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Post by Eorl @ 07:28am 16/06/12 | 12 Comments
Massively Multiplayer Online games tend to be a very large product to support, with the bills being endless including (but certainly not limited to) server maintenance, content management, forum support and even website management can be a costly process. When a title does take the free-to-play approach, many people see this as an advent of what the industry and community has dubbed "dying", or losing a hefty amount of subscriptions to prompt such a move.

However not always do we see such a negative turn for a MMO that either chooses on their own to go free, or is somewhat forced to due to a large decrease in number. Turbine went free-to-play with their Lord of the Rings Online MMO and reported a net income of $2 million. So when Bioware are in the talks of moving Star Wars: The Old Republic into the new method for their MMO, it doesn't come as a surprise with how successful it can be.

In an interview with Games(TM) magazine (via Kotaku), lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi thinks it's just something that naturally develops in the MMO genre:
"The MMO market is very 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."
So with the recent E3 2012 news that the first 15 levels of the game will be open to the public, could we soon see the Star Wars themed MMO going free? Leave us a comment below on your thoughts and what this could mean for the tight-knitted community.

free-to-playmmobiowarestar warsthe old republic
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Latest Comments
Posted 08:46am 16/6/12
Personally I think it's probably better to discuss it after it's happened, but that's just me. I've had some good fun with free to play titles of one kind or another.
Posted 09:08am 16/6/12
I really enjoy SWTOR and was quite impressed with what they achieved.

If I had to guess, I would say that they are just accommodating to the tough economy and feel that this is the best way to go all for themselves and their players.

They may have to make a few budget cuts but I'd they produce a profitable "purchase in game items system" like LoL and even more importantly WoW have (mounts etc) then they should still be able to turn a decent enough profit to keep the game alive for their players and hopefully encourage more to sign up :)

They may have to go for a more "Guild Wars" type of approach but it's definitely dooable and I'm certain they can successfully pull it off :)

Posted 10:09am 16/6/12
I enjoy SWTOR, I tend to play it in blocks though and just leave it for a while. The story aspects are fun and really give a sense of cohesion to it all. It's a shame it launched strongly but without core features players now demand - LFG systems etc..

And a Star Wars MMO without real space combat? That was a big let down. Jump to Lightspeed was a fantastic expansion for SWG.
Posted 02:56pm 16/6/12
I completely agree. Whilst I understand WoW has had a 7year head start that really isn't any excuse for bioware my implementing certain features that WoW have.

They have some great features of their own but honestly by trying to distance themselves from other games they have certainly hurt themselves in the process.

The Ui features implemented in their first major patch should have been implemented from the beginning.
Posted 05:01pm 16/6/12
I was under the impression from el President Dr M that it was going free to play soon? Certainly not worth $15 a month as it is.
Posted 06:02pm 16/6/12
I love star wars, but i just cant bring myself to pay $15 a month. I hope it goes f2p so i can start playing again.
Posted 07:18pm 16/6/12
Yeh once you get over the initial buzz of Star Wars, you realise its pretty much the same as wow gameplay/raiding/questing wise with less features.

And I lost interest in wow 2 years ago.
Posted 07:41pm 16/6/12
I thought SWToR was pretty awesome. With the new LFG tool I might fire it up again but the reason I stopped playing came down to work & then D3 came out.. so addicted to the click.
Posted 07:46pm 16/6/12
WOW turned into a non-challenging boring game and just seems to get less challenging with every exp. the only challenge in the game is keeping up the the amount of gear sets.. i mean seriously them game has turned to s***.

while i agree that some features should have been released from the beginning like the LFG system (I mean you'd think they would have learned).. I really enjoy the story aspects of SWTOR, i like the game play, the graphics aren't 100 years old and i like how kinetic it can be e.g(Bounty hunters).. there is nothing in WoW that is as fun as a Bounty Hunter, everything in wow is the same.

if you are a caster you just stand there.. hunter/mage/priest same f**** thing.. even the boss fights in wow have become very repetitive with same mechanics over and over..

I mean the new Talent system in wow.. FFS can they make it any more f**** boring.. oh you just levelled here we will give you the talents you need so that you don't run around like a f**** noob, no no need to actually learn to play your class here we will give you everything..

/Nerd rage

so far i have a 50 bounty hunter, 50 Imp Agent and 50 Sith Assassin all of which are very different to play.

I gotta say im kind of surprised that swtor hasn't taken off.. but I guess people expect everything from the very start and cant wait for things to be developed/Added after all developing an MMO is cheap right? free to play will destroy the game.

last edited by TufNuT at 19:45:09 16/Jun/12

last edited by TufNuT at 19:46:07 16/Jun/12
Posted 08:13pm 16/6/12
I thought SWToR was pretty awesome. With the new LFG tool I might fire it up again but the reason I stopped playing came down to work & then D3 came out.. so addicted to the click.

Pretty much exactly wherre I'm at with it too. I'm really hanging out for the LFG tool
Posted 10:38pm 16/6/12
How the hell did you managed to level 3 toons on the same faction... The same story over and over.

SWTOR is super linear in its leveling path, and the choices you make have almost no meaning on anything.
Posted 04:21pm 12/8/12
I was wondering yesterday when this was going free to play, checked in and found out that it already is, up to level 15. Unlimited time, plus more options than the upcoming free to play model (you can create non-human characters, which I'm guessing may be transferable to the free to play mode).

All in all, the game is far better than I thought it would be! At least, story wise, the voice acting and whatnot is great. The engine and movement feels a little bit less polished than WoW, but is still very similar.

Just do this, then ~25gig download, and bam. That being said, I really don't see anybody wanting much more than the story from this, and figure that their free to play model might fall over for it. One time payment story expansions seems the way to go.
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