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BioWare: Old Republic players reached end-game at "lightning speed"

Lead designer says players exhausted content with "record breaking" play sessions

BioWare believes that its ambitious MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic has been a victim of its own success.

In an interview with GameSpy, lead game designer Daniel Erickson admitted that BioWare failed to anticipate that players would finish playing the launch content at "record setting lightning speed."

"We got a game that, in contrast to a lot of other MMO's, was actually fun to sit down and play through the level-up game. Which meant we got the longest play sessions that anybody had ever seen in an MMO," Erickson said.

"They were moving through it at a rate of six hours on average for a gameplay time. People were just not putting The Old Republic down. We looked at games that had come before in order to figure out where we expected people to be. What we found was that people played far more at the beginning."

The Old Republic has experienced mixed fortunes since it launched last year. Despite strong reviews, the game's subscriber base has declined from 1.7 million to 1.3 million, and Bioware announced a round of layoffs in its development team last month.

During EA's press conference at E3, BioWare announced a new free trial, due to launch in July, that will be playable up to level 15.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.