Sunday, 24 June 2012

We don't have to licence it to love it.

I have recently quit playing TOR, seemingly much like a lot of people if the numbers are anything to go by. While the Old Republic has been far from a failure, you get the feeling that it was nowhere near the success that both Bioware and EA were hoping for. Hell they are already talking about going free to play with it. I am now wondering if we have seen the last of the licenced mmo’s.

I mean why pay a fortune for a licence, like Star Wars, when not even that can guarantee you a vast player base. The last big licenced mmo, DCUO, went free to play in the space of months. Perhaps it wouldn’t have gotten quite as much initial interested, but they would have been able to save themselves on the licencing costs and given themselves a lot of scope to do what they wanted. Hell I think that Rift proofs this, whilst they don’t have TOR’s (current) user base, you don’t hear talk of them going free to play.

It seems it is not just me that thinks this, not too long ago THQ (who are in some trouble themselves), announced that they were scaling back their Warhammer 40K mmo to a co-op game. Hell looking at the list of mmo’s coming up, only Transformers Online is based on a big franchise, and that has already been confirmed as a free to play title. Seems to me that all a big licence gets you is a little more attention at launch of the game, that’s it. Hell one could argue that the biggest mmo out there, WoW, is based on a world that was created for two reasonably successful RTS’s. Yeah the mmo with a bigger subscriber base than some countries has people is based on a couple of strategy games.

This is why I genuinely think that had TOR not been, erm enslaved, to the Star Wars universe it would have been a better game. It would have given Bioware the freedom to make their own choices and I am certain that, as in the case of Blizzard, people would have followed the talent that Bioware have.

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