Star Wars: The Old Republic Going Free to Play This Fall

#51 Posted by Christoffer (1890 posts) -

The Secret World is subsrciption based and it came out just about a moth ago. Whether that means the business model lives and thrives... no it doesn't.

Honestly, I still have no intentions of even looking at SWTOR.

#52 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Maybe I'll start playing this game come fall...SIKE! (it's the 90s yall)

#53 Posted by Draxyle (1886 posts) -

@chilibean_3 said:

but can you honestly imagine anyone developing a new MMO with a subscription model in this climate?

The Elder Scrolls?

The people making that game have to be terrified by now.

#54 Posted by Winsord (1279 posts) -

I'm definitely looking forward to trying this out; basically was just waiting for it to hit F2P from the word go. It was pretty obviously inevitable, so I really didn't want to sink $60 in, and have to do another $15 a month on top of that, it's just not in my budget. Excited that I'll get the chance to play this now though. The only gripe I still have is that the client is like 30GB, which ,with super awesome Canadian bandwidth caps, means I'll have to download the game on the last day of one month and the first day of the next month as to not use to much for a single month.

#55 Posted by triviaman09 (803 posts) -

Oh man, this might turn into the biggest schadenfreude-filled "I told you so" party in the history of video games.

#56 Posted by EDfromRED (128 posts) -

This is the game I play most of the time. Great fun to be had here and I think this will make it even better. Since the server transfers and the player population increase, the fun factors been through the roof. The more people who get to join in the better.

#57 Posted by AngelN7 (2972 posts) -

Ok now I'll play Star Wars The Old Republic.

#58 Posted by GalacticPunt (1090 posts) -

@Draxyle said:

@chilibean_3 said:

but can you honestly imagine anyone developing a new MMO with a subscription model in this climate?

The Elder Scrolls?

The people making that game have to be terrified by now.

I'm calling it. 2013: Year of the TESOtanic!

Also:

#59 Edited by BurningStickMan (235 posts) -

@Simplexity said:

Thus the era of Subscription based MMOs came to an end.

I feel like a twit for saying it, but my first reaction was disappointment when I found out that The Secret World was subscription based. As much time as the usual MMO demands, I can't see a regular gamer with lots of other things to play getting enough value out of a monthly subscription. F2P at least allows you to pay if you really get into the game, rather than feel obligated to play because you're spending money.

Still not sure I'll go back to SWTOR though. Just watching collections of each class' story cutscenes on YouTube seemed a much more efficient use of my time.

#60 Posted by 014 (356 posts) -

There are too many MMO's. This is why they can't all survive on subscriptions. You need people to play multiple games. Most people are not going to be willing to subscribe to multiple games at a time.

Also, PC games can be had for cheap on Steam several times a year. This causes me to have a backlog of games I feel I should play (hopefully finish) before subscribing to a time-sucking MMO. That said, it's been my plan for a while now to subscribe to EVE Online this Winter whether I finish my backlog of games or not.

SW:TOR is a game I always wanted to excel. But I never put any action into it because of all the games I already paid for but hadn't played yet. Heck, I was in the beta but only played 2 hours if that. The video game market is really tough these days. It's too saturated with good games.

#61 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

Finally.

They did manage to cover their costs, right? At least they have that.

#62 Posted by Zithe (1045 posts) -

@Draxyle said:

@chilibean_3 said:

but can you honestly imagine anyone developing a new MMO with a subscription model in this climate?

The Elder Scrolls?

The people making that game have to be terrified by now.

They haven't announced a pricing model either way have they? They have probably been trying to figure out how to make it free to play for a while now. Hopefully.

#63 Posted by Delta_Ass (3282 posts) -

Many Bothans died to make this free to play.

#64 Posted by zolloz89 (254 posts) -

Sounds like I'll be in during the fall.

#65 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

Surprised this happened so quick. I liked what I played of swtor, but now I think I may jump back in come Christmas-time.

#66 Posted by thehuntsmen5434 (436 posts) -

Eh, I already got to level 50 and stopped. Free to play? Maybe I'll go back, MMO's are just so time consuming.

#67 Posted by leejunfan83 (1003 posts) -

Fuck Star Warz Star Trek all day

#68 Posted by MrMazz (1033 posts) -

Called it! This will defniatly get me to play SWTOR some more since I enjoyed the game but it just simply isn't worth 15 bucks a month. Here is a easy to read chart of the features between Paid and Free

Looking over it I'm not quiet sure I like ALL of the restrictions like Operations how much will they cost per pop? Will they be free once you buy them or do you have to pay a dollar a go? what if you fail it?

#69 Posted by CatsAkimbo (641 posts) -

Sounds exactly like the current Anarchy Online model. The original game is totally free-to-play, but expansions and new content require a subscription. It seems to have worked for Funcom, so maybe this will give EA/Bioware the numbers they need. Anarchy Online already had some seriously major expansions by the time they went free-to-play though, so I'm not sure the subscription will be worth it for SWTOR.

#70 Posted by Lamashtu (254 posts) -

Why not make the client buy to play like the Guild Wars model, then do away with the subscription fee? Going free-to-play this quickly seems like jumping the gun to me. I mean Jesus Christ, Rift hasn't gone free to play yet, if anything, that game should have gone free to play before SWTOR would.

