BioWare’s E3 gameplay demonstration of its upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic failed to impress one outspoken industry analyst who believes the game brings little new to the genre. Doug Creutz, senior analyst with Cowen and Company, said in his firm’s E3 report that the game “was essentially a World of Warcraft clone with Star Wars character skins and the BioWare RPG nice/nasty dialogue tree mechanism bolted on for non-player character conversations.”
BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka has responded to the criticism. “We’re progressing well. The fact that we’re showing it hands-on on the show floor is an indication of our confidence in the quality,” Muzyka told Eurogamer in an interview.
Greg Zeschuk, BioWare co-founder, similarly defended the title, stating that they had “pretty well announced the whole range of features. There’s such an incredibly large range of things, like crafting, heroic combat, PVP, war zones, end game content – what we call operations, which are basically raids, companion characters, there’s all this stuff.”
He went on to explain that the game’s service was just as important as the game’s quality, though on this point, he was more vague. “You have to give great service and you have to be able to support the game on a long-term basis,” Zeschuk stated. “So we’ve devoted a lot of effort and thinking towards how we do that.”
While both men’s statements displayed their confidence in the game being built, they did little to address criticism from Creutz that the game was failing to differentiate it from its competitors, specifically the current MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft. While Creutz predicts the game will be delayed until 2012, Zeschuk affirmed that EA still remains committed to releasing the game by the year’s end.