I recently started playing the massively mutliplayer online role playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic. In a nutshell, the game is World of Warcraft with lightsabers and about 400 years worth of voice-over audio to make quests less of a grind. Other than that, the similarities between the games are very obvious, down to how most of the controls and game mechanics are identical. Both games also have mobile apps tied to them, but while SWTOR shows that it’s the newest of the two when it comes to the actual game, it is very far behind when it comes to the mobile apps.
World of Warcraft basically has two official apps: The mobile authenticator, and the Armory app. The authenticator is for all Battle.net games, and works as a security key generator for logging into the game and website. It’s an important tool in the war against stolen accounts, and I’ve had one active for ages now. I’ve brought it with me through four devices, and am running it on three different devices as we speak. Moving to another device, or adding multiple devices, is easy due to the restore feature in the app.
The SWTOR equivalent, on the other hand, is a very different story. At this point, I’m just glad I did my research before activating it, which lead me to refrain from doing so. The app hasn’t been updated since the game came out in December, despite the fact that the Google Play listings for both the US and EU versions of the game are full of complaints that the app does not only crash itself, but the entire device, requiring battery removal reboots in some cases. Exploring a bit further online to check for any mention of a restore feature, seeing as how the info page isn’t exactly as informative as the Battle.net equivalent, I found tons of complaints that people had serious problems with the SWTOR app on Android, both with new ROMs and new/multiple devices. On top of that, the app is only available on Android and iOS, while the Battle.net equivalent is also available on Windows Phone and Blackberry. Heck, the SWTOR app is still referred to as being available in the “Android Market” on the SWTOR website, instead of Google Play like it’s now called, showing just how incredibly out of date everything about that app is.
As for an equivalent to the Armory app, which on WoW gives you access to characters, auction house, guild chat, and so on, there’s no such thing. The Armory app is a paid subscription based app for WoW, but I was happy to pay for it every month back when I played WoW.
While SWTOR is a great game, the app offering is absolutely ridiculous. EA is quickly becoming infamous for creating some of the worst software implementations in gaming history, with its Origin game network/store being the laughing stock of the gaming world because it’s buggy and slow in every possible way there is. I guess I then shouldn’t expect more from an app from the same company, and in fact this app is even worse. Seeing all the work that has been put into SWTOR, and the number of users it has, what EA is doing is simply pathetic. I know for a fact it has lost subscribers over this, and I have to say that pleases me.