It’s been a while coming but EA have confirmed today that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be transitioning in to a free to play game. The subscription option will remain for players wanting ‘unlimited‘ access to new higher level content but the bulk of the game will be open to everyone. Come Autumn you will be able to create and level any of the eight character classes to level 50 for free.
GM of Bioware Austin, Matthew Bromberg, had this to say:
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.
It’s a fair comment. The subscription model probably did put a lot of other people off. But then, Bioware have got to make a game that warrants paying a subscription fee to play. I enjoyed what I played of The Old Republic but it is one of many cookie-cutter Everquest style MMO’s that didn’t do nearly enough to set itself apart from the crowd.
Hopefully going free-to-play will attract some new players and help the game in the long term; It seems to have worked out well for Turbine and LOTRO. You can read the full press release from EA here.