Dec 6, 2011

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Electronic Arts CFO Claims 2 Million Beta Testers – 725,000 Over Thanksgiving

In an article over at Gamespot, Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown is quoted during the annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York as saying that TOR attracted 2 million unique Beta testers, and that the Beta testers themselves have logged over 9 million hours of testing time.

“The game itself has a huge pre-existing fan base. We had about 2.4 million people register for the Star Wars fan site, over 2 million of which volunteered to do [beta] testing for free,” said Brown. “In terms of peak concurrent users, we had just over a quarter of a million people playing the game simultaneously.”

He also added that 725,000 unique players logged time over the Thanksgiving weekend, with each player averaging 12 hours of playtime.

Brown also took the time to comment about how advertising for the launch of TOR differs from other titles, aiming squarely at attracting new customers:

Brown told the conference that this high “preregistered and built-in” demand for the product would mean a launch advertising campaign considerably different from those for other high-profile EA titles, with the focus instead on attracting new customers for the long term (“two to four years”) and the critical percentage of players who renew their subscription from month to month.

For those that were on during the weekend, they can easily answer questions about the stability and playability of the game during that, but I know I personally ran into no issues in those regards. And of course, this comes as great news to EA, who has claimed it only needs 500,000 monthly subscribers to have TOR stay profitable.

Check out Gamespot for more.

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Nov 23, 2011

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BioWare: A Force To Be Reckoned With

BioComic

BioComic - Click to Enlarge!

Fast Company, a magazine dedicated to progressive entrepreneurship and business, takes a look at BioWare and just how big of a bet Star Wars: The Old Republic is for Electronic Arts:

The stakes are as big as the game. For BioWare and its parent company, Electronic Arts, the release of The Old Republic is nothing short of transformational, according to Michael Hickey, senior analyst at National Alliance Capital Partners.

But beyond the financials, the article also takes a nice look at what makes BioWare great, from the writing to the ethos:

BioWare has become something akin to Pixar: a boutique production studio that wins critical acclaim for its rich storytelling, despite the less refined reputation of its parent company. If BioWare’s narrative magic works for the MMO genre, the game could be a blockbuster.

The article closes with the white elephant in the room: what if it fails?

Given the high degree of peril involved with this project, do Muzyka and Zeschuk worry The Old Republic might flop? “We have a pretty healthy sense of paranoia, so when we’re testing a game we know what problems to anticipate,” Muzyka says. “It’s something we’re used to as doctors–there’s always something new to learn in medicine.” His expression is open yet reveals nothing. “Besides,” shrugs the avid poker player, “I’ve played the game. I know it’s fun.”

Head on over to Fast Company for the full read - it’s a must for TOR fans, BioWare fans and entrepreneurs alike!

 

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Oct 13, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: RP-PvP Servers and Rulesets

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

Recently, Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid confirmed that RP-PvP servers will be in the game at launch.  In effect, we will have Roleplay servers with open world Player versus Player combat in effect.  However, he also said that RP will be a suggestion only for such servers, and that no ruleset or naming convention will be enforced.

As you can imagine I got to thinking about what this might mean for the RP community.  I can see two perspectives at play and I think that overall the RP community loses more than it gains with BW’s announced approach.

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Aug 4, 2011

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BioWare Emerges As Own Label Out Of EA Reorganization

Today, Electronic Arts announced somewhat of a reorganization of their business units as well as re-assignment of some top executives.

Of most interest to fans and followers of Star Wars: The Old Republic would be the emergence of BioWare as its own label under the new EA Labels division (consisting of EA Games, EA Sports, EA Play as well as BioWare.)

Dr. Ray Muzyka will head up the BioWare unit, and former EA Games President Frank Gibeau has been tapped to lead EA Labels overall.

Also of note is Dragon Age Legends studio EA2D now falls under BioWare, and will be part of BioWare San Francisco.

While the changes are noteworthy due to the pay grade of those involved, it seems to be business as usual, at least for our favorite upcoming MMO. We’ll report any more details as we learn them.

Source: Gamasutra

 

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Apr 18, 2011

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Ask A Jedi @ BioWare Austin: Fan Site Summit Here We Come!

As you may or may not have heard Sunday, the word is out – there are big things going on in the big state of Texas next week, specifically in Austin: The Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Fan Site Summit hosted by BioWare!

BioWare has invited a select group of fan sites down to the Austin studio for the royal treatment – a studio tour, interviews with developers, paddle-boat rides on Lake Lady Bird with David Bass, and of course, plenty of hands-on time with The Old Republic™! The festivities will take place on April 25th and 26th, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Needless to say, this is going to provide us an opportunity to get more up-close and personal with BioWare and TOR than ever before, and you can count on every single fan site to bring their own angle to the coverage in the coming weeks. This will be a palooza by every definition of the word!

So stay tuned this week for more information, and if you’re on Twitter (which you should be), make sure you’re keeping track of the hashtag #SWTOUR

The fan sites that have announced their attendance so far (we’ll add more as they do – there are about 15 total, and not all from America – plenty of European representation as well!)

 

BioWare Austin, Here We Come!

We're in your city, parking in your lots.

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Mar 31, 2011

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Vote For BioWare In The Escapist March Mayhem Developer Showdown

It’s that time of year again… when seemingly hundreds of “bracket” knockoffs crop up from every corner of the Internet in honor of college basketball’s NCAA March Madness. For example, Hershey’s March Sweetness. Congrats to Pay Day bar!

But there’s at least one bracket knockoff that that’s important to us gamers: The Escapist March Mayhem!  And it just got even more important for the TOR faithful, because BioWare has made it to the final round! And they’re up against some formidable competition – none other than Mojang AB, the creators of the mega-sensaton MineCraft!

I don’t think I need to tell you to. Head on over to The Escapist and vote for the fine folks who are making this massively multiplayer online game we’re all chomping at the bit for – BioWare!

March Mayhem

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