Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Indiana Jones Online

Think Lara Croft without the boobs, but online, would that make a great MMORPG? Apart from the sad fact that it wouldn't sell without the boobs, Indiana Jones Online is just my desperate attempt to spin the same news that everybody reports in a different way: Bioware and LucasArts are teaming up to create a new game. And absolutely everybody assumes that it will be Knights of the Old Republic Online or some similar Star Wars themed MMORPG. Hey, what about Monkey Island Online, the only MMORPG where the combat is based on a parser of insults typed into chat? Not likely either? Well, then KOTORO it is.

Unlike Star Trek, where every single video game using the license totally sucked (good luck with Star Trek Online, Perpetual!), the Star Wars license has produced a mix of good and bad games over the years, with highlights from X-Wing to KOTOR. The only problem is that there is already a Star Wars MMORPG, Star Wars Galaxies, and it evokes a lot of bad memories in MMO veterans. In the originally released version you could play a Wookie hairdresser, but not a light sabre swinging jedi. That had solid lore-related reasons, but unsurprisingly players weren't so excited about the hairdressers and would have preferred jedis. Then the devs came up with a brilliant idea to make matters much worse, by introducing the probably most stupid possible system of letting people attain jedi rank: having them master five different random professions in a specific order. That not only forced people to master professions they didn't like, e.g. hairdresser, but also to unlearn mastered professions to have the skill points to start the next one. When SOE learned that in spite of all this bad design they still had some customers left, they decided to drive the remaining players away by completely rewriting the game in the NGE patch. That finally made the jedi class available right from the start, but changed the game so completely that SOE had to offer a refund for the SWG expansion which came out at the same time. Through all these changes SWG also battled against a bug count which was higher and more severe than industry standard. In spite of this rather bumpy ride, SWG sold over 1 million boxed copies, and still has an estimated 50k to 100k subscribers, down from a 250k peak.

Chances of a SWG revival are less than slim, and so making a new Star Wars MMORPG could actually work. If it was based on the old republic instead of the time between episode IV and V, having lots of jedi players would cause less of a lore problem. Preferably the new Star Wars MMORPG would also have space ships right from the start, a feature that SWG only introduced in the Jump to Lightspeed expansion. The Star Wars license is certainly strong enough to support a second MMORPG, especially if that game picks up some of the lessons of the SWG fiasco and the success of World of Warcraft.

But don't hold your breath, Bioware and LucasArts just signed the agreement and haven't even started working yet. Thus whether the game they will produce is Knights of the Old Republic Online or something else, the most realistic estimate for a release date is somewhere in 2012.
Ugh, I can't stand reading about a game coming out in 6 months, let alone 5 years haha. Oh well, good to discuss once a month at the most and good info I didn't know.
Actually I won't mind if they made it a SW MMO, but pilots only sort of like EVE. That would definitely put a spin on the SW MMORPG.
An online Indiana Jones game would be awesome.
I can name two Star Trek games that didn't suck: Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (esp. the voice version), and Voyager: Elite Force (better than many actual Voyager episodes... which isn't saying much, I know).

Unfortunately, those are the only two ST games I can think of which were any good :(
They are aiming for a 2009 launch actually. Rumor is that the Bioware MMO (er KotORMMO) is now fully playable (though not complete).
What was the name of the Star Trek game where you actually had a starship to command? I actually thought that was entertaining. But anyway agreed, most ST games weren't good at all.
EA is trying to get into the MMO market, so this is probably one of the reasons why they acquired Bioware.
- starwars
- indiana jones
- monkey island ;)
Indiana Jones, and Lara Croft for that matter, are more suited to single player games, I would have thought.

Did people really buy Tomb Raider because of Lara's breasts?
Star Trek TNG on the Genesis was pretty neat.

I just don't see why people think KOTOR would be popular for a MMO. Sure it was a great xbox/pc game, but that is really it. There was no PS port, there is no real media involving it. Star Wars is still the original trilogy and new movies to people other than SW nerds.

I cannot imagine a popular SW MMO without X-Wings, Tie Fighters, Darth, Luke, Death Star and Storm Troopers.

As another poster said, it must have space to start. It also has to have SWG's housing system and crafting. For as much as people like to hate SWG, it is some really well done systems.
Star Trek Birth of The Federation was an excellent game in my opinion :o
You think "Lara Croft without the boobs" was needed?

I would imagine Indiana Jones is more well known than Lara Croft.

You never fail to amaze me with your weirdness
But don't hold your breath, Bioware and LucasArts just signed the agreement and haven't even started working yet. Thus whether the game they will produce is Knights of the Old Republic Online or something else, the most realistic estimate for a release date is somewhere in 2012.

Err... Where do you get that "not yet even started" part? BioWare has had a MMO department on a secret project for a while now, and seems to me they just announced whom they are working with.
Possible, although I don't know how much work they would put into a project before even getting the license.
weird, they are already developing a mmorpg at this moment. so that is a bit strange.... what if the secret mmorpg turns to be crap....

or it already is the lucas-version?
I'm burnt out on in-depth MMOs at this stage in my life. I've played Ultima Online, Everquest, & Eve all too long. I'm ready for more action oriented MMOs, and I hope this rumored KOTOR MMO delivers on that front.
There is only one reason I believe the Star Wars MMO is a sure thing, and that is a former guild mate just over a year ago filled me in on a tidbit of info.

He was a former Blizzard employee, now a Lucas arts employee, and he told me they had begun work on a new Star Wars MMO that wouldn't be announced/completed for quite some time. This was back well before TBC expansion was released for wow, and once my college year started up I quit WOW, and havent talked to him since.

Ya this is the internet, no don't believe everything you read, but as an avid reader of this site and a hardcore MMO/online gamer, this is just my two cents/facts*.
Actually, SWGs numbers are far lower than you suggest. The latest subscriber poll shows that they only have 10-14K people left. They haven't released an expansion in...I don't even know how long. The people still playing are deluded to the point where they think the game is going to make this "amazing" (miraculous) comeback and everyone will come back to it. It's basically running in the red right now, I'm surprised Sony hasn't either pulled the plug or revamped the dev team like the dev team did to the game.

Edit: I haven't played since the NGE (except to try it out after the NGE) so while I don't know exactly what's going on inside the game, there are many reports (google) for you to find that will give you a pretty good idea.
As one of those left that still play SWG on occasions, server populations are down.

They peak on certain chapters but are back to the lower population amounts a month later.

Even the bigger servers feel empty during prime times. I attribute this more to the lack of building areas for people to congregate.

I look forward to hitting the revamped force village this weekend out on Bria to see if there is a slot for an old Sulst BH to get a shot at collecting some kills.
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