MMORPG.com just published an article by Scott Jennings on Legendary Failures of Legend, pretty much a listing of all of the worst failures that have occured in the MMO realm. Well, in the end, MMORPG.com calls SWG as the Worst MMO Failure of All Time. Amazed at this level of honesty about the NGE? So were we and so we thought we would share the news.
Here is the snippet about SWG:
Star Wars Galaxies: No, Really, Let’s Launch Again, It’ll Be Great
And then we have the greatest MMO failure of all time.
No, there’s no contest. 50 years from now, students in game design colleges will study Star Wars Galaxies’ “New Game Experience” relaunch, with the instructors shouting “DO NOT EVER DO THIS, EVER EVER EVER”.
From SOE’s perspective, the problem was fairly simple. You have Star Wars, which is a fairly compelling and popular license about blasters and Jedi knights and space war, and then you have Star Wars Galaxies, which was an incredibly intricate economic/crafting/social simulator. At some point, the two needed to merge, and it’s pretty clear that George Lucas wasn’t going to re-write Star Wars to be all about Toshley Station’s moisture vaporators. So... let’s make Star Wars Galaxies more compelling! No, I know, let’s make it a twitch-based shooter! And redo the character system from a free-form skill-based system to experience points, levels and classes! Let’s make it a whole new game! Only... let’s do it with the game we already have. C’mon, it’ll be great!
Except they forgot one thing. The players. Who were already playing a game. That they kind of liked. And were paying for. And with no warning, they logged in one day, literally two weeks after an expansion was shipped (and promptly made completely superfluous), and were literally playing a completely different game.
They were kind of angry about this.
No, really. They were really, really angry about this. And quotes like the one in the previous link from the Lucasarts representative who explained that the older version of SWG involved “too much reading” failed to mollify user complaints for some reason.
The results were predictable in retrospect: thousands of players quit, and the expected hundreds of thousands of new players failed to materialize, primarily because for months every gaming forum on the Internet was full of angry spittle-flecked hatred for everything SOE and Lucasarts stood for.
Did I mention that SWG players were kind of angry about this? Takeaway lesson: never - NEVER - switch out the core of what makes your game what it is while you have paying customers. If you do, they will never forgive you.
Sadly, MMORPG.com decided to delete the ENTIRE ongoing topic thread on the matter without any reason or explanation. Thankfully, Kazara managed to have the window open with the topic before the wipe. It can be found HERE