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

Tuesday, 14 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 GI.biz) 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.”

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10 Comments

  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 MMORPG.com 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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    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]