BioWare expected reaching Old Republic end-game to take 3-5 months
by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, Mar 29, 2013 2:45PM PDT
Star Wars: The Old Republic started losing subscribers fairly quickly after launch. At a Game Developers Conference talk, BioWare creative director James Ohlen explained that the studio was inexperienced in MMOs, and therefore underestimated the speed with which customers would plow through the content.
PC Gamer reports that of all the risks the studio identified before launch, Ohlen said the "most worrisome" was players quickly finishing the content. "We had expected our playerbase to play through the game and get to the endgame, on average, in about three to four months, maybe five months. It was 170-180 hours of content," he said. "But our metrics were showing us that, on average, for the millions of people playing our game, they were going through the game at a rate of 40 hours a week." He also pointed out that 40 hours a week was the average, and some people were doing up to 120 hours per week.
The speed that people reached the end-game accented the lack of content in that area. "We had all those people at the endgame and suddenly certain things like having only one Operation, and having no group finder [tool] become much bigger challenges than what we thought they were going to be." Ohlen ended by pointing out that the studio has seen a steady rise in players since going free-to-play, and claimed that company morale has gone back up thanks to that move.