Monday, November 21, 2011

SWTOR bullet points

  • I am not in the SWTOR beta, but expect to be next weekend with everybody else.
  • The SWTOR beta NDA dropped.
  • There are lots of SWTOR preview blog posts everywhere.
  • The overwhelming majority of these previews is positive.
  • SWTOR *is* a "theme park MMORPG", or "WoW with lightsabers", or "guided, quest-based MMORPG", or whatever you want to call that concept.
  • Bioware apparently pulled the feat off to implement that tired "theme park" formula well, and add some spice to it with improved story-telling and voice-acting.
  • Technically the game is in a good state.
  • There are nearly 1 million pre-orders in North America alone.
  • It appears very likely that if you add Europe and non-preorder early sales, SWTOR is going to sell well in excess of 2 million copies between release and the end of the year.
  • Assuming the reaction of everybody else is similar to those of bloggers, and the sales are really that high, SWTOR will generally be considered "a success".
  • Nothing begets success like success.
  • Predictions about how many players SWTOR will have 6 months after release are hard to make, but unlike most MMORPGs released since WoW, it is perfectly possible that the success or "network effect" will make SWTOR grow further after initial sales, and not drop off a cliff.
  • It would be wise of both developers and commenters to avoid the term "WoW killer", because otherwise they might be surprised to learn that it is actually possible to get a multi-million player MMORPG up and running without actually killing WoW.
  • WoW will continue to decline in subscriber numbers at least until the release of the next expansion, if not beyond. 7 million subscribers a year from now is a realistic estimate.
  • Some people will add 2 and 2 together, and as usual get 5, interpreting any decline in WoW subscription numbers as being "caused" by SWTOR. Ignoring the fact that an aging WoW is perfectly able to lose subscribers without any help from another game.
  • At some point in time SWTOR will start to decline and lose subscriber numbers.
  • If by coincidence this decline is anywhere close in time to the release of Titan, we might arrive at the ironic situation of Titan being declared a "SWTOR killer". :)

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