#71 Posted by buckybit (1455 posts) -

... I repeat myself: leaves me cold, like ice cubes coming out a Tauntaun's ass.

#72 Posted by Shivoa (642 posts) -

We need better terminology for all the different pricing models out there.

My understanding is this isn't a F2P game in the classic sense of a game that installs a client and registers an account with no money changing hands and then micro-transactions or subscriptions can be optionally purchased to enjoy the game and avoid anything boring or too difficult. You have to buy the $15 box to get an account and play the game. A model Guild Wars did before there was a need to micro-transact the player base into a hole. (Do you want more fun or less non-fun? Then pay us for consumables to remove the grind!)

With the limited access to group content (PvE and PvP by the looks of it?) and an AH it seems like this $15 non-subscription model is based around giving you access to a solo RPG in a connected world full of adverts for ways of spending more than the $15 you originally paid (pay monthly for group content and an end-game) which doesn't have the low friction entry point of an actual F2P game where a few clicks on Steam and a registered user is all it takes to see what is on offer and what prices everything premium costs.

#73 Posted by Gruff182 (872 posts) -

I'm still not interested to give it a try, which is a bit sad.

I'll get Guild Wars 2 because those guys did a great job with the first one. Other than that, apart from EVE offering a unique experience, every other MMO I've seen and played just feels like a poor mans WoW with a different aesthetic.

#74 Posted by xxNBxx (980 posts) -

@AngelN7 said:

Ok now I'll play Star Wars The Old Republic.

that makes two

#75 Posted by Rawson (136 posts) -

Ahahahahaha. The most expensive MMO (possibly game?) ever, and they have to give it away for free in less than a year after its release. No wonder EA's stock has been tanking ever since they pinched this turd.

#76 Posted by Little_Socrates (5693 posts) -

I'm shocked that it isn't, say, $5 a month first.

#77 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

Well this is really sad.

No wait, sad isn't the word I was thinking of.

Funny. Yes, funny is the word I was thinking of.

#78 Posted by smcn (926 posts) -

This is awesome. I cancelled my subscription in January after clearing Hard Mode Karagga's Palace within hours of the patch going up, but I always wanted to go back and check out the other class quest lines. TOR essentially has the equivalent of 8 single-player BioWare games.

#79 Edited by JoeyRavn (5004 posts) -

@xxNBxx said:

@AngelN7 said:

Ok now I'll play Star Wars The Old Republic.

that makes two

That would make three, if they decided to drop the initial purchase of the game. Seriously, buying the game and micro-transactions/monthly fee? EA never learns.

#TORtanic

#80 Posted by Sayishere (1840 posts) -

The thing is, people think this is like the end of swtor, people bailing ship unsubbing because of this news. This is a ridiculous notion, but it primarily comes down to money. Free to pay is becoming the standard structure for mmo these days( obviously wow is the exception). My worry is the game becoming pay to win, and if that day ever comes im unsubbing. This news is perfect for those who never played the game before. I suggest people to try the game out, because the levelling is really fun, and who knows, you may get hooked.

#81 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4980 posts) -

lol  MMOs.

#82 Posted by TheYear20XX (426 posts) -

Now that I have the option, I'm entirely willing to throw money at them. I'm tired of what is essentially "renting" MMOs month to month. That said, I'm probably going to be pretty deep into Guild Wars 2 by the time they make this switch.

#83 Posted by coaxmetal (1646 posts) -

ahahahahaha

#84 Posted by fargofallout (298 posts) -

Elder Scrolls Online is still theoretically going to be subscription-based when it launches. I don't see how it will fare much better than this, though. They have to be thinking of ways to make theirs free-to-play as well, don't they?

#85 Edited by RedRoach (1206 posts) -

Subscription MMO's are not dead. New MMO's are just going at it wrong. WoW, RIFT, EVE and more MMO's are doing just fine with subs. All these failing MMO's are failing because they're bad, not necessarily because they have a subscription. TOR is the complete opposite of WoW. It's all about the leveling. WoW's leveling sucks, it really does. I mean it's okay but it's no thrill ride. But where WoW succeeds is in the end game content. There is always something to do, it's when WoW is really fun, that's why people play. TOR's end game content is just not of the same quality.

Just look at WoW: Cataclysm. In this expansion they focused too much on making new leveling content and not nearly enough on end game content. This lead to WoW's first subscriber drop ever. Leveling is really a prequel to the actual game, which is raiding, and pvping at max level. leveling is very minor in the grand scheme of things and focusing too much on it was TOR's downfall.

#86 Posted by Veektarius (4973 posts) -

I would pay to play a version of Star Wars TOR that had less grinding per story beat. I would not play more of TOR with the current amount of grinding for free.

#87 Posted by Etnos (245 posts) -

Good, now someone fire Riticiello please!

#88 Edited by project343 (2835 posts) -

@Animasta said:

great, I can finally finish those last 10 levels! wooo

Ugh... but they're so much work. That game just constantly feels like a derailing train moving at abysmal speeds. I mean, I defended that game for a while, but the quest design really was unforgivably poor.

