Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Old Republic Going Free to Play

By: Dave Bouressa

Things are not going well for the Star Wars MMORPG from Bioware. Starting as one of the largest and most expensive games ever made, to have the game end up going free to play is financial suicide. However, although this game has had years worth of anticipation, it has fallen to less than one million subscribers in less than a year. To keep players interested and bring in new players, EA has decided to go “free-to-play” with the game, starting in November.

EA stated in a press release that the game will be available for $15 starting August 7th, and that price will include a month of free play. Earlier this year, the game entered a trial period to allow new players to play for free up until their character reaches level 15. However, players will now be able to play any of the 8 story lines all the way up to the maximum player level-level 50.

To prevent themselves from going into bankruptcy, there will still be some real-world money involved. Although the game itself will be free to play, accessing higher-level game content and other new features that will soon be added to the game such as downloadable content, can be purchased either individually or through a subscription. Bioware has also promised more frequent updates and extra features in the coming months.

"Since launch, we've been listening to feedback from our fans and adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace," executive producer Jeff Hickman said in today's press release. "We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community."

Here are the two options BioWare has to offer, according to their press release:

Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.

Free-To-Play – The first 50 levels will be Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be "unlocked" with Cartel Coins.
If you are already a subscriber (or were in the past) you will receive several rewards for your money: “150 Cartel Coins per paid month; 1,000 Cartel Coins and a “Hero’s Banner” for Collector’s Edition buyers; and extra bonuses for those who sign up between now and the free-to-play launch.


Kaisar hasan said...

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