Star Wars: The Old Republic looking at free to play
Could Bioware be prepared to make their mmo Star Wars: The Old Republic free to play? Well according a now pulled GamesTM interview with the games lead designer Bioware could be looking into the idea.
In the interview with lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi indicated they (Bioware) are looking at into the idea of free to play. “The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well,” he says. “Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes 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 is going on.”
The fact that the interview was pulled from the GamesTM website does raise a few questions, but EA label boss Frank Gibeau did mention the idea of free to play for the game in an interview GamesIndustry.biz today.
In the GamesIndustry.biz interview Frank Gibeau said “We’re going to be in the business from a long term standpoint so absolutely we’re going to embrace free access, free trial, ultimately some day we can move in and embrace that model. It’s all a matter of timing and thinking things through.”
Frank Gibeau in the interview also said “The advent of free-to-play is certainly a change in the dynamic of the PC market. I don’t think subscriptions ever go away.” It does appear that EA is looking at the idea of free to play closely, but aren’t 100% sure if it is a good idea for the game at the moment.
Outside of the speculation we do know that starting next month Star Wars: The Old Republic will be offering limited free to play access (players will be able to reach level 15 for no charge). This limited free to play was announced during EA’s E3 press conference.
It will be interesting to see what Bioware and EA decided to do with Star Wars: The Old Republic in the future. SWTOR has had a somewhat shaky start with a loss in subscribers and past content updates causing various issues.