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BioWare's James Ohlen Talks SWTOR Launch and Innovation

Posted Thu, Jan 12, 2012 by Martuk

The MMORPG genre is perhaps the toughest genre when it comes to discussion about innovation, a subject that many have discussed as it relates to Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). Like most games of any other genre, SWTOR embodies mechanics that were pioneered in earlier MMORPGs like EverQuest, Meridian 59, and Dark Age of Camelot to name a few. Much the same way that later games like World of Warcraft built off the same features of earlier games of the genre.

Game Director James Ohlen recently chatted with Eurogamer about the claims that SWTOR wasn’t innovative. Ohlen addressed claims that SWTOR wasn’t innovative and discussed its place in the genre, which bears a similarity to mechanics from other games of the genre. Ohlen classed SWTOR as part of a genre and compared it to other genres in that respect.

It's been a little bit of an unfair characterisation," SWTOR game director James Ohlen remarked to Eurogamer. "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.

Ohlen explained that BioWare wanted to take mechanics and lessons learned from past games and use that knowledge to improve the experience. BioWare has taken a unique approach to storytelling in an MMORPG by adding a detailed voice over experience similar to that of the Mass Effect series and their gear modification system tends to focus more on mods than gear, which is a bit different from the norm.

Ohlen went on to discuss fan expectations of the game, how it lived up to BioWare’s expectations at launch and the various review scores of SWTOR since its December 20th launch.

Source: Eurogamer

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