The other issue that I'm hanging on is the fact that 2 million subscribers is a far fetch for the North American and European markets. The key word in this sentence is subscribers.
While Aion may tout a very significant three million users worldwide and World of Warcraft holds up the 11 million subscribers sign, the Asian market is not full of 15 dollar a month subscribers. As we dislike microtransactions, they dislike a pay per month scheme. Because of this, it's difficult to really put a solid figure on the number of accounts in Asia. Plus, there is also the fact that some of them may never spend the magical $15 per month while others may spend well over that.
World of Warcraft has only hit approximately 2.5 million users in North America, which draws the issue of obtaining two million subscribers into question. We have a market where, right now, 300,000 users is an impressive amount for a game that isn't World of Warcraft. Going from 300,000 users to two million users is a very large divide for a game to conquer.
"All of my worries aside, I actually think that SWTOR might just pull this trick off."
I say this because once you get entrenched in an MMO, you usually don't drift around. MMOs aren't like single-player games, where you do what you want to do and then leave. MMO players have communities that we frequently lay down roots in and stick with for long periods of time. Sometimes, even when we're tired of the game, we continue to play it just because our friends and our guild are playing it. Uprooting players from a game that they're committed to is tricky business, another reason it might be hard to grab two million players.
But, in the case of SWTOR, it just might be possible
All of my worries aside, I actually think that SWTOR might just pull this trick off. Star Wars isn't the winning variable in this equation -- BioWare is.
Much like Blizzard, BioWare has a history of creating solid games and they're using one of their best IPs for their online world. We're not only anticipating this game because it's a Star Wars game, we're anticipating it because we're expecting a quality product. Much like World of Warcraft, when we not only anticipated a great Warcraft game, but we also anticipated a quality Blizzard game.
As I said in my opening, gameplay is the honey that keeps players around and filling your coffers. If you can keep us busy, challenged, and happy then you can expect us to call your game a hit and bring our friends. BioWare has already proven that through KotOR, Mass Effect, Baldur's Gate, and Dragon Age: Origins.
They seem to understand the path of RPGs, they know how to take notes from the successes and failures of others, and they know how to release a polished, finished product. Those are the qualities we are anticipating so highly, and those are the reasons why they might just hit the fabled two million subscribers after all.
And now what you all came here for: dancing stormtroopers.
Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who hopes to god that this game at least breaks even. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog,The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.