Collective Sigh

July 27, 2011 at 2:30 am | Posted in mmorpg, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 21 Comments
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Star Wars: The Old Republic officially opened up pre-orders recently and I was surprised to see what they had to offer. Their collector’s edition costs $150. I was a bit taken aback.

It used to be that you could pay $200 for a life time subscription to some games. Lord of the Rings Online being the most prominent example I can think of. To think that a collectors edition now costs nearly as much sort of blows my mind.

Sure the CE contains a statuette that makes up much of the cost, but I can’t personally fathom paying so much money for something that seems to me to be a money grab. Here’s a list of what is available.

Pre-Order Exclusive:
Early Game access
Color Stone (virtual item)

30 Days Game Time included

Limited Collector’s Edition Includes:
Exclusive Gentle Giant Darth Malgus statue
Game disks collectible metal case
The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural as annotated by Satele Shan
The Old Republic galaxy map
Custom Security Authentication Key
Music of Star Wars: The Old Republic CD
High-quality Collector’s Edition box

Includes 7 Additional Digital Items:
Flare Gun
Training Droid
HoloDancer
HoloCam
STAP
Exclusive Mouse Droid
Exclusive Collector’s Edition Store

The pre-order exclusive section goes to anyone who pre-orders any version of the game. Most of the digital items come with the digital deluxe edition ($80) except the “exclusive” ones. The rest obviously come with the CE only.

I really don’t find the Digital Deluxe or Collectors Edition appealing and hopefully I can explain why, point by point.

A statue of Malgus. Okay it looks like a decent statue. Not much to make fun of here except that it adds about $60 to your CE cost.

The game disks metal case. It’s an online game, an mmorpg, and most of the game is going to be downloaded. I find it difficult to understand why you’d need a particularly special box to hold your game disks in for this type of game. Any mmorpg game disks become quickly outdated since mmorpgs are patched significantly after launch. So perhaps it’s a nice thing to put on display, but really, it’s useless.

The journal. Hard to say. It sounds as though it could be a written rehash of the timeline videos on the swtor website. It could be an interesting and fun thing to include, but there is little information about it.

The galaxy map. Aside from the fact there are plenty of places to find a map of the Star Wars universe from various time frames, I suppose I can’t crap on this too much. I would like one of these up on my wall.

The authenticator. Call me crazy, but game companies that charge a $15 subscription fee along with the price of the game, and even $150 for their CE should probably provide free protection for game accounts. Seriously. What the hell.

The music. I’m not a fan of getting another copy of some music I just bought in game form. First of all if I own the game, this should be a freebie somehow, not part of some over-priced CE. Couple that with how personally, I can only listen to game music in the context of playing games, and you’ve lost me.

The high quality box. Yeah. Enough said. It’s a box. Didn’t I already get a metal one of these at the top? What?

The in game vendor. I can’t find much information about it. Not sure what you can buy, or whether it’s worth it. How do you expect to sell people on things without more thoroughly explaining what some of the items are?

The mini-pet. Nice enough I’m sure, but I’m betting there are some available in game as well.

The mouse droid mini-pet

Setting aside the price of the game ($60) and the statue (some say around $60) I’m still paying $30 for very little overall. A poster, a booklet, a mini-pet, access to an npc store, and two things I should be provided with for just being their customer in the first place, music and security.

Of course you do get the other digital deluxe items ($80) but in my opinion they’re still overpriced. They are essentially a mount, a couple of emotes, a combat pet, and a holocam of which there is little information. Is it a mini-pet, something else? These cost $20 extra.

I just don’t know where MMO companies get off charging so much for so little. Perhaps it’s our fault for paying for this crap, or their fault for being greedy, but I won’t be buying the DD or CE for Star Wars: The Old Republic. I refuse to be gouged.

It’s a shame though. I’m EA’s target demographic for Star Wars products. The fact that they can’t entice me with their statue, soundtrack, or booklet should tell you something.

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21 Comments

  1. I think with this game you are getting people who will buy it just because it is Star Wars. I take that back i know someone that pre ordered and I was shocked he doesn’t play video games. When he asked if he was going to play he said no I am not even going to remove the shrink wrap.

