last few years), but Mel Gibson can only do his Mel Gibson voice... on the other hand, Steve Blum has a way of not sounding like Steve Blum, he's even done the voices of small children in one or two anime... so that makes him a very versatile voice actor who can play the Bounty Hunter but then also provide voices for other more background and throw away characters.


But all in all, I do think that whatever the cost of this game is, it is ridiculous, yes... though as I said before, I'm sure they wasted a lot of money to begin with when they started the project and then realised they needed to redo a lot of what they had done... that is unless you think they should run their employees to the ground with overtime and not pay them like Rockstar did with Team Bondi and then leave them for dead once the project is done. It's been quite a few years in development and there are a lot of people working on the game... they also need to set up an infrastructure for the game when it is released and people start playing it too which means more people will need to be hired to maintain the game. Money, money, money...

Lynk Former
09-13-2011, 08:57 AM
Putting this in a new post just for emphasis

http://www.digitalbattle.com/2010/02/20/top-10-most-expensive-video-games-budgets-ever/

There are a lot of extremely expensive games being made nowadays.

MajikMyst
09-13-2011, 06:46 PM
Wow.. Can I needlessly edit your posts too!!

I am entitled to my opinions.. Sorry.. But your are going to have to deal with it.. I have more than made it clear as to why I feel the way I do..

We are going to have to just agree to disagree.. Please do not edit my posts again.. Thanks!!

My posts were to different people.. You will have to learn to deal with that too.. Everyone I respond to gets their own post.. I am not going to mash them all together because of some unwritten and BS rule that you made up..

Putting this in a new post just for emphasis

http://www.digitalbattle.com/2010/02/20/top-10-most-expensive-video-games-budgets-ever/

There are a lot of extremely expensive games being made nowadays.

You need to learn to read what people say in their posts..

My big issue has always been that I find it hard to believe that the cost to make a video game has eclipsed that of the cost to make a blockbuster movie like Star Wars Ep. 3..

That doesn't mean it didn't happen and on more than one occasion I have said I could be all wrong about this.. And I could be.. I have also stressed that is my opinion.. No need for you to even argue and make an arse out of yourself.. Again, I could be wrong.. And if you want to think I am.. I don't care.. I am not the one pulling lame rules out of my arse just to piss people off..

Yes.. I read the rules.. There is no rules about making multiple posts to different people.. According to the rules, I could write 12 posts to 12 different people all in a row.. It also doesn'tgive you the right to arbitrarely edit people's post.. While I will leave your edit there as I think it makes a fool out of you..

Seriously you want me to edit my post anytime someone else responds? Why don't you do that?? Why is it wrong to write three posts to three different people?? Are you OCD or something?? You don't like seeing more than one post in a row?? Do we all just need to wait until someone has posted so we can reply again?? Give me a break!!

Making different posts for each person makes it easier for the person I responded to find my reply to their post.. If it is all mashed together as a single post.. It looks as if I am replying to a single person and just quoting multiple parts of what they said.. Which, thanks to you, is how my post looks.. Again.. Please do not mess with my posts.. Unless I actually break a rule, you shouldn't be messing with my posts at all!!

Hallucination
09-13-2011, 08:18 PM
MajikMist, just a heads up double/triple/polyposting has been considered poor form for longer than I remember, and moderators correcting it has common practice for just as long. I even seem to remember it being in the rules a long time ago (and even now it could be arguable be considered a violation of the bumping rule). This is in place to avoid thread clutter. Also, your 3 posts look better as one.

Regarding your points about video games being cheap to make and Bioware reusing code, animations, textures, and the like from KOTOR is blatantly wrong. Bioware licensed a new engine from a middleware company (don't even think that that makes it cheap, B2B products tend to have low sales volumes and thus are very expensive. Here (http://www.mmogamer.com/05/01/2009/from-gemstone-to-heroengine-simutronics-ceo-david-whatley-on-putting-the-mud-back-into-mmos/2)is a link to an interview with the engine's creators, where they state that the cheapest you can get a license is in the "low 6 figures". That's what it costs to use in something like one country, and since TOR is going to be sold internationally it'll be much higher), which did save them time on the tool development, but it means that all their old code is non-compatible. Plus they had to redo large portions of the engine anyway.

As well, their models are completely different, and since animations tend to be built into the models and textures made to work with specific models, those have all been thrown out the window. When you factor in the artistic style change and the fact KOTOR is a very old game now, they probably wouldn't even use those assets even if they could.

