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10-26-2009 @ 10:18PM
I think one of the mistakes we are quick to make when talking about WoW popularity is assuming we are the driving demographic behind World of Warcraft.World of Warcraft isn't successful because of people who raid 6 nights a week or know Warcraft Mythology like the back of their hand it's successful because of people who don't very often play video games and especially not MMO's.You go into any casual guild and you will run into a lot of people of various genders and ages that may have never played another MMO before.I remember the other night on tradechat I ended up mentioning The Old Republic MMO in some detail and people were like "WHAT THERES A STAR WARS MMO?!?!"World of Warcraft was a gamers delight back in Vanilla WoW days but since then the game has become a much more casual affair. With the brand gaining familiarity over the years and World of Warcraft becoming the standard for an MMO it wasn't long before your average casual saw World of Warcraft as the sort of "go to" MMO.The reason nothing has been able to challenge Wow's dominance since then is because Blizzard is a multi billion dollar entity now with enormous advertising budgets and a brand that is nearly synonymous with the genre.How would you expect a brand like Age of Conan with a much smaller advertising budget and less awareness to challenge World of Warcraft? It's the same with Warhammer Online which was in large part a WoW clone and was released prematurely and advertised little.Fact of the matter is you may get our attention with other MMO's but most average people who make up the bulk of the WoW-population don't often catch sight of other MMO's and that is the key to an WoW's success.I think when The Old Republic comes out it will really shake up things. At the moment with the Star Wars TV show for kids, the live action TV show coming up next year and the movies being re-released in 3D and on Blu-ray George Lucas is pushing his cashcow hard.Bioware have been left in charge of the biggest sci-fi IP in history and with an untold budget that allows them to virtually record so much audio the game is making history as we speak. There isn't any doubt George Lucas will push that MMO and if he uses his available resources there isn't any doubt that MMO could do very well.I have a feeling that MMO will be given a big push by Bioware, EA, and Lucasarts.One of the things I was wondering was if they would advertise the MMO during the Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network and during the live action series on whatever network it ends up on. Of course they could always advertise it before the 3D re-releases of Star Wars in the cinemas and do novel things like give away a copy of The Old Republic MMO with the blu-ray versions of the movie.It's ridiculous to expect a game with a tiny budget or little awareness to challenge a mega franchise like Warcraft that is exceptionally well known, advertised in ingenius ways(you can get World of Warcraft labelled Mountain Dew) but Blizzard have really stretched their resources to make World of Warcraft into what it is and few others have such resources available to compete with them.On the other hand an IP developed by Bioware, endorsed by George Lucas, given a budget no game has ever had and based on "Star Wars" could very well shake up the MMO scene.I think World of Warcraft will be more than fine regardless of what happens but if Lucas is really intent on bringing back Star Wars in a big way and puts his resources behind the upcoming MMO I think he will get his wish of a Star Wars cash cow that gives in spades and for years to come.
10-27-2009 @ 12:42AM
You're giving Star Wars WAY too much credit as a draw.Most people I know simply do not care that much, or are like me, and dislike the hardcore Star Wars crowd, that the game will be packed with. I shudder at the thought of what /general will be like in that game.The Star Wars crowd is WAY too newb-hostile to support numbers that will even give WoW a momentary pause. Yeah, imagine Mom or Grandma logging in, referring to "Hans Solo", and the abuse and tirades and insults that will fly. Not only that, but the younger crowd these days are into different things, Star Wars is cool with them, but they don't revere it, or practically worship it like the older players do (and will, in-game). Younger players these days are more into zombies, vampires, Fallout 3 stories, or headshot*BOOM* style gameplay. They live online, and incorporate WOW into that, and use WoW as a large chat room. Star Wars will not encourage that. I have no doubt SW:TOR will do well, on it's own terms, but eclipse WoW? No. There is already a prejudice built into the public's perception of that community, as being the butt of jokes since the movies came out, and the stereotype of hardcore Star Wars fans being the nerdiest of the basement dwellers. True or not, that stereotype exists, it's used constantly by the media and entertainment industry, and it WILL keep people from grabbing the box from the shelf.And, like I stated earlier in the thread, there's a lot of people like me who enjoyed the movies, but want nothing to do with that crowd, because I know what Star Wars fans are like.
