The developers of Star Wars: The Old Republic have been deciding on whether or not to adopt the “free-to-play” method of game-play. The reason for this is because of the number of failing subscribers to the game.
“The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well,” Lusinchi told GamesTM.
“Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations.”
He continued, “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 developers are saying that it is not easy to transfer from a subsciription model to a “free-to-play” model.
“I think it can work for different games. It really depends on how you go with your game,” he told PC Gamer.
“Games that have been built to be free-to-play from the start definitely work out. Now, there have been games that weren’t free to play from the start and transferred over to becoming free to play that have worked as well. But it’s definitely not something that’s super easy to do.”
In May, EA had revealed that the game had around 1.3 million subscribers which was down by a lot since February with its 1.7 million subscribers.
With the declining interest in the game, it led to layoffs in Bioware. Associate lead Emmanuel Lusinchi later said MMOs are ‘”the toughest part of the game industry without a doubt” and that the downsizing was difficult to deal with.
During E3 EA had announced that they were going to offer a free-to-play for new customers as a part of a trial promotion until they reach level 15.
Lusinchi said, in another interview, that BioWare must be flexible with pricing systems and that the MMO ‘might fully adopt free-to-play’ in the future.