Koster’s final post-mortem: Did Star Wars Galaxies fail?


Raph Koster has wrapped up his Star Wars Galaxies retrospective with a blog post that asks whether or not the sci-fi MMORPG failed.

It’s a loaded question, naturally, and from a player perspective it depends upon whether you’re in the all-lightsabers-all-the-time camp or whether you enjoyed the fact that SWG simulated many different aspects of a galaxy far, far away.

In terms of performance, Koster debunks a lot myths about the “failure” of the game in terms of player numbers and financials. The title picked up “more new users a day than all other SOE games combined, even after the Combat Upgrade,” he notes. “The game wasn’t doing as badly as people seem to think. It didn’t fail in the market. It did just fine, even by the standards pre-WoW,” Koster explains. “But there were huge expectations that we didn’t push against, it launched with serious problems, and the team wasn’t really equipped to fix them. This resulted in a series of errors that damaged the game’s ongoing viability, which resulted in more hurried changes.”

He also relays an interesting anecdote concerning both SWG and EverQuest, the latter of which lacked vendors which caused many of its players to purchase second accounts that served as merchant bots. EQ’s sub numbers were therefore inflated to the point that when SOE finally added vendors, a mass cancellation resulted. “I did the math, and comparing unique actual people, SWG may well have had about as many players as EQ did,” Koster writes. There’s a lot more to his final SWG post, but you’ll have to hit up his blog to read the whole thing.

[Source: Koster’s blog]
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