10-27-2009 @ 4:11AM
BWJ, what server are you on? Because in my experience, any new person asking simple questions in /general in WoW are usually viciously mocked and given a hard time, thereby making WoW not as newb-friendly as some like to pretend. Also, you state that younger players won't/don't care about star wars. Who cares? The people with the money are older. The average gamer age now is 25-35. I don't imagine many of those gamers will stop playing the day ToR arrives on the shelves. I think that the "star wars nerd" perception will have little to do with people playing the game or not. It isn't exactly cool the tell people that your a WoW player. If the game is better than WoW, people will make the switch. The point has been raised, that no one can compete with WoW because it's had 5 years to refine the game. That is a completely wrong way to think of it. The idea is that every year the game is out, it only gets better and better, as if it's a naturally evolving creature. Substantial growth, generally makes companies worse. Think GM, IBM, Atari...etc. Here's what happens once something becomes very huge and successful. There are demands made by the stockholders for more and more profits. In order the do this, they have to appeal to a wider and wider audience, or take shortcuts. When this happens, the product, whatever it is, becomes watered down, shoddily made (planned obsolescence is introduced), etc. Eventually the end product becomes bland, people move on, and the size of the thing causes it to collapse in on itself. WoW will definitely be around for a while, just look at EQ. I think it may be more vulnerable to competition from another great MMO than a lot of fans are willing to admit.
10-27-2009 @ 6:40AM
"You're giving Star Wars WAY too much credit as a draw.Most people I know simply do not care that much, or are like me, and dislike the hardcore Star Wars crowd, that the game will be packed with. I shudder at the thought of what /general will be like in that game."Can't be any worse than the /general in WoW, really. No matter what server I'm on, I turn it off immediately and never look back."The Star Wars crowd is WAY too newb-hostile to support numbers that will even give WoW a momentary pause. Yeah, imagine Mom or Grandma logging in, referring to "Hans Solo", and the abuse and tirades and insults that will fly."Mankrik's Wife? Every fanbase has it's noisy, hostile elements, and these elements are always louder than the nice guys. It doesn't matter what they are fans of. Remember the outcry at the "inaccuracies" when the Lord of the Rings movies came out? The vicious mockery, IN PERSON, of people who thought the movie came out first? How about the "console wars," are they hurting sales? Or... Mac vs PC."Not only that, but the younger crowd these days are into different things, Star Wars is cool with them, but they don't revere it, or practically worship it like the older players do (and will, in-game). Younger players these days are more into zombies, vampires, Fallout 3 stories, or headshot*BOOM* style gameplay. They live online, and incorporate WOW into that, and use WoW as a large chat room. Star Wars will not encourage that."Which is why the new trilogy did so well, or the (for kids) Clone Wars movie, or the merchandising machine targeted at kids...Star Wars is pretty popular with kids these days because they are growing up with it. Like they did with zombies, vampires, and FPS games. And Fallout 3 really doesn't enter into it (the original three games are over a decade old, but still produced a huge draw, despite the fiasco of the last attempt at a console Fallout). Also, younger kids are more interested in games like Free Realms, Maple Story, and the like, which are free (so the parents don't mind) to start, and generally more kid-friendly. WoW is very much a late-teens-to-twenty-something game, with enough depth to bring in even older gamers."I have no doubt SW:TOR will do well, on it's own terms, but eclipse WoW? No. There is already a prejudice built into the public's perception of that community, as being the butt of jokes since the movies came out, and the stereotype of hardcore Star Wars fans being the nerdiest of the basement dwellers. True or not, that stereotype exists, it's used constantly by the media and entertainment industry, and it WILL keep people from grabbing the box from the shelf."You mean like satanic D&D players? Yeah, that's really keeping the crowds from buying those games, which are even more popular than ever. EVERY community has stereotypes, and the Star Wars stereotype was no worse than the Fantasy Nerd stereotype. And since Star Wars is very much more in the public consciousness since the new trilogy and CG movie, and is hugely popular already in the gaming community, I doubt any ancient stereotype will keep people from buying a box."And, like I stated earlier in the thread, there's a lot of people like me who enjoyed the movies, but want nothing to do with that crowd, because I know what Star Wars fans are like."Speaking as someone who belongs to MULTIPLE fanbases, including both Warcraft and Star Wars (and more besides), I can safely say that the game will be much better without the outspoken fanbois like yourself. Your argument has consisted of nothing but bashing other people for liking something more than you do, and blaming them for the same activity you just actively participated in. It may be more politically correct than putting people down for their ethnicity, but it's no less bigoted. Good day, sir.
