Edit: There was a uncomplete version of this post posted earlier… it featured some parts of some other post and other sillyness… if you got that in your readers, I do apologize.
I’ve been trying for a good part of the evening yesterday to find some solid stats on where Swtor is at regarding launch numbers, subscriptions, growth (or lack of) and other interesting stats. It’s a surprinsingly harder job than I thought. Reliable information is sparse and not a lot has come out yet. Bioware claims a million registered users, there’s some research indicating about 350k concurrent users during peak times and most reviewers are giving scores averaging 90%, 4/5, 9/10 with a few perfect scores. After two weeks in, I’d say it’s a pretty good launch.
Now the real question on everyone’s mind is: “Will it grow bigger than WoW?”. To put things into perspective, I found this old article written around 2 weeks after WoW launch. 325k copies sold with 100k subscribers playing at the same time. But as many have said, that was then and this is now and WoW remains the bigger game. Swtor would seem to have bigger numbers but I think it’s worth keeping in mind that since 2004, a lot more people are playing MMOs so the real test will really be at the 1 month marker when people really have to put their money down. To answer the original question, I think right now the only thing we can say is: “it’s too early to tell”.
This is where I’ll try predicting the future and go off on wild tangents based off the totally unscientific method I call… my opinion. When I was researching the information one thing jumped at me, clear as day, and that was that Swtor launch is polarizing the player base of both WoW and itself like no other game launch I’ve ever seen. I’ve been part of quite a few launches since WoW(WaR, Lotro, AoC, Aion, Rift,…) and nothing ever came this close.
The past few times, the WoW player reaction was to wait it out, saying that the new game would fail and then the players would come back. There was a bit of trolling on both side as usual but that was it, life as normal and right enough, after the first month was over, players would come back and some would stay over with the new love of their life. Life continued on.
Swtor however seems to be percieved by WoW players as The Enemy. Mentions of Swtor are met with virulent attacks and frequent “proof” that Swtor is failing is discovered to prove that the reigning king is still safe. To say that some WoW players are defensive is to put it mildly, it’s all out war and no prisoners will be taken.
In the other camp things are not really better. WoW is a forbidden word. To speak of it other than to announce its death is to invite public humiliation followed by a proper burning at the stake of the offender. Using WoW terms for Swtor, like calling a flashpoint an instance, is likely to earn similar punishement.
It’s a bit silly to see this kind of trench war being acted out but incredibly fascinating at the same time. Stay tuned for more excitment!