    So with this game people will buy just to have an “collectors” item for Star Wars

    • Yeah part of me gets even angrier when I think that they’re pricing that way just to get money from giant star wars fans. It’s so cynical, if true.

  2. They know the hardcore Star Wars fans very well. There was no need to have a mini-statue in the CE. Heck, most of the people really interested in the game for the game’s sake probably don’t even care about the statue. I’ve heard people claim that the CE is worth the money because they say the statue alone costs $80-$100 by itself. But I’m sure Bioware/EA got a nice price break on an order that size.

    Bioware/EA knew they could charge a higher price if they added the statue in the CE because they know the hardcore fans. There are those fans out there that will pay top dollar for a new ‘exclusive’ Star Wars collectable. And I’ve heard many people claim they bought several copies of the CE specifically so they can sell them later on Ebay for a higher price.

    And I’m with you on the other CE items and the digital rewards as well. Totally underwhelming for that price. From what I understand, the holocam is nothing but some in game mechanism to take screenshots (with maybe a social media link somehow). Since when do you need to pay extra in order to take screen shots in an MMO? Also, I’ve heard (via Gamebreaker) the CE vendor things is actually inside of a small exclusive cantina type area on a planet that offers visually unique armors and other such items for in-game money. Items offered from this vendor will change over time but remain equivalent in power as regular in-game items.

    Overall I call the CE and Digital Deluxe a waste of money. Of course everyone is different and what they consider valuable can be different from myself. For those REALLY into Star Wars, I’m sure the CE was $150 well spent. Not I.

    • Well I admit the in game vendor does sound appealing, but I’d like more of that than things like “high quality box”.

      There seem to be a lot of people doing the whole *actual* collector thing by buying the box only to resell later.

      The holocam sounds like a ripoff, if that is the case. Ridiculous and obtuse way of taking ss’s.

      Both the ce and dd just have too much waste for too much money IMO.

  3. If were just talking the price point here. Yes people are going to buy it at the price just because it Star Wars. Imagine if Tera or something other not-so-well-known game came out with a CE like this it would be a different story.

    Hell LucasArts re-released the Star War movies like what, a kabillion times. Name brand plus statue equals big money and people are going to pay for it as sad as that may make you.

    • It’s something as a star wars fan that I’ve been living with for a long time. One of the most irritating examples for me are their EU books that always come out in hardcover. Instead of releasing in paperback after 3 or 6 months which is the industry standard, star wars books wait 1 year. Pisses me off.

  4. SWTOR is going to sell a lot of boxes unfortunately but I’m hoping it would not be a successful game not because I hate… no. Only because I fear. I fear that because of the success of this WoW-in-Space we’re going to have yet another 10 years of shallow MMORPGs because SWTOR and WoW before it proved that there’s a better market for such games.

    The CE price is a joke. What’s interesting about Star Wars anyway, I just don’t get it. It’s over done, didn’t people get bored of it already?

    • Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish ill will upon the game or its success. It has as much right to succeed as any game and it would be a disaster for the MMO industry for such a highly budgeted game to do badly.

      I’m also a big star wars fan and your arguments of being bored with it don’t really appeal to me.

      I also would disagree that it is just WoW in space. People tend to just describe every non-WoW game with even the slightest similarity as being WoW with such and such. I don’t find that argument convincing any more.

      • I didn’t get you wrong and here’s my thoughts.

        It would be a disaster for YOU and salvation for me if SWTOR fails. I don’t care for big corporations or the “industry”. When corporations enter the Entertainment “industry” they tend to dumb the whole experience down to meet a wider circle of audience, most people cannot digest complexity. In the Music Industry for instance corporations throw low-quality entertainment products because that’s what the “main stream” audience like. They like Britney Spears good for them but I in the other hand am sick of the current MMORPG approach and the McDonnaldization of the genre. I’m glad you’re enjoying it though, I’m happy for you. However, to each his own. I will quote George Carlin “You like it, you eat it.”

