Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

BioWare Discusses Future of Star Wars: The Old Republic

By - Source: IGN | B 47 comments

Is there hope left for Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Two weeks ago, EA and BioWare announced unsurprisingly a shift to a free-to-play model for it's Star Wars: The Old Republic. Originally a highly anticipated title, The Old Republic reached a high point of 1.7 million subscribers shortly after its release.

Unfortunately, the numbers tumbled downhill after that, losing well over 700,000 subscribers. Despite the loss, BioWare takes to the stage at this year's Gamescom with enthusiasm for the game's future.

“The market is clearly becoming a free-to-play market in the MMO space. It appears that’s the direction the whole industry is going," states Matthew Bromberg, BioWare Austin's general manager.

"Our own research told us that a significant percentage of the folks who have left the game, left because of the commitment to the subscription model. It’s not that surprising if you think about it because the dynamic in an MMO is essentially one in which you subscribe and then you’re waiting for new content, and people don’t feel good about waiting.”

Star Wars The Old Republic at Gamescom 2012

In addition to the change in subscription model, the company promises to bring along more frequent content updates. Bromberg states the updates will be free for those who remain subscribed, while free-to-play players will have to purchase them for an undisclosed fee. These updates will push for more social interaction with additional group content, operations, warzones, flashpoints, and social events.

For the players who do like the cinematic story-driven solo content, Bromberg promises more of that is on the way as well, along with an increased level cap and additional quests on the planet of Makeb. Despite losing a staggering number of subscribers, BioWare seems to be confident in the title's potential to live up to its expectations. Will the shift in subscription model and upcoming content updates be enough to bring you back to the game?

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    sykozis , August 17, 2012 4:06 AM
    So, Bioware thinks switching to a "free to play" model will suddenly turn SWTOR into the "WoW killer" it was claimed to be??? Good luck....
  • 10 Hide
    jossrik , August 17, 2012 4:10 AM
    I got it when it came out and played through the consular story line, and having done that, I'd like to see the rest of the stories, I just couldn't justify the monthly price for a game I was only gonna play a handful of times a month, I didn't enjoy the end game, got some really nice gear, just didn't care, wasn't epic, I know I'm the only one, but I miss the 40 man WoW raids.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    sykozis , August 17, 2012 4:06 AM
    So, Bioware thinks switching to a "free to play" model will suddenly turn SWTOR into the "WoW killer" it was claimed to be??? Good luck....
  • Display all 47 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    jossrik , August 17, 2012 4:10 AM
    I got it when it came out and played through the consular story line, and having done that, I'd like to see the rest of the stories, I just couldn't justify the monthly price for a game I was only gonna play a handful of times a month, I didn't enjoy the end game, got some really nice gear, just didn't care, wasn't epic, I know I'm the only one, but I miss the 40 man WoW raids.
  • 9 Hide
    tomfreak , August 17, 2012 4:12 AM
    1. Pay to look special/cool is working (social gear, cosmetic)
    2. Pay to get special content is ok. (not core content)

    3. Pay to win is sucks model. Do this u will fail hard as well.

    So if EA/bioware do 1 & 2 it should be ok.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 17, 2012 4:40 AM
    I love Star Wars an unhealthy amount, I bought the CE and followed the game for years before it came out. The game was fun for a little while but never left me satisfied. I canceled after beating Mass Effect 3 and wanted to vote my disaproval with EA/Bioware over that game as well as making TOR feel so anti climatic.
  • 9 Hide
    xaed , August 17, 2012 4:54 AM
    Any seasoned MMO gamer knew going in that SWToR was just a cookie cutter MMO dressed up in a shiny, "completely voiced over," package. It was WoW in space with lightsabers, and everyone saw this coming.

    It was, and never will be a "WoW Killer," leave that to the next gen MMOs.
  • 4 Hide
    wildkitten , August 17, 2012 5:03 AM
    Tomfreak1. Pay to look special/cool is working (social gear, cosmetic)2. Pay to get special content is ok. (not core content) 3. Pay to win is sucks model. Do this u will fail hard as well. So if EA/bioware do 1 & 2 it should be ok.

    Honestly, Buy to Play (B2P) is the best model. Needing to buy ANY game play content, special or not, is not good. And what is special content? All the big bosses?

    Mounts, pets, costumes, fine. I can even see extra storage space for a non sub game, perhaps even remote AH access, although that shouldn't be in a sub game. But no content, or stat armor and weapons, should be on a cash shop.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , August 17, 2012 5:05 AM
    7,500,000,000 people on Earth and only less than 700,000 play The Old Republic? Seems lower than it should be...
  • 7 Hide
    Pinhedd , August 17, 2012 5:09 AM
    feducia14817,500,000,000 people on Earth and only less than 700,000 play The Old Republic? Seems lower than it should be...


    There are 7 billion people on the planet of which only 65% are between the ages of 15 and 64. That leaves only 4.5 billion people in the target age range. Most of these people live in Asia and play games targeted to their culture.
  • 2 Hide
    dark_knight33 , August 17, 2012 5:19 AM
    The "hero" engine, and the general wasting of time and money are the reason this game is floundering. That being said, I run a pretty successful guild, and although we do lose a few people from time to time, we have just as many that have come back from not playing to balance it out. It's not as 'epic' as everyone would like, but I don't really see that many NA players drooling over MoP either. People need to get over wow, really you do. They lost even more players than SWTOR. Seems to me like most MMO players are just pretty bored in general with the genre. Making it free won't make it interesting.
  • 2 Hide
    Bloob , August 17, 2012 5:24 AM
    I don't think a subscription model is justified unless you come out with good content every quarter or so. Personally, I'm for normal initial payment, and expansions, and selling convenience and vanity items, like "mounts", and other transportation items, and dyes, badges, pets, emotes, etc.
  • -3 Hide
    Pennanen , August 17, 2012 5:25 AM
    This article is funny because old republic has no future. Get it? ehuehue!!!
  • 1 Hide
    whimseh , August 17, 2012 5:33 AM
    "It appears that’s the direction the whole industry is going."

