Cut the Chatter – bringing you your weekly dose of commentary on the “intelligent” and “insightful” things that your fellow players are talking about in general chat.
Today’s Cut the Chatter is an interesting take on what the impact of Episode VII will have on The Old Republic. The player in the chat believes that Episode VII will generate crazy interest in SWTOR and subscriptions will go through roof. At least that’s my interpretation. It’s entirely possible that he meant the game would literally explode, possibly from the addition of a third Death Star from Episode VII. Let’s hope not.
The premise is an interesting one, that the release of Episode VII, and a renewed interest in Star Wars will translate into increased interest in SWTOR. While I’d love for that to happen, I’m not convinced.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that J.J. Abrams does a bang-up job and Episode VII is the best Star Wars movie of all time. That doesn’t necessarily mean people will want play The Old Republic. The fans already playing might enjoy the game a little more as their interactions with friends and players now include discussions about the film, but the film itself won’t drive subscriptions. Unless of course subscribing to the game includes a part in Episode VIII.
To understand my skepticism we have to go back in time to 2003 – 2005. In 2003 only two of the prequels had been released and Revenge the Sith was still in the making. It was in the Summer of 2003 that Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) was released. You know, an MMO about Star Wars? That game was popular in the beginning, and despite the fact that Episodes I and II were mediocre films, there was still a buzz about Episode III.
Episode III was released in 2005, and is generally regarded as the best of the prequels. It was also in 2005 that the wheels completely came off SWG and the game imploded. The game saw two Episode III expansions, a combat upgrade, and the NGE. During that time it was also bleeding subscriptions. Episode III did nothing to drive up subscription, and the addition of the all the Episode III themed stories, quests and items to the game sparked the ire of many existing players, as it seemed out of place and out of time.
Fast forward to today. It’s 2013 and Episode VII is scheduled for 2015. SWTOR seems to be stable in terms of numbers, and BioWare continues to generate new content every few weeks. It’s unlikely to undergo a major overhaul of its game like SWG did, and not much is known about Episode VII right now.
Still even as more details emerge over the next couple of years, I can’t imagine generating enough buzz to make people crave Star Wars so much that they flock in droves to play the Old Republic.
It will be nice to see Star Wars back in the forefront of popular culture.