BioWare challenges claims that SWTOR is not innovative
The director of Star Wars: The Old Republic, James Ohlen, has hit out at those criticising the game for not being innovative.
Responding to claims that SWTOR is just a clone of World of Warcraft, Ohlen pointed out that SWTOR and indeed the MMORPG genre as a whole is far more innovative than the more established FPS and RTS genres in particular.
Ohlen began: "It's been a little bit of an unfair characterization. Because if you look at other game genres, if you look at a Battlefield or a Call of Duty or a Gears of War or even a Half-Life - those games use the same tried and true interface and the same tried and true game mechanics of the first-person shooter genre that's been around for 20 years. If you look at real-time strategy games, they kept the same tried and true interface and the same tried and true mechanics that existed for 20 years. Same with adventure games, same with platformers, same with fighting games, sports games."
Conceding that there are certain conventions they did stick to he continued: "I don't know why the MMORPG genre is not considered to be a genre. It could be that World of Warcraft has dominated for so long that people just think of it as just a single game genre. But it is a genre, and we wanted to appeal to fans of that genre - we don't want to turn them away by making something that's radically different. And we wanted to take the lessons that have been developed in that genre over years and years and years and basically refine them, much like other companies do with other genres."
"So," Ohlen concluded, "I don't know, it's just the way it is, but I don't see us as not being innovative. We're actually a lot more innovative within the MMO space than comparable games in other spaces like the first-person genre, the action genre - games like that."