SW:TOR Free to play?

SW:TOR Free to play?

Postby dirtYbird » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:05 pm

Gamasutra have an article up in regard to BioWare and SW:TOR.
They are exploring the free to play model for the game.
The original source article they are reporting on over at GamesTM is no longer there, or at least I couldn't see it.

As subscriptions for BioWare's major MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic begin to dip, the studio has admitted that it is considering making the game free-to-play.

The Old Republic launched last December, and quickly amassed 1 million subscribers after just three days, eventually settling on 1.7 million after a couple of months.

However, just months later subscriptions for the game had fallen to 1.3 million, as publisher EA said that it was down to the numerous non-paying subscribers who stopped playing after using up the game's 30-days of free game time.

Talking to video game magazine GamesTM, BioWare lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi has now said that the company is exploring the free-to-play model for the game.

"The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well," he explained. "Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations."

He continued, "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 is going on."

However, Lusinchi believes that the success of major free-to-play games is far more than the game simply being free, but rather, the game needs to have competitive in-game prices compared to other titles.

"If it was just free-to-play games and they weren't very good it wouldn't even be a question but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do," he noted.

BioWare has run a number of free weekends for The Old Republic, in an attempt to ensnare more players into signing up for subscriptions.

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Re: SW:TOR Free to play?

Postby Deepjay » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:48 pm

There are not a lot of things worse than an MMO that’s been on a pay to play model that’s been ported over to F2P. They’re absolutely terrible. I’ve played a handful of them, from LOTRO to EQ2 to AoC and each of them was the same. They basically take the existing game and split it up into free, semi-free and subscription based prices so that the end resulting is the most annoying game you’ve ever played.

I mean, I like being able to check into LotRO from time to time without paying – but as soon as I get interested, I’ll subscribe because who really can handle playing with a capped inventory, limited money, no access to mail and a plethora of other annoying things. They’re just stupid backwards and irritating games. Course as soon as you subscribe you play like normal – but if you don’t, you spend half the time wondering what you actually can or cannot do.
A game that’s been designed as F2P from the ground up though generally doesn’t have this problem. The content is usually intuitive, the shop seamless and it’s a completely different experience. I anticipate PS2 to be similar.

With SW:TOR, I’m betting they just allow free up to level 20 player, as opposed to actually reworking the game to be actually F2P with shitty limits.
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Re: SW:TOR Free to play?

Postby Serris » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:02 pm

I reckon it will be something like "ROFL YOU NO GET SPACESHIP!" "PLZ INSERT 250 BIOWARE POINTS TO TRAVEL!" or other assorted gayness.

Such a shame, was a really really good kotor with friends experiment. It just lacked repeatable content at end-game to keep people interested.
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Re: SW:TOR Free to play?

Postby Deepjay » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:33 am

Worse IMO was that it felt too samey playing through a second time. I wanted to see the story for at least 2-3 more classes, but on my second playthrough as a Sith, there was just too much familiar feeling content. The kicker was when i got to Tatooine and it was suddenly a lot of the same stuff i did with my Republic char/Smuggler. That's the problem with being story-driven - it's awesome the first time, but second time feels way too familiar. I think with other games we just play through the content on the strength of the gameplay- ignoring the quest text. I know WoW felt more enjoyable doing multiple chars as it felt quite different. I think where SW:TOR fails here is because you have a companion, your experience is prety much trivial on the difficulty front, further adding to the problem.
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