By the way, most people recommend not picking fights with the moderators, it makes life easier for you. In fact, I'd say picking fights with anyone is bad practice. ;)

Mav
09-13-2011, 10:40 PM
@MajikMyst

First of all, you quoted Lynk and proceeded to piss and moan about him editing your post, well....

"Last edited by Astor; Yesterday at 10:50 PM. Reason: merged triple post"

yeeaaahhh...

Also, while maybe not explicitly a rule double/triple/quadruple/etc. posting has always been frowned upon, it's like masturbating on an airplane.

I can't be arsed to read through an entire thread of nonsensical bickering, by both sides, but from what I've gathered this entire debate seems to stem from the disbelief that the development of The Old Republic could have actually costed this estimated $100-$300 million USD. However, from what I understand after reading the original post, that $100-$300 million estimate is for the game's entire budget not just its development costs. So that will include things like marketing, an example of which are those fancy-pants CG E3 trailers we've been seeing every year, which are far from cheap.

Just to give a bit of perspective to the development cost vs. a game's budget, Modern Warfare 2 has an estimated development cost of $40-$50 million but it had a budget of around $200 million (http://www.industrygamers.com/news/call-of-duty-modern-warfare-2s-launch-budget--200-million/). Granted we're talking about Call of Duty which demands a high marketing budget, but it is also an annual release (with bi-annual developer cycles) while on the other hand TOR has been in development for quite a bit longer. TOR was officially announced in Fall 08, but no doubt it was in development for quite a while prior to that.

So regardless of personal opinions on whether or not the development alone for TOR could have cost upwards of $100 million, the budget with marketing included I think easily eclipses that mark. Personally though I don't have a hard time believing the development costs for TOR alone could eclipse $100 million, but it's not like I've ever managed a game's development budget, so I wouldn't honestly know. But for argument's sake let's do some simple math...

Average United States employee works 2000 hours a year - 2000
We'll play it stupid safe and say on average they make $10 an hour - 2000 x 10 = 20000
That's $20,000 a year for each employee (Game Industry mag has estimated that the average game developer makes closer to $73,000 just fyi)
We'll play it safe again and say BioWare Austin has 100 employees - $20,000 x 100 = $2,000,000 per year
2008 - 2011 = 4 years, we'll say they developed for 1 year prior to announcing so 5 years of 2 mil equals, $10 million for employee wages alone... at an extremely safe estimate.
Don't question my math, I'm Asian, I own 3 abacuses that the government knows about.

So at basically a slavery level of employment estimate we're looking at $10 million spent alone, 10% of that fabled $100 million. (if I were to make an actual estimate though I would guess during its entire development cycle the team alone has earned over $50 million in wages). That doesn't count the cost of these horrific unknown voice actors. Doesn't count the bills they have to pay to keep their crap computers that reuse assets running, doesn't even count the cost of electricity in general. Nor does it include the cost of running and maintaining the beta servers that they refuse to let me participate in.

TL;DR version, **** adds up.

Lynk Former
09-13-2011, 10:40 PM
@ MajikMyst: Actually, since GTA4 there have been several occasions where video games have gone beyond the 100million mark. But the point of that link was to point out that video game budgets are escalating to new heights every year.

Also, stop whining. Of course you're entitled to your opinion, and so is everyone else, hence why people such as myself can post opposing thoughts to your own.

That... and I never once touched any of your posts ever. :carms: Deal with it.


EDIT:

http://knowyourmeme.com/i/000/052/812/original/Deal_with_it_dog_gif.gif

MajikMyst
09-14-2011, 01:25 AM
That... and I never once touched any of your posts ever

I am sorry for wrongfully accusing you of editng my post.. In either case, my posts were not against the rules and should not have been edited..

So it will be noted.. No other forum has had issues with multiple posts to different people.. Multiple posts to the same person yes.. But not different people..

I don't wish to get into another arguement about this.. But this is not a common and well known rule by any stretch of the imagination.. Still it isn't listed in your posting rules and therefore does not exist.. Despite what some others say.. I have been posting in forums since forums first started.. Back when AOL was the ISP of choice.. Well.. At least it was to some.. This has never come up before now..

Again I am sorry for wrongfully accusing you.. My bad..

As for the rest?? I have been a beta tester for about 15 years.. Worked on the first versions of Direct X for Microsoft for Win95.. Worked hand in hand with countless gaming manufactures in testing their games for compatibility for Direct X.. Worked with hardware manurfactures when it came to writing drivers for Direct X.. I am now retired, but still enjoy gaming and beta testing.. I beta tested Cataclysm for WOW and now currently SWTOR for BW and EA and Lucas Arts.. As well as many other MMO's both past and present.. But making games is pretty much the same no matter what they are.. The mechanics are different of course, but world creation is almost the same.. Due to NDA's I really can't go into any more details.. Except to say what has already been released..