    UYeah.. THAT'S that bad thing!!
  • 1 Hide
    markmarkmark , August 17, 2012 5:39 AM
    SWTOR was fun, especially if your a fan of the star Wars universe. A few weeks after SWTOR came out i was head of the top raiding guild on my server. We had a ton of server firsts, first dropped speeders, first fully geared raid characters, first speeders, blah blah blah.
    The problem with SWTOR wasn't that it isn't fun, the problem was there is not enough to do in the game.
    PVP:
    If you pvp you had to be in it from the beginning otherwise your going in against people with a zillion expertise and you had virtually No way to ever kill them. So unless your in it from the beginning expect to be murdered for a good solid 2 weeks or more.

    PvE:
    Once you beat the content there is zero to do, gear is pretty easily obtained in a raiding guild and content is either way to easy or way to hard with virtually no different ways to beat the content, especially with all the bugs that are in the game. Bioware also alienated the PvE crowd by holding set bonuses back on Black Hole gear and not holding back the set bonuses on PvP gear. Some classes such as merc rely on those bonuses to be effective and competitive. PvE gear is much more difficult to obtain then PvP gear and the amount of stat upgrades is laughable from first raid content to end game content, some are not even upgrades at all.
  • 0 Hide
    QEFX , August 17, 2012 5:55 AM
    PinheddThere are 7 billion people on the planet of which only 65% are between the ages of 15 and 64. That leaves only 4.5 billion people in the target age range. Most of these people live in Asia and play games targeted to their culture.


    And approx 50% of the population is female. And we all know girls / women don't play video games. :) 
  • 3 Hide
    Kami3k , August 17, 2012 7:12 AM
    "Our own research told us that a significant percentage of the folks who have left the game, left because of the commitment to the subscription model."

    Oh ffs, you ignored the beta testers and you are now even ignoring the people who leave.

    No people are leaving because SW:TOR only has story as something unique.
  • 7 Hide
    Kami3k , August 17, 2012 7:25 AM
    BioglassI left because of the fact I hate windows. Not releasing multi platform versions has resulted in the death of many over-hyped mmo's. The game wasn't horrible. In fact it was pretty cool but not cool enough for me to use windows. I'm a former computer technician now working in the entertainment industry as a writer/artist/producer and have worked with most systems including most Linux distros. I just can't be bothered with a company that will not put the effort into creating a multi platform/os game on release. I didn't even finish out the free month that came with the game. The only game that even bothered was blizzard and they have loyalty behind them. Even Gabe newell gave in. OS X and linux users want a fair shake. Being an afterthought in the eyes of a developer has consequences.


    LOL, one look at OS market shares shows nearly all subscribers will be on windows. This is a fact.
  • 1 Hide
    DroKing , August 17, 2012 8:00 AM
    Bioware... quit beating that dead... you know.
  • 0 Hide
    Bean007 , August 17, 2012 8:04 AM
    I disagree on that it's cause people want to go to a F2P model. Hell look how long WoW has gone and still is even though they've been dropping in numbers but those numbers and just a tiny portion. They only topped 1.7 million accounts. I think the reason why some people stopped playing was either the new exp. pack for WoW which the beta has been going on or the release of Guild Wars 2.

    I also think the content just wasn't there for SWTOR. The battlegrounds from the start were just unbalanced. I mean any lvl could que up and even though your lvl 10 you could be put up against a lvl 50 or so. Yes your stats are beefed up but not your gear your wearing which would most likely be better on a high lvl with better types of stats, but also your skill tree with better skillz.

    Also I think that the game was too suited for Role Players and not your casual player that didn't really care about the story lines. I was in the beta for a long time and friends would ask me what I thought and kinda just like Final Fantasy, if your a Fan you'll love it but if your a person that doesn't care about the background or the stories it's just a time being wasted with all the little movies they have. It's bad when your in a grp doing the grp quests on the station and you have sit there and wait for others to finish with there video.

    The Space Combat was fun for awhile but it got old cause once you figure it out it's just a piece of cake but it's the same thing over and over.

    I wonder if people that played Galaxies are now pissed off cause you know they shut down all of Galaxies just cause of SWTOR. I think it was Lucas Arts that had them shut it down or maybe Sony decided to do it since it would be pointless to have 2 of them and there's was rather old.

    I bet you that when Blizzard makes there new MMO which will be a pay to play deal that alot of people will hop on the train and ride it for along time. Unless they follow the path that Blizzard has been walking since D3 and Cata. As far as Cata I think what started downhill for that was they were making it too simple and they broke alot of there own rules that for so long since the very start they said they would never allow. Of course they were trying to attract new blood is the reason why they made these changes but now it's kinda all back fired on em.

    To have a great MMO you have to be better then what WoW was. If you can't do that then you'll never make it.

    I think there's also just a overflow of MMO's. They saw Blizzard and even Everquest make all that money and they all decided to try it out. Soon we'll see The Secret World in F2P as well cause that won't last long at all.
Display more comments