        Don’t tell me how to distinguish between the similarities of MMORPGs I’ve been playing games for 30 years now from table top to computer gaming to MMORPG in particular (both text based MUDs and 2D and 3D world). Just because I want to write a short comment doesn’t mean I have to elaborate. I was thinking you’d understand what “WoW in space” means. I never said SWTOR is a “WoW Clone” and again refer to my website to read my opinion about the term “WoW clone” I am the last person to be clueless and confused about MMORPG Similarities. When I say WoW in space I mean the Quest Driven Content and Hand Holding level. Itemization and Economy (Auction House system). What’s your experience in MMORPGs? Most people who started playing MMORPGs on 2004 have a hard time imagining something beyond the WoW standardization of the genre. I don’t want to go into details regarding this issue but I just find it insulting that you really didn’t grasp the “WoW in space” point. We’ve discussed this issue in forums/blogs and articles I’m glad you figured it out.

        I can tell the difference between specific game mechanics. When you think SWTOR is “different” than WoW then I say maybe because you either have low expectations or you’ve never experienced anything different. Please don’t mix up the term WoW Clone and WoW standardized model. Because of WoW’s success and that’s a fact even the blind can see. I’ll give you ONE example; I don’t want to waste your time.. Just after WoW’s success MMORPG adapted the Quest Driven system with that yellow exclamation mark (regardless of what iconography the game uses the point is the same). That kind of hand holding is a mutation and disgrace to the genre. You like it? Good, enjoy. But I have my own opinion and just because you disagree doesn’t mean it didn’t happen… It did.

        I am not those “people” who tend to describe every non-WoW game with even slightest similarity as being WoW with such and such <– I am not those people. If you think the similarities between WoW and SWTOR are slight….You need to think again. We're talking game design concept, game mechanics, and game experience. I can go to specifics and break things down. From how the developers feed you the content of their game to even the User Interface and even the slightest little details. I played too many MMORPGs and put a lot of effort brain storming and reading that I find it, honestly, insulting to be grouped with such "people" or to be taught about the very mere concept of categorizing and observing these games.

        You're a StarWars fan. I believe you when you say my "argument" doesn't appeal to you. I never really wanted you to get bored of StarWars. Enjoy what you like, doesn't bother me. It wasn't an "argument" and I don't care if anyone think Star Wars is that exciting and I believe them because the sales are going to sky rocket I just fail to understand why but that's taste.. no one understands it. No argument here.

  5. Eh. I actually don’t think it’s that bad. A bit steep, yeah. I think 120 would have been a better price.

    I feel like if I were a big Star Wars fan, it’d be worth it. But then again, I think I place a lot more value on items like these than others would. I feel like considering everything, 150 alright.

    I’m a big fan of collector’s editions of things I love. Especially soundtracks and artbooks. Of course, I pick and choose very carefully. There are two games I ever bought CE’s for, and it was because they were franchises I adored (Guild Wars and Starcraft).

    The downfall, though, is that they don’t offer a non-statue version and in that aspect, I agree it’s being a bit greedy. The statue seems like a pretty hardcore SW fan thing, and there’s no boxed alternative without it for people who may want the other stuff. So if you want the CE you’re stuck with the big price tag, which I’m sure they’re betting on. (Although you always have the option to sell the surplus items later, and make some of that money back).

    Now, would -I- drop 150 on the CE of, say, GW2? I can’t say. Knowing that there’s no monthly fees and just loving the game / company might be enough to convince me assuming the items were good (like an epic mouse or something). Although I generally cap my CE’s at 100, so they’d really have to impress for a 150 price tag.

    Overall, though, I enjoy the tiered edition system that’s been popping up with MMOs. They’re offering a lot of great options to pay a little extra and get a little extra or a lot for a lot instead of just the vanilla game.

    I’m curious: what sort of stuff do YOU want to see in CE’s? I feel like, given the options, there really isn’t much else I could think as alternatives.

    • If you like some of the items more than me than that is understandable if you think it’s not that bad. It definitely doesn’t appeal to me on a price point or on a usefulness level.

      You ask an interesting question about the gw2 ce, because well, I posted this post just so I could start talking about the gw2 CE and comparing what it could be or what I want in it with the swtor CE. 😛

  6. EA, staying loyal to their pockets and trying to squeeza last $ out of their consumer. Well, not this time and not ever with those DLC packs for anything. 150$, sure some will buy, but just the exclusivity of that CE is absurd, USA and only half of the Europe.
    Seems as if their goal was to try and sell as much of DE as possible.
    Always hoped they will make combat in SWtOR more like Star Wars and less like WoW. Played WoW for 5 years and just changing location and look, hell count out the guns, lightsabers and some armor and machinery and you have WoW look. won’t work any longer. Why play unestablised game based on WoW when you can play WoW.

