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.