Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jun 15, 2012

Is Star Wars: The Old Republic Going Free-To-Play?

After all of its time being up and running, Star Wars: The Old Republic may just be going Free-To-Play. In December of last year BioWare commented that they couldn’t see their new MMO going Free-To-Play in the future. Shortly thereafter the developer got caught up in a few patch updates and a large amount of the game’s subscribers moved on. Right now, Free-To-Play isn’t looking that bad for the company.

BioWare Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi spoke in an interview with Games about the company’s thoughts on the Free-To-Play model. Here’s what he had to say:

“The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well. Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modea and situations. So we are looking at Free-To-Play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what’s going on.”

The gaming industry is full of MMO games. Some of these MMOs like World of Warcraft remain subscription-based, and it seems to work for them. There are, however, a large number of MMOs that follow the Free-To-Play model, and they’re very successful at it. BioWare is a successful game developer, there’s no arguing that. They’ve created Mass Effect and Dragon Age, which are both amazing RPGs. But that success isn’t so easily transferred into the MMO business when you make the leap.

I think SWTOR going Free-To-Play could be a good move for BioWare. It will allow them time to push out more updates, and let players get what they want out the game. Let them pay for items they want, and pass on what they don’t. It’s a pretty simple mechanic, but it seems to work a large portion of the time. There hasn’t been confirmation on the move yet, but as more comes out on the issue we’ll be on it.


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