As promised, key members of our team are going to give their thoughts on today’s announcement. First cab off the rank: Simon Potter.
There’s a time for being charitable and understanding and there’s a time to just say what you think… guess which this is?
Clue… I am angry, people.
In my humble opinion, F2P isn’t the news although I welcome the change, if it’s done right.
Bioware have plenty of good examples to follow and SWTOR should enjoy the growth and ongoing success of DCUO and LotRO. If they screw it up, they only have themselves to blame.
What really burns my brisket about this announcement is the mealy mouthed obfuscation from various spokespeople regarding this inevitable model shift. While they were just following orders, it’s perfectly clear that the weasel words were to cloud the issue so this announcement could be married to the EA earnings call yesterday. Perhaps they value their shareholders opinion and good wishes more than players? I think it’s a distinct possibility.
All the while BioWare maintain the ‘if we don’t talk about it, then no one will notice’, which I will be honest is really beginning to grate. Since BioWare have fired most of their community team, it’s no surprise that their communication has gone from uneven to non-existent to insulting. However at least one person at EA is honest, if not with player then with the investors. In the earnings call Frank Gibeau, President, EA Labels, referred to SWTOR as ‘a miss’. Well, that puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
To sum things up, if BioWare expect to keep the sudden influx of new and returning players informed, they will need to lift their community communication dramatically and perhaps try to be a little more honest and open. Too much spin makes people dizzy and nauseous.
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let me assure you I still love SWTOR and am looking forward to the upcoming announced content, assuming we ever see it. After all they’ve promised a number of things that have yet to materialise. The game is only just beginning to hit its stride and I’m certain it will be a longterm survivor.