BioWare Says SWTOR Subscriptions Haven't Dropped

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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BioWare Says SWTOR Subscriptions Haven't Dropped

Players might not be cancelling their Star Wars: The Old Republic subscriptions, but they aren't logging in as often anymore.

If you've been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic lately, you might have noticed that there aren't as many people hanging out on Alderaan as there used to be. "Wow," you may have said to yourself, "I guess all those players left to go back to WoW [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116425-Blizzard-Admits-The-Old-Republic-Stung-World-of-Warcraft] or something."

It turns out, though, that BioWare hasn't yet seen any such exodus. Speaking with PC Gamer [http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/04/23/bioware-doing-anything-and-everything-to-keep-players-logging-in-to-swtor/], BioWare's Daniel Erickson said that SWTOR numbers were holding steady. However, he admitted, peak numbers are down - that is, there are fewer players logging in during the most common play hours than there were before.

While a situation in which you have subscribers who just aren't playing is admittedly better than a situation in which people are unsubscribing, it's still a problem. A player who doesn't see any value in logging in is somebody who probably won't be subscribing for much longer, after all. This is especially problematic for BioWare, given that the fully-voiced, story-driven nature of SWTOR means that the development of new content takes longer than it might have otherwise.

According to Erickson, BioWare has some plans up its sleeves including one-off events like this months' Rakghoul plague, and quality-of-life improvements to make players' experiences in-game all the more convenient, like a guild bank or an improved group-finder system.

While these might encourage players to come back and see what's what, these are only temporary stopgaps at best. MMO players are accustomed to a steady diet of new content in their games, and adding new planets and missions may be the only real thing that BioWare can do to keep their subscribers subscribed and playing the game.

(PC Gamer [http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/04/23/bioware-doing-anything-and-everything-to-keep-players-logging-in-to-swtor/])

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Kungfu_Teddybear

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Well I just cancelled my account 2 days ago. So they have actually dropped by at least one. More lies from BioWare herp derp.
 

Fappy

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Holy shit John Funk!? You're back? I heard you were in China or something o_O

Also, on topic: A lot of people currently not playing all that much are probably considering their options. TERA just came out and Guild Wars 2 is just over the horizon. I really don't see Swtor surviving on the subscription model for all that much longer.
 

WickedFire

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There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.
 

DeMorquist

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De Nile is a river in Egypt...or so as my mother would say....


Deny

Deny

Deny

We arent sinking.... We have plenty of subs... This wasnt a failure of a game...
 

Coldie

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Not really a surprise, considering they have just published a major patch and gave a free month to active accounts (only a week to inactive). And the game has been 25% off on Origin for most of March and is 50% off since early April and until mid-May (bet the people who bought it in March are totally fine with it).

They are really going all out with inventing new ways to retain subscribers.
 

antipunt

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Fappy said:
Holy shit John Funk!? You're back? I heard you were in China or something o_O

Also, on topic: A lot of people currently not playing all that much are probably considering their options. TERA just came out and Guild Wars 2 is just over the horizon. I really don't see Swtor surviving on the subscription model for all that much longer.
^I agree. This, coupled with the whole Bioware-is-evil sentiment recently, I wouldn't expect anything less
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Yeah, numbers seem about steady as I've been playing. The main problem is that the game has too many damn servers, which makes it feel like there's less people playing than there actually is.

We need a server merge. They opened with too many. Though if they do that, everyone will have a damn field day and make the game look like it's worse off than it really is. There's plenty of people playing, problem is that they're all spread out.
 

TsunamiWombat

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WickedFire said:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.
IT'S FINALS WEEK ARHG
 

John Funk

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Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.
 

wibbit

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the first 3 month subscriptions just expired 2 days ago,(3+1free=4 month old mmo), I imagine this interview was done before the guys at BW had the new numbers which would take a couple days to come down considering there was a weekend in there.

