How and Why Star Wars: The Old Republic is Sinking Fast
Everyone knows that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been causing EA some serious problems lately. Many are calling it the TORtanic, and this is the fated maiden voyage. But let us explore how and why this game is failing so hard and fast.
Is the ship sinking?
Yes, yes it is. And there is quite a bit of solid evidence that people are abandoning ship. But what about those who say there is no problem?
It can't be denied that Star Wars: The Old Republic sold well. Estimates are ranging from between 1 million to 1.5 million sales. However these don't account fully for piracy. It was a major sales hit, but these games live on subscriptions. And subscriptions may be a problem for this game.
Picking an unsuitable engine
Star Wars: The Old Republic runs on the Hero Engine, developed by Simutronics. What is the problem? When Electronic Arts/Bioware licensed it, the engine was not working correctly. It is still not working correctly, and players are reporting everything from missing textures to targeting errors. One very amusing glitch was that you could not be properly targeted while dancing, although this was eventually patched.
Planning to fail and failing to plan
Greg Zeschuk is a man who has done some decent games, but they have been hit-or-miss. After the dreadful failure of Warhammer Online he moved on to other games, including The Old Republic. Gabe Amatangelo, who also worked on Warhammer Online, is in charge of PvP. So from the start we have some people who failed at their last MMO making a new one. This leads to their next problem.
It is an ugly secret that is often covered up, but the industry is prone to bias towards publishers. The previous link was about a reviewer fired for a truthful review. But something even more troubling is going on with The Old Republic. From the top of the industry to the bottom this game received inflated reviews that left out big problems.
Ausgamers gave it a 9.5, a 9.5 to a game which wasn't even released in Australia at the time. A game which was still not released in Australia at the time of this writing. A game they had no reason to even review other than that they wanted to. It's not hard to see why, with a huge EA logo and ad in their background at the time of this writing. Accurate reporting goes out the window when you are cashing paychecks from a publisher.Continued on the next page