Former SWTOR bigwig dislikes the term ‘whale’

    
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Former SWTOR bigwig dislikes the term ‘whale’

The latest salvo in the ongoing free-to-play culture war comes courtesy of former Star Wars: The Old Republic lead systems designer Damion Schubert. In a GDC talk titled “Embracing the Paradigm Shift: Converting a Premium Team to an (Enthusiastic!) Freemium Team,” Schubert advocates for a terminology shift from the word “whale” to the word “patron.”

“These people are very important, and we can start by treating them with some fucking respect,” Schubert told his audience.

GameIndustry.biz summarizes the presentation, which saw Schubert advance the narrative that F2P is the future. “Imagine if you will that EA and DICE manage to figure out how to make a true Battlefield 5 experience that is actually a good free-to-play experience,” he said. “They’ll have an increase in profits, they’ll claim the free-to-play first-person shooter experience, Call of Duty will have to flip, and then the whole genre will flip.”

[Source: GI.biz]

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MewmewGirl
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MewmewGirl

But they *are* Whales.  Whale isn’t a rude term.  It’s fairly descriptive.  Why would they call a Whale a Patron?  I don’t really get it.  “Patrons” are everybody who pays, only some users are the super paying Whales.  And of course they’re super important.  They’re already treated as if they’re the only ones that matter by a lot of Freemium game publishers.

What should change is these companies exploitation of the Whales, not the term that they get called.

syberghost
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syberghost

Gylnne perhaps, but subs aren’t viable in the short term or the medium term, and you have to keep the lights on through those terms to GET to the long term.

Gylnne
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Gylnne

Sinaptic sray155 5 bucks? That is crazy.

Gylnne
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Gylnne

pepinocantador It’s kind of like calling a ‘hooker’ a ‘call girl’.

Well said.

Gylnne
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Gylnne

rioinsignia Wait! You have to pay to put your hood up and down? LOL

Gylnne
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Gylnne

“Schubert advance the narrative that F2P is the future”

Keep drinking the cool aid.:) F2P is not sustainable in the long term. And the game play is eventually geared to the cash shop instead of being created with what the players want.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/13/mark-jacobs-on-the-coming-f2p-apocalypse/

Observer98
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Observer98

There’s a real Amway feel to all of this crap.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

Respect……from the guy who loved to respectfully over use the phrase “Wall of Crazy” whenever someone asked about giving SWTOR more depth than a teaspoon. That’s rich.
I wonder if Damion remembers that blog he wrote about how the magic of Star Wars would be lost if players couldn’t “jump off the rails from time to time”?
How he believed that SWTOR was straddling a “Centrist” path between the extreme concepts of “worlds” and “games”.  When in actuality SWTOR’s design was far from that mark.
Respect is earned Damion, not bestowed. 
And you only respect the “whales” because they’re the only ones who blindly believe in terrible design decisions.

Mathew_Reuther
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Mathew_Reuther

TANSTAAFL. Anyone who forgets that deserves what they get.

MoneyisSlavery
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MoneyisSlavery

While we’re on the subject of respect, what about the lack of to the Collectors Edition holders, and the Subscribers. Somehow they were overlooked. When finally one player yelled out in the official forums with a solid argument about the subject that caught the attention of Cory Butler. His response: We haven’t forgotten you folks.
The corrective actions that followed were beyond what could be measured as an insult. This type of behavior continued without end. In all of your eyes at the Studio it was satisfactory and passed. Too bad you were the only ones that felt that way…

So Damion, your statements perfectly demonstrate just how unimportant those people became after F2P. The continued slap to the face from the Austin Studio every month. 
Only the “whales” were of prime importance. Everyone else became third class citizens in comparison. You all hid it well too. However, it was more and more transparent every month that followed. Eventually, all one had to do was open their eyes to the truth of the situation and make the hard choice to step back and look around at what was going on around them.