    • Judging by some of the swtor combat and a lot of the swtor story it doesn’t look like just a WoW clone to me, I’m sure there are similarities but it isn’t something that worries me.

  7. I’m not awed by it either. Personally, I think all that stuff is just dust collectors. I haven’t even pre-ordered. I’ll probably just go down to my local EB games a week before and order it as I do for all my games. If it’s sold out (which I highly doubt) I’ll just wait. I’m a huge Star Wars (EU too not just the movies) fan but I’m at that point in my life where I don’t need to be first in line on the first day etc. I could even wait a month or two to play. It’s not going anywhere.

    • Yeah I haven’t pre-ordered either, probably end up doing the same thing as you. And we’re both big SW fans right? I think they really missed the mark with this.

  8. Some friends of mine in the MMO industry have joked (I think they are joking) that SWTOR will have a $20+ a month subscription fee as well as a pricey cash shop, because the Star Wars fanatics will pay it. At first I was like, “no way”, but considering these same people joked several weeks ago that the client prices would be, “sky high, just you wait and see” and that is exactly what happened… well, now I’m not so sure. There was no mention of what the monthly fee will be, so maybe EA is in fact thinking they’ll be able to charge $20 or more a month and get away with it? After seeing so many people happily paying $80 for a digital copy and $150 for the CE, if I was EA I’d certainly consider charging $20 a month or slap on a high priced cash shop; or both. If people will pay $25 for a pony, how much would Star Wars fanatics pay for something similar mount-wise: $30, $40, or maybe even $50? I have a feeling both Lucas Arts and EA will push prices to the extreme limit to quickly make back the development costs. Star Wars is the one IP that could get away with doing just that, IMO. Or maybe they’ll offer some kind of premium subscription for $20+ and offer a lesser sub for $15?

    On the other hand, maybe they’ll surprise everyone and go with a $5 a month subscription… hey, you never know! 🙂

    • It might be clever of them to have a $20 sub that lets you access the cash shop for free, and a $15 sub with cash shop, but I don’t think they’re going to do anything drastically different than a $15 sub and a cash shop for non game changing items.

  9. I forgot to mention my own predictions on the client were (sadly) pretty much wrong. I thought they’d have 5 boxed editions:

    $60 – regular boxed edition with both Jedi and Sith on the cover with nice artwork, maybe similar in design to the original Star Wars movie posters (got that right, but that was a pretty easy guess)

    $70 – two Special Edition boxes, one Jedi themed, the other Sith, with metal case, art book, and some in-game stuff for the matching side

    $80 to $90 – two Collectors Edition boxes with a Jedi or Sith statue respectively, lots of goodies, small metal spaceship for each side, etc.

    That was probably a bit carried away thinking on my part, at least to the different dark and light editions, not to mention pricing. Guess I wasn’t paying attention to how much Blizzard charged for Star Craft 2 and such, as well. But I thought they might really make a big splash with a variety of boxed editions because the fanatical SW fans would likely buy multiple editions and/or copies just to collect them. It certainly would have made for some impressive displays at the brick and mortar stores. Who knows, maybe they’ll do that at some point as well, for an expansion most likely.

    • Really didn’t know what to expect but wasn’t expecting anything in the price range they went with.

  10. I hear that we, in Australia, don’t even get the choice since they have just limited its release to N.America and Europe since we apparently cause you guys too much lag…

    Anyway back to my cave while I wait for GW2.

    As a side note, I’d buy a CE for GW2, probably up to $200. I have to live with never having my godly aura in GW… never again in a Anet game.

    Why you’d pay this much for a non-proven mmo developer I don’t know. I like having SWTOR around, once it goes the whinge machines going to go full time on GW2 and its a long time off yet not sure it could make it to release date without getting buried in dung.

    • I would never pay $200 for a ce. Thats just getting ridiculous. Godly aura is nice but I’ve never felt like i missed out on the CE for gw.


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