10-27-2009 @ 9:34PM
BWJ you are so ill informed that you have no clue what you are talking about.1: Giving Star Wars too much credit as a draw?Hmm yeah it's only the most profitable single entertainment franchise in human history. Neither World of Warcraft nor anything else even comes close to Star Wars in what it has accomplished in terms of popularity, merchandise sales or movie revenue.To make matters worse you assume you know "most people". The people that watched the first movie alone are in the tens of millions. The few people you know are not even a tiny portion of the amount familiar with the brand.You make things even worse for yourself by suggesting Star Wars fans are all composed of hardcore fans. Star Wars wasn't the first sci-fi movie it was the first commercial sci-fi movie. Most hardcore sci-fi fans won't mention Star Wars in the same breath as Dune or Star Trek. Star Wars fans are composed massively of average men, women and children going to watch the movies or watching the childrens programs or buying action figures.2: OK this is where you can tell you are talking out of your ass. What you have just said is categorically incorrect.Star Wars is over 25 years old but it has never been this popular at any point in its entire history.When the second trilogy came out Lucas said he wasn't sure if it was going to be successful. When it did come out it blew away the first trilogy in sales.After that the DVD's came out and sold millions. They re-released several versions of the DVD's and all of them sold exceedingly well.After the movie and DVD release Lucas was going to focus on other things but the overwhelming success of Star Wars prompted them to release light saber toys and action figures. The overwhelming success of the light sabers(which cost a fortune by the way) and action figures prompted them to release a cartoon on Cartoon Network. That show did so well they started making the second season of it only 3 or 4 episodes into the first.The success of the last trilogy prompted them to re-release the movies in 3D in cinemas, the success of the DVD's prompted them to release special edition Blu-ray editions of the movies and the success of the kids animated TV series prompted them to record one of the most expensive and lenghty TV shows in TV history.Their next move is going into comic books and expanding the universe throughout games.George Lucas thought the Star Wars franchise was done but when the second trilogy came to the theater and DVD he ditched his plan to move on from the franchise. Star Wars has simple never been this popular in its history. They have more revenue streams now than ever before.3: Again you are talking out of your ass. When a franchise releases a movie trilogy that comes one of the highest box office takes in history followed by DVD sets that break records and then a toy line that makes a fortune followed by an animated show that becomes a networks biggest draw you can tell a franchise is doing more than well.There is an insatiable demand for Star Wars. Everything Lucas has touched these last 8 or 9 years has been phenomenally successful beyond comprehension. Star Wars is literally in a world of its own right now in terms of revenue streams and money made.Stop making yourself look like an ass you can easily look up recent figures of how well the franchise is doing. It's beyond stupid to say it's offputting for people because of nerds of any of that BS when the franchises fanbase is incomprehinsibly big and growing yearly.
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