#89 Posted by Dourin (234 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

@xxNBxx said:

@AngelN7 said:

Ok now I'll play Star Wars The Old Republic.

that makes two

That would make three, if they decided to drop the initial purchase of the game. Seriously, buying the game and micro-transactions/monthly fee? EA never learns.

#TORtanic

It says right there in the article, they're dropping the initial purchase price to $14.99. There's nothing wrong with charging an upfront cost for the game, then having a microtransaction store in an MMO. How can you bitch about having to spend $15 on the game to play all those classes 1-50 completely free, with optional microtransactions along the way? I swear, some people don't seem to understand that these games do still need to pull in continual income to continue existing.

#90 Posted by JJOR64 (19046 posts) -

That was fast.

#91 Edited by MeatSim (10926 posts) -

Me being patient for once has paid off.

#92 Edited by JoeyRavn (5004 posts) -

@Sayishere said:

Free to pay is becoming the standard structure for mmo these days( obviously wow is the exception).

Not really, and that's the problem: F2P has already become the norm. As you say, WoW is the obvious exception, but most succesful MMOs are either completely free-to-play with the optional micro-transaction, or at least don't charge a monthly fee after buying the game client. Even smaller iOS, Android and Facebook developers understand it. This has been like this for a long time now, but EA and Bioware were too damn stubborn to admit it. And this is where that attitude got them: 8 months and forced to get rid of the mandatory monthly fees. The game is still not really F2P, but this is a massive blow to EA's expectations.

And quote me on this, but the rest of MMOs that follow this model of paid client and monthly fees (The Secret World, the most recent examples) will have to embrace the F2P model even faster than TOR.

@Dourin said:

It says right there in the article, they're dropping the initial purchase price to $14.99. There's nothing wrong with charging an upfront cost for the game, then having a microtransaction store in an MMO. How can you bitch about having to spend $15 on the game to play all those classes 1-50 completely free, with optional microtransactions along the way? I swear, some people don't seem to understand that these games do still need to pull in continual income to continue existing.

Read my post again. That's what I'm complaining about: get rid of the initial price of the game or don't call it "free to play". Another case scenario: Call of Duty on PS3. You don't have to pay to play online, but you have to buy the game? Nope. Would anybody call that "free to play"? Nope, because you still have to buy the game. How is it different here?

Besides, do you really think that they are making most of their income from the price of the game? They would probably make more money from micro-transactions if they let everyone play TOR for free than from those 15 bucks for the game. I swear, some people don't understand that EA is ripping them off.

#93 Posted by benu302000 (213 posts) -

The old-school MMO is dead, and thank fucking god.

#94 Edited by Jimbo (9931 posts) -

Just further evidence that you can't beat WoW at its own game, which anybody paying even the slightest amount of attention figured out years ago. Doesn't really prove anything other than that. We can't pretend that subscription MMOs are a thing of the past as long as WoW is still so strong. The subscription market exists, it's just all tied up by WoW, and that has pretty much been the status quo for years now. Other companies have had to switch to alternative business models, but they haven't really been given much choice.
 
I could see another subscription-based MMO being incredibly successful in the future, but there's approximately zero chance of it coming out of EA, because all they apparently know how to do is chase around after Activision's shadow like a particularly dumb dog. At some point there will be a wildly successful 'M'MOFPS on consoles (possibly subscription funded, possibly tat-funded), and that won't be made by EA either.  
 
Millions of people are effectively paying a XBL Gold subscription in order to play one game religiously already, so I don't think a subs-based shooter on console is out of the realm of possibility. I think that Bungie shooter could be interesting, particularly how it could potentially be tied up with XBL - ie. maybe it's Microsoft exclusive, and access is considered as a part of the XBL Gold subscription, with Acti then getting a cut of the Gold subscriptions (based on how popular the game proves to be or whatever). It would potentially be a huge draw for the new Xbox, and a cut of Gold subscriptions would make Acti mega $$$s.

#95 Posted by Peanut (954 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

I think that Bungie shooter could be interesting, particularly how it could potentially be tied up with XBL - ie. maybe it's Microsoft exclusive, and access is considered as a part of the XBL Gold subscription, with Acti then getting a cut of the Gold subscriptions (based on how popular the game proves to be or whatever). It would potentially be a huge draw for the new Xbox, and a cut of Gold subscriptions would make Acti mega $$$s.

You fuckin' crazy, son.

#96 Posted by NegativeCero (3024 posts) -

@Flacracker said:

TORtanic...

Fuck.

Hopefully they can keep it going if for no reason other than people keeping their jobs.

#97 Posted by RawknRo11a (568 posts) -

eh, MAYBE this will get me to try it... we'll see

#98 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

Huh. So RIFT outlasts another MMO.

This somehow doens't surprise me.

#99 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

Still not interested.

If they scrubbed out all of the busy-work questing nonsense and repackaged it as a boxed RPG .. maybe.

#100 Posted by Vaancor (247 posts) -

When TOR is...ashes. You have my permission to die. (Or rather close the studio down and push everyone into other projects, or even better, let Bioware go back to being Bioware)

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