I am surprised at the stated cost for GTA.. But if that is how much they cost now.. Wow.. I still think the CEO has rocks in his head.. But that is me.. Again, I am entitled to my opinons..

As for the rest of you.. You are also entitled to your own opinions and your own math.. Again.. We all are entitled to our own opinions..

Lynk Former
09-14-2011, 02:50 AM
Yup, but the facts are that games really are getting more expensive and there's no denying that trend. I do think it absurd how much money some of these companies spend to make some of these games but the bigger the risk, the larger the reward... games like GTA and Modern Warfare are 100million+ games but they rake in the cash to make up for the cost.

Same goes for TOR, it's a high risk venture but enough people who have invested in its development, as inefficient as it may be, believe that the returns are going to be a lot more than what was put in.

On a more sobering note, Nintendo is one of the few developers who is actually capable of making a game for very cheap and then in the long run getting an extremely high return from their efforts... and there are many other companies like that, however BioWare, EA and LucasArts are not part of that thrifty developer circle at this stage... the truth is, there is a division happening with video games at the moment. You either make them for dirt cheap or you spend a HUUUUUGE mining dump truck full of cash worth of money on them... but these kinds of things are just trends and the video game industry is still very young. We can't really say that these trends will continue, they'll probably change as the industry evolves further.

Astor
09-14-2011, 05:17 AM
I am sorry for wrongfully accusing you of editng my post.. In either case, my posts were not against the rules and should not have been edited..

You posted three times within the space of less than an hour, when no-one else had replied. I'm sorry you feel that your posts should not have been edited, but you could have easily amended your posts by using the 'edit' button, hence me merging them for the reasons Hallucination mentioned.

]I don't wish to get into another arguement about this.. But this is not a common and well known rule by any stretch of the imagination.. Still it isn't listed in your posting rules and therefore does not exist.. Despite what some others say.. I have been posting in forums since forums first started.. Back when AOL was the ISP of choice.. Well.. At least it was to some.. This has never come up before now..

That might be an oversight on our part, in thinking that people would rather use the 'edit' function instead of amending a post that is less than an hour old, but to say this rule is uncommon on many forums is wrong.

You can think it's 'BS', so by all means carry on posting multiple times when it's not necessary and only serves to clutter up the thread, and I'll keep merging them to make it easier for other readers to follow.

That's all I'm going to say on the matter, please let's keep this on topic from now on.

joeymagz
09-16-2011, 11:19 AM
... As I said, I have been a part of making a lot of them.. If you want to think it is this grand complicated process that costs $100 million dollars. ... Most of the textures being used are being reused from Kotor and Kotor2.. Much of the code being used is from those games.. The engine being used is simply an upgrade.. Heck some of the animations being used came from those games.. ... Much of this game was written when they made Kotor..

I do not know you from a hole in the wall, so I will not question your past work experiences in the video game business, but I do question how much you actually know or have seen with Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I have been following the game since the rumors first leaked in 2005, then again in late 2007, then registered on the forums in 2008 when the official website came out. I can tell you right now that you are absolutely 100% dead wrong about the animations bit I quoted, as well as the engine they use, and the textures. Number 1, the fact that KoTOR 2 was developed by a different company altogether means that Bioware has no rights to use any part of that game in SW:TOR.

Number 2, Back in 2008 the very first screenshots released did in fact use KoTOR 1 textures, they admitted that. But, the game has been in development for well over 4 years now, and the art department is amazing at Bioware; those textures are all brand new. Go to youtube and watch the swtor transformation video and you'll be able to clearly see the texture transformation from KoTOR1 to pure amazing.

Number 3, NONE of the animations used in SW:TOR are from KoTOR1. Those are all 100% choreographed - you can see that in the development series they did about animations in SW:TOR a few months back.

All in all, I think that you are seriously miscalculating the amount of time, effort, and capital that Bioware, LucasArts, and EA have put into this game. I do not believe a word that the CEO from BigPoint said, and I honestly think he just realizes BigPoints next "big" mmo will fail because of games like SW:TOR and Guild Wars 2 that are going to revolutionize the genre.


