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.”
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?