Star Trek Online: Second to WOW?

A lot of blogs are talking about Star Trek Online’s successes and failures. Atari announced today that STO had over one million accounts activated. The blogs like, gamerant, and even us at killtenrats have noticed. However, we’ve also noticed that we’ve heard this story before. We heard it from Age of Conan, we heard it from Warhammer, and recently we heard it from Aion.

Where World of Warcraft was able to drastically increase it’s numbers after launch, these new MMOs have been unable to duplicate the success. Droves of people tried Conan and were turned off by the lack of content. Many people tried Aion only to be turned away by it’s massive grind. I like to think that if any of these games had been of higher quality, everyone who tried it would be impressed enough to tell their friends about it. In a word, these games failed to “wow” people, no pun intended.

And lets remind ourselves, Cryptic may not be honest. Having “one million accounts” could refer to forum accounts, or include the multitude of people who pre-ordered the game from target for 99 cents and are currently playing a preorder’s free-download with no intention of ever spending any more money. Sounds a bit like Free Realms doesn’t it?

Even if Cryptic’s claims about initial success are accurate, there’s no doubt in my mind that the game was not ready to launch. Lack of content is Cyrptics “kryptonite”. Considering Cryptic says they tossed all the previous developer’s work in the trash and started development from scratch just two years ago, it’s impressive they have as good an MMO as they do. But still, the game doesn’t feel complete. This lack of quality will drive away any non-Star-Trek fan who sets up an account with Star Trek Online.

So can Star trek Online hold it’s numbers post launch? No, probably not.

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Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband. Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

18 thoughts on “Star Trek Online: Second to WOW?”

  1. The thing is though this game like AOC and WAR before it has until the Next Big Shiny to inspire people enough to keep playing. And because all the other releases seem a long way off that’s actually a lot more time than the games that flopped had.

    Simply put if you’re playing STO and finding it a bit meh there’s nothing else in terms of new MMO releases to pull you away. Allods maybe but most people just install the f2ps and play them a bit when they’re not playing their main game.

  2. One million acoounts this month, half that in three months, “life support” by Christmas. Same as every AAA release in the last three years.

    No doubt there is another big MMO out there somewhere, but in general even the most successful Western MMO is going to struggle to keep half a million accounts in the medium-term. If everyone keeps looking for WoW-like figures from each new release then everything is going to be deemed a “failure”.

  3. Just waiting for the Old Republic. Not playing any MMOs by then. And its been nice. Playing all the single player games out there.

    1. Oh man, I’m in the exact same boat. I made a Star Trek Online music video on youtube in which the last words to appear on the screen are literally “STO, something to play while waiting for the next Star Wars game”. Specifically, The Old Republic.

      1. But if lots of other people are doing that, it’ll keep STO on its feet for at least a year ;)

        I’d like to see STO do well, I’m liking the gameplay. But I have other games I want to play as well, so once I’ve had my month’s fun with it, will I want to keep paying? I don’t know.

  4. It isn’t one that I think will pull in a large quantity of players. It is more of a niche game if anything. So far it hasn’t appealed to me in any way. I see a lot of people talking about it- I’m already bored hearing about it heh.

    It seems another standard MMO that won’t stand up to whats out there now as far as subscription numbers go. I am sure it’s a trekkie’s dream lol.

  5. Honestly, I think this is how Cryptic rolls. It feels to me like they build just enough of a game to roll out and make money…. kind of like an MMO-style corporate raiding. I wish them all the best. I have no malice towards them at all, but their tactics don’t want to make me try their games.

  6. Long-term issues aside, I’m somewhat skeptical of this claim. All of the articles I’ve seen anywhere ultimately attribute the million “registered” accounts to this link.

    What does “registered” mean? Actual retail keys entered? Or does it count free open beta? Head start accounts from pre-orders that have since been canceled? The announcement is missing from both Atari’s and STO’s page, so we have no way of being sure. That said, I trust studio marketing departments about as far as I can throw them, so I’m presuming this number is NOT $50+ retail boxes sold until actually announced in print otherwise.

    (See also the time Turbine helpfully told some idiot reporter how many characters had been created, presumably including open beta, and then didn’t correct them when they came to a massive subscriber number figure because Turbine doesn’t comment on subscriber numbers, except when they invite people to draw misleading conclusions about subscriber numbers.)

  7. I will become Admiral today or tomorrow. I think STO does not have the content or system to keep people subscribed for more than 2-3 months.

    But it is quite fun, I wonder if it would not have done better as F2P item shop game in the long run. Or with a Guild Wars model. But obviously GW’s model was not profitable enough (note I did not say it was not profitable, just that some people probably think they can make even more money out of the franchise with more micro transactions), despite the huge success of the game.

  8. It all depends on what they do with the launch influx of cash. Keep working on bugs for sure, but in which direction do they take the game… more space missions? more away team? new features?

    Personally, the game doesn’t appeal to me because it seems like more of a single player game where you sometimes play with other people than an actual multi-player game. Pirates of the Burning Sea was the same way.

  9. 1 million accounts is obviously some PR gibberish. Even if we assume it’s true, the number of users that game has three months from now means a lot more than what they have at launch. I would guess that the steady population of the game will turn out to be in the 100K to 300K range. I hope for Cryptic’s sake that their business model is predicated on “modest success” rather than “WoW killer.”