On Topic- (general statement not directed at anyone here)

If you can't afford $15/month when you have a full time job or career, then you need to re-assess your finances because you obviously have no idea how to budget properly. I can definitely speak on this considering I have 2 children that are both in daycare, a wife that goes to school (ie. no income from her) and I'm an E-4 in the military and I can still afford a measely $15/month for a game that I will only play once the kids are in bed for the night.

Also, Bioware has already stated that they do not like microtransactions in the game because it is unfair. One player with more real money than another player will ALWAYS have better gear and items because they can afford to spend more. That is not what they want. They want subscribtions because that places all players on the most even playing field possible.

Sorry for the long post but I had a lot to respond to.

Edit - Since I don't think it's too obvious from my post... I think that Bioware, LucasArts, and EA will make back ALL of their money that they spent developing the game plus much more. I do not have a single doubt in my mind that this game is going to be the single largest MMO ever! Like someone posted before me, imagine Star Wars Galaxies with a storyline, actual content, developed by Bioware, and tons of Jedi that actually make sense for the era the game takes place in.

Pho3nix
09-16-2011, 12:08 PM
:sweating:

Deft Aklin
09-19-2011, 12:02 PM
I can see the Bigpoint CEO's position. The development costs of TOR are so high that the game has to literally fly off the shelves at an alarming rate. In order to be popular enough to make the dev costs worth it, it has to beat WoW. Then again, maybe not. If they offer free to play main story, with optional pay to play extras, then we could see initial sales making up the bulk of costs, as those RPG fans who refuse to pay a sub lose their main argument. Then there are the options of lifetime subs for pre-purchase. Microtransactions, and a number of things I personally dislike would be other ways to get additional revenue. Heck they could even go so far as one character per license. Each additional character requires another purchase. Expansion packs released regularly that give some new feature, race, story or whatever is how WoW keeps bringing in new players and old players. And of course something that SW:Galaxies didn't do... ADVERTISE THE GAME!

And I'm pretty sick of people saying "X MMO is a WoW clone" because it has Y feature. If that's the case we could say that WoW is an Everquest clone. WoW used features from many existing MMO's and just refined them into an enjoyable game. I can't think of a single feature that WoW has that was not done in an MMO before it.

I wouldn't be so sure Majik, remember, special effects take a few guys in an office somewhere and a Mac. Episode 3 is a couple of hours long, in the Old Republic there are 200+ hours story driven gameplay per class, thats a lot of voice acting, animation, cutscenes, world building item creation dialog writing etc...
Okay, I have to say, I stopped reading a few posts into page 2. So if there was something there that wasn't bickering, I apologize for not reading it.

Here is the long and short of it:

The 100-300 million 'budget' is poor wording on that CEOs part. The 'budget' as he is referring to it, is the cost to develop thus far, not a standard budget as we would commonly refer to it as an annual cost to maintain.

Supposedly, this number is LOW. Yes, you heard me, low. EA has supposedly already surpassed the half billion mark for financials on this project.
Site: http://fronttowardsgamer.com/2011/06/13/star-wars-the-old-republic-reaches-the-500-million-mark-ea-financial-disaster-inevitable/
Though EA denies this, claiming it is significantly lower than 300 million:
Site: http://swtor.gamingfeeds.com/2011/02/04/swtor%E2%80%99s-profitability-and-hints-on-release-date/

But the truth is, a FTP game cannot even remotely make an attempt to make that kind of money back, whereas a monthly subscription can. EA states it is aiming at half a million subscribers to be profitable. Now, that is a fairly large chunk of the industry, nearly five percent of WoW's take. I think it is an honest and easily reachable goal however.

So, how does that calculate out?
500,000 Sub X $80 (Using Digital DL Limited Edition price as it's the median) = $40,000,000 at launch
500,000 sub X $15 (Standard monthly rate) = $7,500,000 per month after launch

That means that post launch, they need to maintain 500,000 subscribers for at least 56 months, or 4 year 8 months to recoup their expenses. Is this a stretch? Yeah, but to be quite honest, sitting at nearly 470,000 preorders, and that number climbing from 20,000 to 30,000 weekly, probably not.
Site:http://www.vgchartz.com/preorders.php
However, stereotypically a game with half a million preorders sells at least three times that many copies. If that were the case here as well, those numbers become significantly more realistic.

At 1.5 million subs: $120 million at launch, 22.5 million per month and full recoup in 16 months.

As you can see, the release of an MMO really does determine it's profitability. So I can see why Bioware and EA have been so cautious about the release and ensuring it is ready.

Disclaimer: Math does not account for server upkeep and minimum staffing requirements, nor future development costs or other random expenses like office rental/upkeep etc.

