It isn’t the first time we have received an email like this – Funcom tried it to – basically it was an email from EA saying play our game or we will kill your characters. In all captial font it said “IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR SWTOR ACCOUNT”. Usually this sort of font is saved for announcements of major earth shaking events or followed in game by “sorry caps”. This almost as much as the email we received from a game company assuring us that our characters, and the email included the character’s name, missed adventuring with us. In this case, the information EA felt it necessary to “yell” at us was a warning that if we don’t play our characters they will release the character names. At least this is one step short of the Funcom ploy “play our game or we will kill your characters” associated with the Age of Conan before they wisely decided to go free to play. Ironically, while telling me “play our game or the toon gets it” won’t get me to come back the reverse is absolutely true – if I decide to return and the toon isn’t there I won’t stay. That is why I didn’t stay when I went back to Fallen Earth. Despite their devs having been guests on our show many times they still deleted our characters.
EA, it seems, is struggling to keep SWTOR afloat. Remember when this game game out? John Smedley from Sony Online Entertainment said it will be the last triple-A subscription only game and he seems to be right. When it came out the estimates where that it cost $500 million dollars to make .
In 2011 EA claimed it only needed 500,000 subscribers to make the game profitable . But as often happens when something goes Free to play there is an influx of new players, and then, once the shine is off the game, all the players living off the “whales” (players who actually pay for the game) leave and the EA is left trying to figure out how to milk more money out of the remaining players.
Play our game or your characters get it! – Back in 2010 Funcom did the same thing when Age of Conan started to take a nose dive into the toilet . Last year when it went Free to Play, EA was faulted for the restrictions it placed on “free” players. When SWTOR came out, EA investors and analysts complained that it didn’t go free to play to start with. But with so many games going “free to play” and not being able to make it, they must have found that it isn’t quite the magic bullet they thought it was.
See you online,