Well, that was quick.
After less than a year, Electronic Arts has opened Star Wars: The Old Republic’s doors to the free-to-play masses. Thought to be a possible World of Warcraft killer prior to its release, the game never surpassed 2 million active subscribers. Like most MMOs, BioWare’s critically-acclaimed, story-driven MMORPG subscription numbers dwindled as fickle gamers saw a squirrel or something.
Now, like The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online before it, Star Wars: The Old Republic will introduce a subscription-free model this fall. Subscription-free players will be able to play until level 50 with a few restrictions. Additionally, BioWare will introduce a secondary currency, in this case “Cartel Coins,” that can be used to jedi mind trick these restrictions away as well as customize gear and access “convenience features.”
Current subscribers will be granted a monthly supply of Cartel Coins for their troubles. Many free-to-play games, such as Mafia Wars and Gardens of Time, have subscription rates that give subscribers exclusive benefits as well. Don’t be surprised if those show up at a later date.
Electronic Arts, apparently unsure of how free-to-play works, will lower the price of Star Wars: The Old Republic to $14.99 this month. Players will get one “free” month of subscription for their troubles.
I’m not saying this won’t work. It will breathe new life into a surprisingly dying game. However, Electronic Arts seems a bit stubborn. If you’re going to go free-to-play, you should probably go all-in when it comes to getting the game into gamers’ hands.
About the Author
|Fade to Slack is a founding member of Delta Attack, an American expatriate in South Korea, and a true believer in the legitimacy of mobile gaming.
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Fade to Slack has written 308 posts on Delta Attack.