VeniVidiVicous
09-20-2011, 07:23 PM
I'm sorry for going off topic here but...

2008 - 2011 = 4 years
Don't question my math, I'm Asian, I own 3 abacuses that the government knows about.

Really.. 4 years?? 11-8=3

This "simple math" error was made all the sweeter by you stating that us non-asians shouldn't question your mathematics due to you being asian.

Why would your government be tracking abacuses by the way??

I mean no offense by the way, I actually agreed with the rest of that post.

Astor
09-20-2011, 07:30 PM
Really.. 4 years?? 11-8=3

Not if you include those years in their entirety, which would indeed make it 4.

Mav
09-20-2011, 08:06 PM
I'm sorry for going off topic here but...



Really.. 4 years?? 11-8=3

This "simple math" error was made all the sweeter by you stating that us non-asians shouldn't question your mathematics due to you being asian.

Why would your government be tracking abacuses by the way??

I mean no offense by the way, I actually agreed with the rest of that post.

2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Don't question my math, I'm Asian, I own 3 abacuses that the government knows about.

VeniVidiVicous
09-20-2011, 09:08 PM
Not if you include those years in their entirety, which would indeed make it 4.
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Ah now it makes sense, that was an oversight on my part. Sorry about that Mav.

I'm still curious why your government knows that you have 3 abacuses though?

Mav
09-20-2011, 09:13 PM
I'm still curious why your government knows that you have 3 abacuses though?Mostly because sometimes (a.k.a. always) I'm a sarcastic a-hole.

Lynk Former
09-21-2011, 12:26 AM
I'm sorry for going off topic here but...



Really.. 4 years?? 11-8=3

This "simple math" error was made all the sweeter by you stating that us non-asians shouldn't question your mathematics due to you being asian.

Why would your government be tracking abacuses by the way??

I mean no offense by the way, I actually agreed with the rest of that post.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lanqq5KicD1qdr1wto1_500.jpg

I loled.

RoxStar
09-24-2011, 02:59 PM
Not if you include those years in their entirety, which would indeed make it 4.

If you count it out in months and then divide by 12 you get a number between 3 and 4. Commonly referred to as "four years"

12 months - 2008
12 months - 2009
12 months - 2010
9 months - 2011

45 months = 3.75 years. People round up and say 4 years.

I can't believe this thread has turned into a "take everything defensively" thread. We are trying to have a nice community here folks...

Ascended_Mike
10-23-2011, 11:29 AM
Bioware's never disappointed, I don't think they'll start failing now.

Dragon Age 2

They disappointed me with that game, so your statement is false.

(I am aware that my post is somewhat random based on the new topic of discussion, but it needed to be said :P)

berryla
10-26-2011, 03:38 AM
It's probably going to be terrible.

Tommycat
10-26-2011, 10:00 AM
It's probably going to be terrible.

I can say definitively: It's not going to be terrible.

Jae Onasi
10-26-2011, 07:42 PM
In either case, my posts were not against the rules and should not have been edited..

So it will be noted.. No other forum has had issues with multiple posts to different people.. Multiple posts to the same person yes.. But not different people..
From the rules, which are here (clicky) (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=193186):

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Why do we merge multiple posts? Because your avatar and signature take up space in each post. We have people from all over the world, some of whom who are still on dialup or on satellite, and they have extremely slow connections. Making them wait ages for the pages to load so you can multi-post is not being considerate to them. Other sites may not care as much and thus allow you to multi-post. We are not them. We choose to do things a little differently here, and so you'll have to adjust accordingly. Thank you for your consideration of our members with very slow connections.

I beta tested Cataclysm for WOW and now currently SWTOR for BW and EA and Lucas Arts.. As well as many other MMO's both past and present.. You'll have to PM me your TOR name and server then--perhaps we can quest together.

As for profitability--I would not be surprised if TOR recoups all its development costs in pre-order game sales alone. I believe they have about a million pre-orders already. The only MMO in development now with equal or greater hype surrounding it is Guild Wars 2, which also looks like it's going to be an outstanding game. There is more than enough content in the base game of TOR alone to keep subscribers happy for quite some time, which will translate into a lot of subscriptions. They're already working on content releases from what I've seen in dev blogs and Stephen Reid's tweets, so the game is going to continue to grow and evolve. Will it have the staying power of EvE or WoW? I think it very well might, especially as BW continues to develop and expand the game.

@Mav--the gov't never searched between my walls for that 5th abacus, and they left the house now, so I can give it back to you any time you want.