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JediAthos 11-05-2010 11:06 PM

Bigpoint CEO: The Old Republic Won't Ever Be Profitable
 
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/archi...rofitable.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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nedak (Post 2754999)
It's probably going to be terrible.
I'll still try it though.

Agree.

Ctrl Alt Del 11-07-2010 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adamqd (Post 2755066)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by logan23 (Post 2755041)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by MajinMikeyX (Post 2755053)
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

Quote:

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity (Post 2756871)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by LordOfTheFish (Post 2762933)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by decalibron (Post 2764065)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by decalibron (Post 2764257)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by JediAthos (Post 2754941)
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_Wa...ge_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

Quote:

Originally Posted by adamqd (Post 2790665)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynk Former (Post 2790754)
*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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MajikMyst (Post 2790749)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mav (Post 2790775)
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.


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