As was foreseeable, Star Wars: The Old Republic will go free to play eventually, with, of course, some restrictions over subscribed users applying. EA said today that BioWare’s latest MMORPG will be available this August for 15$, with the price including a free month to play.
Not too long ago, people were able to download the game’s client and install to play with limitations, up to level 15, for free. Now, BioWare allows people to play for free up to level 50, with a subscription model like DC Universe Online’s taking over, meaning the game is completely free to play, but you can always pay for some more stuff. More specifically, BioWare’s Austin GM Matthew Bromberg said that “Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe.”
According to BioWare’s press release, these are the two options available for The Old Republic from this fall and on:
Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.
Free-To-Play – The first 50 levels will be Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.
The developers have also promised more regularly released content, starting quickly, from this August. This move was inevitable from BioWare, seeing how MMO’s can still be very profitable within the F2P model, if they can handle the paid aspects of the game correctly. With their 1.7 million paid subscribers falling quite fast to 1.3 million months after launch, EA and BioWare had to think of a way to bring people in, as well as money. Now, we can only hope the galaxy lives long and prospers, so we get more of the game.