And yes, like 2 of my 3 friends who played SWTOR, I just ended my subscription.
 

dragongit

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I dropped. Like after my first month of subscription. The game got really dull really fast. I know it's ironic to say when I'm currently stead fast in WoW, but that game has establisehd smoething of a community for me, the content isn't a ***** and a chore to just get into, PvP doesn't feel like a imperial agent/ sith assasin butt fuck fest, and the overal feeling of the "worlds" in SWTOR despite it's scope feels... surprisingly Clostrophobic. I'm a casual raider, light PvPer, heavy Roll Player. WoW just has enough that it keeps me going, where as SWTOR ran out once I finished a story campagn. Felt like the good old days with Bioware and their single player games... but thats about it.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Irridium said:
Yeah, numbers seem about steady as I've been playing. The main problem is that the game has too many damn servers, which makes it feel like there's less people playing than there actually is.

We need a server merge. They opened with too many. Though if they do that, everyone will have a damn field day and make the game look like it's worse off than it really is. There's plenty of people playing, problem is that they're all spread out.
Yeah, they probably need to merge servers to have a steadier population. Though most of the hours I'm logged on are during people's work/school hours. My guess is that the numbers will increase during the summer when people have more free time.
 

TilMorrow

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WickedFire said:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.
Agreed. I've had to cut back on playing as I have one annoying set of IT coursework to get done before the end of next week followed by the start of the exams slog two weeks after.

DVS BSTrD said:
Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.
I have to ask what? Do you mean incentive to play the Republic faction or the 'lightside' morality? Cause its not clear in your post what you mean. Additionally, there is equal incentive to play either faction or morality. You get your own set of faction quests for either faction and each class has their own string of quests. Also focusing on either morality will net you access to rewards which can be bought on the faction specific space station as well as unlocked in the legacy system. So again I ask what do you mean?

Edit: Derp is derp, I originally put citadel instead of Space station. Damn ME, why you mix with other space games?
 

MrTub

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Nile McMorrow said:
WickedFire said:
There could also be the fact that many subscribers will be school/university students, who right now will have recently had spring break and now be in full final semester work mode. I know that every other gamer on my course has had to cut back until assignments are done.
Agreed. I've had to cut back on playing as I have one annoying set of IT coursework to get done before the end of next week followed by the start of the exams slog two weeks after.

DVS BSTrD said:
Well maybe, just MAYBE, if you had given players some kind of incentive to play the lightside maybe your severs wouldn't be drowning in Sith? Such lopsided factions tend to turn people away from MMOs and games in general.
I have to ask what? Do you mean incentive to play the Republic faction or the 'lightside' morality? Cause its not clear in your post what you mean. Additionally, there is equal incentive to play either faction or morality. You get your own set of faction quests for either faction and each class has their own string of quests. Also focusing on either morality will net you access to rewards which can be bought on the citadel as well as unlocked in the legacy system. So again I ask what do you mean?
Well my decision to play sith was simply cause lightning beats throwing rocks any day :)

But I'm happy with the game and I'm having lots of fun.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Sure you are. Lets see how subs drop when you are competing for time with GW2. In any case, they haven't kept all former WoW players. With every MMO so far, WoW players see it as a vacation. They come, they spend a month maybe 2, then they go home. They go home because nothing keeps them from doing so.
 

Mayhaps

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It was never content expansions that kept me playing when I played MMOs it was the people. In fact I hated most expansions and "features", and it was those that made me quit.
 

Lunar Templar

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Fr said:
anc[is]*Is circling around TOR like a vulture, eagerly awaiting it to become F2P*
your not missing anything.

its OK, and the heavy story focus in a nice touch, but ultimately, it's kinda dull
 

Slash Joel

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I believe this or rather i can believe this with experinece i'm having with the game. I am still sub to tor despite not playing it as often as i did. I find it just a fun time to play a character once in awhile when i'm bored or feel like playing. This is exactly what i did with Wow back in the day and that lasted for 5 years.