IP means something, but it certainly isn't everything
Right off the bat, when this story approached us, most of the staff here reacted the same way -- "Never shoot for huge numbers." If there's anything that we've learned from this past year and a half, it's that no title is safe from having their hopes and dreams crushed.
"In short, don't stand all of your hopes and dreams on the fact that this game is Star Wars."
And it's never due to the IP either. In fact, most of the big releases in the last year have been based upon pre-existing IPs, much like SWTOR
is built on both the Star Wars
and The Old Republic
licenses. (Yes, I count them separately, because The Old Republic
is very different from the core of Star Wars
, in my opinion.) I shouldn't have to reiterate that Warhammer Online
, Age of Conan
, Star Trek Online
, and, to a lesser extent, Champions Online
were all quite well known before they made the jump to MMOdom. I also shouldn't have to reiterate that all of these titles had huge openings that only gave way to fiery explosions of user anger.
Beyond that, initial numbers mean nothing if you can't hold them in your game. I'm sure many Trekkies jumped all over Star Trek Online
when it first launched just because it was Star Trek
, but the IP only brings people to your product. Gameplay is the honey that keeps them there, so you better be sure that the honey is sweet and not filled with dead bees. (Wow, that's such a horrible metaphor. Note to self: Never use that metaphor again.)
In short, don't stand all of your hopes and dreams on the fact that this game is Star Wars
. Bad games are bad games, no matter what the IP is.
But, we shouldn't have to worry about that, as it seems that SWTOR
is hanging its hat on fresh, expansive gameplay
via cinematic conversations and dynamic quests.