  10. “Cryptic may not be honest” is much like saying “Water may be wet” or “Snow may be cold”.

    1. Yes water may be wet and snow may be cold — and you better believe that Cryptic sorely appears to have mislead it’s customers.
      I suspect newbies have not played a real star trek MMO game, and it’s not their fault to think STO is heaven or something. My gut feeling is that STO is a scam, from the git go. The print advertising and the boxes all scream fly and fight – exactly what Star Trek gaming is about, so it was natural that most customers believed the imagery, but the imagery for STO said one thing and the game turned out being something else.
      The imagery that Cryptic drew, was not an accurate representation of the game. Moreover, things that Cryptic stated in print would be done, were not done. Cryptic added more lame content instead of fixing the bugs. Cryptic broke a commitment to it’s customers.
      And did you know that Cryptic allegedly said that they “THREW OUT” (I read it in print) ALL OF THE ORIGINAL WORK on a Star Trek type game that they inherited with the contract. (How foolish).
      And what is going to happen to the money I spent – I bought a deluxe Ed + a life membership, and I bought the same as a present to my son (we both love star Trek) and spent money early on, near $800.00. But now that we see what STO is really like, we detest it. It’s not cannon, STO was not as it was depicted, we quit playing (and so did our friends) and that says it all.

  11. As I recall Turbine had a similar statement when LOTRO was released. They all spin the numbers in some way to make it sound large.

    If Cryptic continue to give some kind of numbers in the next few months, then they are probsbly doing well financially with the game. No numbers or any indicators at all, then probably not so well.

  12. Interestng that one of the biggest complaints about Champions online was the lack of content. Cryptic responded by announcing new cstuff – available for an extra price. Nickle and diming people will be one of the biggest factors in turning people off STO. Having already paid for the game and soon a monthly fee to keep playing. Charging for extra content will be a killer to any good will or positive buzz the game manages to generate. (Look at the complaints about the charges for extra playable races Cryptic have already implemented).

    Yes it’s fun to play at the start (the fleet battles against the Borg do look good and are quite entertaniing) but with a lot of repetitivness already in missions and the threat (promise?) of a lack of end game at Admiral – it will be interesting to see what follows.

    At least they more or less got the launch right. We haven’t been expected to endure the 7 hour queues that came with Aion in its first week. There was no queue at all last night, though whether that was because of Superbowl..

    Cryptic are starting to get an “average” reputation from a games developer. They need to be aware of that or generating the hype for their next game will be that much harder.

  13. Been a 6 year on-and-off subscriber to WoW. In short: nothing beats WoW in exploration, expansion, conquest and social diversity.

    I’ve bought and played Guild Wars Nightfall, EVE Online (the only other good MMO game), Tabula Rasa, D&D Stormreach, Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online (beautiful visuals, but meh game), Aion (huge disappointment), etc and tried dozens of F2P MMO games over the last 12-ish years. People say WoW sucks because it’s cartoony or it sucks because it’s full of immature Barrens’ Chat ‘kiddies’ or that it’s “all tedious level grinding”. Seriously? Aren’t all MMO ‘RP’ games at one point or another grinding? Cartoony is hardly a visual fault. It’s more like preference. As far as maturity goes, you’re bound to find immaturity in any in-game population of topping 12 million players.

    Indeed, this isn’t about WoW, but about STO, but that’s the thing. I’ve read some of the comments here saying in essence that it isn’t ‘fair’ to compare STO to WoW with subscriber numbers or that games like STO are doing “just fine” as a new MMO.

    I disagree completely.

    WoW is proof of what works. When gaming studios try to do something drastically off the proven path, they are often met with a crap-load of dissatisfied players. What these development houses should realize is that players will often stick with what works. If you create a game with proven mechanics, with your own skin and substance, tweak it a bit to suit your world and your own bits and pieces of creativity, people are more likely to stay with your game.

    Like I said, I’ve played a LOT of different MMO games over the years. To the studios: stop trying to be too different and definitely stop trying to be another cookie-cutter game without substance. WoW is awesome because it’s ‘in-depth’ with lore, diverse quests, diverse travel mechanics, fluid and customizable controls, massive world to explore, broad visual effects and beautiful professional musical score and much much more.

    Mind you, with this said, I can’t wait until Old Republic comes out. I just really hope it doesn’t turn out to be another DDO, Tabula Rasa, Aion, GW, etc, etc, etc, etc.

  14. WoW garnered its success through pedigree. Many of the new MMO’s on the block think they can just put out a game and join in the profit sharing / taking.

    Blizard had Diablo, Diablo II, Warcraft (in all its previous guises) and Dune all laying paving for a player base. Sure WoW isn’t any of those games, but people grew up with Blizzard and knowing they deliver.

    If other MMO’s would stop trying to be Blizard (or WoW) and just try to be good game houses who happen to provide online gaming they could succeed too.

    Personally i’m hoping STO doesn’t fall a foul of bad publicity. Its a good game, its still a baby and like any baby you need paitience and some level of parental feeling to see through all the crying and screaming to see what it is going to become in the future.

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