Analyst calls SWTOR a “highly derivative” clone of WoW and likely to miss 2011

Tuesday, 14th June 2011 20:43 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz has hinted in his latest financial letter that BioWare’s long-awaited MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, could miss its expected 2011 launch.

However, BioWare’s Greg Zeshcuk insists that EA’s guided the game “towards this calendar year,” but at the end of the day, “quality also matters, and quality of service just as much as quality of game.”

Development is going well, though, according to what Ray Muzyka told Eurogamer at E3.

“Things are tracking well. We’re progressing well. The fact we’re showing it hands-on on the show floor [at E3] is an indication of our confidence in the quality. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback on that.

“We know how critical it is to launch as a solid game and then have really high quality service afterwards, too. We have plans to do follow-on content and things that’ll keep our players engaged and active for years to come.”

Creutz also stated in his analyst note (via that he came away from SWTOR playtime at E3 with the sense that it was a “highly derivative” clone of World of Warcraft, and “competent, but hardly breathtaking.”

“We got hands-on time with the game, and were largely unimpressed,” stated Creutz. “Despite promises from EA/Bioware that the title represents a major step forward in MMO design, what we saw was essentially a World of Warcraft clone with Star Wars character skins and the BioWare RPG nice/nasty dialogue tree mechanism bolted on for non-player character conversations.

“Granted, we were playing in a desert area, so other areas may be more impressive-looking… on the other hand we question why EA chose a desert level to showcase the title,” he wrote.

Back at E3, BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk told Eurogamer that SWTOR content was “getting there,” and that the firm was “pretty happy,” with what it was showing at the event.

“There’s always a lot of refining and polishing,” said Zeschuk of the MMO. “We’ve pretty well announced the whole range of features. There’s such an incredibly large range of things, like crafting, heroic combat, PVP, war zones, end game content – what we call operations, which are basically raids, companion characters, there’s all this stuff.

“All those things all together are looking good. It’s not just enough to make the game great. You have to give great service and you have to be able to support the game on a long-term basis. So we’ve devoted a lot of effort and thinking towards how we do that.

“The beta testing really is a validation of that stuff. At some point we’ll be ready to go.”



  1. DarkElfa

    Well, that’s exactly the feeling most got after watching the 2 hour gameplay footage from the beta. Of course, many are fans of WoW as well so having gameplay just like WoW but Star Wars themed may not be all bad.

    I for one liked WoW’s gameplay but I hated WoW because I didn’t like World of Warcaft story material.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Hybridpsycho

    @1 Didn’t like Warcraft lore? :(

    U mad, begone!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Dralen

    Although the gameplay does look like WoW’s, it also reminds me of KOTOR’s gameplay, which also used Action Bars and cooldowns and the the like.

    I think they are right to push the story of this game, because that is definitely what has been missing from my MMO experience. It should also make the levelling less of a grind and more of a fun experience.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    As i said before. This clone won’t move a lot of units.

    @1, WOW lore is fantastic.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. DarkElfa

    I’m not saying that WoW lore isn’t great, only that I didn’t like it due to my having no familiarization with it.

    I don’t like peanut butter but I’m sure its a great food and many would swear by it. IOW, it’s only personal preference, not an opinion that it sucks.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Thalius

    Why does everyone compare every MMO with WoW?????? Its like WoW is the only grail or something, ok it makes of ton of money but thats it.
    WoW copied of ton of ideias from an ton of diferent games and yet nobody seems to realize that nor do they care to.
    I’m not a WoW fan or do i say it sucks i just dont care about it, but it starting to get on my nerves all this WoW talk…

    Whats really copied? Wow? or the game WoW copied from? hm????

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DSB

    @6 It’s called setting the bar. WoW might’ve played off of previous MMOs, but why would anyone care about that? None of those MMOs accomplished half of what WoW has.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. RockTwist

    Gonna keep posting the same thing, game looks fine and i’m looking forward to it.

    Strange how analysts are suddenly believed/trusted when they echo someones own opinion.

    Despite the fact the previews of this from E3 are generally positive, even from who usually dislike theme park MMO’s.

    Plus this is old news, EA have said (yesterday) in a conference call that it will release calendar year 2011.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Grimrita

    After watching the live demo, the combat looked very static. Probably why in the released video, they swapped the Bounty Hunter to a Sith.

    A game that is 4 years + in development only to copy another dull MMO is a worry. There is playing it safe and there is wrapping your product in cotton wool..

    A few folks from massively were unimpressed as well. Shame, as I was looking forward to this.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. deathgaze

    I’m falling down on the negative side of this controversy. In all likelyhood, the game will flop exactly like every other major MMORPG released since WoW. Which is a shame, too, because I was looking forward to seeing what BioWare could bring to the table for the genre.

    I think it’s fair to say that WoW’s position in the marketplacee is unassailable into the foreseeable future. Clones will continue to be made and they will continue to fail. Anyone with the cash and clout to make a new and original take on the MMORPG genre will not do it simply because it’s too risky. The only things that could possibly derail WoW at this point is gross mismanagement of Blizzard’s service or age.

    In the latter case, this could take years. One of the clones will eventually be graphically advanced enough and have suitably good gameplay to finally take WoW down a notch or two.

    #10 4 years ago

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