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Post by Dan @ 09:38am 01/08/12 | 10 Comments
Preceding EA's latest quarterly investor call -- where the publisher revealed that Star Wars: The Old Republic subscriber numbers had slipped below one million players -- developer BioWare has announced the long expected news, that their MMO will soon be adding a free to play option.

Due to roll out in Spring 2012 (US Fall, expected to be in November), the free to play option will give all-comers access to all eight classes and storylines right up to level 50, but some "new content and advanced player features" will be restricted and unlockable via micro-transactions with a new game currency called "Cartel Coins".
Paid subscription will continue to be an option, and subscribers will have immediate access to all new game content, as well as receive a monthly "allowance" of Cartel Coins to purchase the customisable gear and "convenience features" from the new marketplace.
“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,” said Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin.

Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer of Star Wars: The Old Republic added, “Since launch we have been adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace based on the feedback from our fans. We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community.”
More details on the transition to free to play can be found in this official press release, and on this preview page on the game's official site.

star wars the old republicfree to playbiowareeaelectronic arts
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Latest Comments
Posted 10:26am 01/8/12
I feel bad to have been waiting for this since the beginning, and bad to know that I will only ever play the free story which was all I was interested in and will likely never pay a cent. :/

So many free top tier MMOs these days, it's redonculous.
Posted 10:31am 01/8/12
Geez I post this 45min ago and my post seems to be deleted in favour of this one...previously I have had a post of mine edited by admins and credited to me...a bit rough to have my post summarily deleted.
Posted 11:50am 01/8/12
nerfy, i think you will still have to buy the game.

Posted 12:00pm 01/8/12
Yeah it said that it was something like $19, which isn't too bad. Somebody may well just give me one of their old accounts at this stage. :/
Posted 02:54pm 01/8/12
The funny thing is, every new MMO company reckons theirs will be successful... and every new company is wrong and ends up f2p.. which while still brings in cash... it's just justification that they shouldn't have done it.
Posted 03:39pm 01/8/12
Why shouldn't they have done it? They got a few million sales at full price, and 6 months of people paying subs, now they get the benefits of going f2p as well. Dunno if I agree or disagree with it on a personal level, but from a business point of view, still seems like a better way of making money than f2p right out the gate.
Posted 07:17pm 01/8/12
This was going to happen sooner then later. The game has been hemorrhaging subs since the first two months.

Saying that, I'll probably get back into it once it does hit F2P, I did like what I played of it.
Posted 08:34pm 01/8/12
Yeh it is a good MMO, but it just became too much like wow at endgame, and I was over wow 2 years a go.
Posted 08:40pm 01/8/12
This was going to happen sooner then later. The game has been hemorrhaging subs since the first two months.

Two months ? that was kind fuzzy. They traded on the Star Wars label and the Bioware history and produced something that took the worst of everything.

"You know what you get when two s***-tectonic plates collide? S***quakes, Julian. S***quakes."

But it's ok it got a 9.5/10 ...
Posted 08:54pm 01/8/12
I still really enjoy ToR from a story perspective. The voice over is great for immersion. some of the group conversation is hilarious.

I started playing at launch and was a pvP demon, like 3-4 hours a day, and grinded out my battlemaster set (pre 1.3 patch) I agree with the endgame being wow-like and after I had my epic set I was like "wtf do I do now?"

Had a short break and then got back on with 3 mates. The dialogue when grouping still brings a smile to my face and I enjoy the story.

It's a shame the game has faded in popularity. I really enjoyed the experience.
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