Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
 
SWTOR sold out

On Sunday I let my wife play Star Wars: The Old Republic. Yeah, I know, "account sharing" is forbidden, but it was just for an afternoon to enable her to decide whether she wants to play that game. And she does. So Monday I went to one of the biggest stores of a European electronics chain in my area to buy her a copy. No luck: The sales guy told me it was sold out everywhere, and he was really worried he wouldn't be able to get hold of a pre-paid card before his free month ran out.

A Google search resulted in lots of news reports that SWTOR had in fact already sold out by Christmas. Even EA's Origin showed the physical copy of the game as sold out, which got some people thinking the digital version wasn't available any more. But it is, it is just 9 Euros more expensive over here. Which, compared to Steam selling 2011 games at 25% to 75% discount over Christmas, I consider to be a lousy digital distribution pricing scheme. (So I bought Batman: Arkham City, L.A. Noire, Deus Ex Human Revolution, and some older games all together for less than €100 on Steam, and nothing on Origin.)

MMORPG.com promptly reported "Retail sales plummet" for SWTOR in the UK, without checking whether that was due to lack of demand, or lack of supply, or a mix of both. Most mail order suppliers, like Amazon, list the game as "in stock" again, even the $150 collectors edition. Which will hopefully annoy those who were trying to sell their collectors edition on EBay for $400. And EA is keeping mum on the availability of SWTOR, probably busy hectically producing another million or so physical copies of the game.
Comments:
First!

I don't know what to make of the game box issues. I do know that most estimates of 1-2 million (whatever the initial box run was) have been exceeded.

Two observations: One there are a TON of non-wow non-eq playing SWTOR. I mean in my current guild NO one has played WOW and only a few played EQ and we have 100+ members. Two, I am surprised of how many who are playing are playing simply because they walked into a store and saw starwars... and yes apparently thought KOTOR 3 (glance at tobold).

It's really REALLY disconcerting how many players are not your normal WOW players and for them this is a WHOLE new gaming experience. I mean PvP and grouping fascinates these players.

It's like being on the playground again frankly.
 
We did find physical copies when my husband decided he wanted one (yeah, he'd been listening to me play it), but they're pricing them at the same price as the Origin digital edition.
 
I was at a BestBuy store in the States and they literally had 15-20 CE's stacked up on a big display last Thursday. Along with too many standard boxes to count.

Of course, unemployment by me is at 10-11%. So that might be it. -shrug-

And at angry gamer, yeah...my time in game in chat has shown a TON of new mmorpg folks. I was shocked, truly.

But finally, a sub was not in the cards for me. I run out of time on the 13think? Truly embarrassed to say Rift won out. I hope to fall in love with TOR in a couple of months...I need a little more polish :)
 
I live in a so called "red zone country" and a couple of computer games stores have been happily selling physical copies of SWtOR for 45 EUR for a few days now.

Maybe we are so small that EA have shown mercy to us. Or "hectically producing another million or so physical copies of the game" may very well be true and before the first (free) month is over, we will see pyhsical copies of the game in stores in large quantities.
 
(Urgh. Sorry for typos. I pressed "Publish" before I checked my comment.)
 
@Angry Gamer

I've been in a number of situations where I've been in groups with first-time MMO players in SWTOR. I feel a responsibility to give them a positive experience. In one case, a guy was constantly apologising. I suspect his previous gaming experiences had been from XBox Live...


re: the OP

Last time I was in the U.K I found it very hard to buy PC titles in any shops. I think most sources know better than to draw conclusions from Chart Track retail data. That said, the SWTOR backlash are eager to see any sign of failure...
 
Yeah that story was misleading. I'm pretty sure EA has purposely limited sales to lower the demand on the servers. They said this some time before release. Part of it may be also for good press "so successful we sold out", even though we know games like Modern Warfare 3 sell millions and still don't sell out. It's not a problem of production. EA did it on purpose.
 
Loving the comments that SWTOR is bringing new gamers. I'm pushing 50 and hope that the Star Wars title will finally drag in some of my empty nest colleagues so I have something to talk about with them.

Be patient with new gamers. Learning WoW wasn't always the most pleasant experience.

If MMO's can hook more older players, a significant income source could open.
 
Hell, Im one of them. I come from the console side of gaming going back nearly 30 years. Star Wars TOR is my first foray into MMOs, and PC gaming in general.

Being a fan of Star Wars since I was five, I cant give a balanced review of the game other than my opinion that I LOVE it.

What I like: It just seems the RPG elements of the game are more defined than their console counterparts. Mass Effect had for example different ammunition which was nice, but SWTOR allows me to mod my lightsaber. Something I love to dive into (if I can find more mods). The PC UI in general is just more accessible for me than the console. I love hotkeys!

What I didnt like: I was expecting more of me creating a character then being able to level up and travel to any planet I want, which I can do but they are more instanced story driven quests. Dont get me wrong I LOVE the story and is the main reason why Im playing.. but since it is SO Story focused I fear I wont find anything entertaining to do after I level cap. To me the fun is leveling. Fighting and fighting until I get stronger.

The social aspects like PvP and Grouping Ill admit is new to me so I shy away from it for now. But I do like the idea that other players can interact with you in your game. It adds something to the experience that is missed in console single player RPGs.
 
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