Tobold's Blog
Monday, December 12, 2011
I said WoW-Killer, not WAR-Killer!

Omali from MMO Fallout has an interesting thought about the future of Warhammer Online: Is it possible that being down to 1 server per continent means that the game is too far gone to be saved by a move to Free2Play? Will WAR be shut down after SWTOR has a hopefully successful launch and investors attention is distracted to that more successful venture? Wrath of Heroes might be all that remains of WAR.

There is a certain irony to the thought that with all the discussion about whether SWTOR is a "WoW-Killer", it could be that the MMORPGs actually killed by Star Wars: The Old Republic could be Warhammer Online and Star Wars Galaxies. You can't "kill" a *specific* other MMORPG by launching a more successful new one. Launching a successful new MMORPG will always draw some players from various other existing games, as well as hopefully draw in completely new players. That changes the market and the market shares, but not in a very directed manner. It is far easier to "kill" an already ailing game (even if it is from your own company) than the most successful product of the competition. I do think that SWTOR will have a significant effect on the MMORPG market, but not necessarily the one EA would most like.

Wouldn't EA be very happy if ToR kills off a couple of their own ailing and games that are moving towards non-profitability?

Much better to transfer people to the new game than them leave the stable totally.
SWG will be the only MMO actually killed by SW:ToR in that the owner of the franchise refused to renew the license for the former specifically because of the coming into existence of the latter. Any other MMOs that go dark will be collateral damage.

Ironically SWG, which has, I believe, eight servers still, would almost certainly have thrived had it been allowed to continue. SoE would, if allowed by LucasArts, almost certainly converted the game to their F2P model and it would have benefited from a boom in attention from people who'd had their Star Wars button pressed but ddin't want or weren't able to pay the box+sub entrance fee for the newer MMO.
I can see Aion,WAR and Rift taking a hefty battering subs wise with SWTORs release. With regards to WoW I'm unsure how you can differentiate between the droves of people leaving for swtor and the people just quiting because WoW is boring these days.

I do note in wow a lot of my guildies hadn't even heard of swtor which I found surprising.
WAR died a very long time ago..... three months after launch, to be exact. Someone needs to put that game out of its misery.

Disclaimer: As a bitter, ex-WAR player I am slightly biased in my opinions :)
What does WAR need to survive.. if you look at DAOC it is still running on a subscription model after 10 years... one server.

Agree with Pitrelli that some games will get a battering. However after first month or two people will go back to their most favorite mmo game.. then we can likely see who lost or gained most.
Taking this train of thought over to Blizzard makes sense. Revolutionize with Titan and down rank WoW from "cutting edge" to "old faithful".
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