SWToR Free To Play — That Was Quick

The SWToR devs have announced that Star Wars The Old Republic is going to go to the free to play model.

That didn’t take very long did it?

I’m sure all kinds of analysis is going to be published around the internet in the coming days about why this happened. Lot of commentary about how the subscription model, or the MMO genre itself, is dead will be written. I might drop a few words about the subject myself in the next few days.

Just my immediate reaction now though. Am I sad about this?

Well kinda. It’s sad to see the hard work done by the developers (programmers, artists, etc) go this way. Sure the game isn’t dead, but it’s a bit of an indictment on that effort don’t you think?

On the other hand, lots has been said over the last few years about the philosophy of simply copying WoW. And to be honest, SWToR is a gussied up copy of World of Warcraft with even less MMO. It is effectively a single player game with lots of other players. That the developers (executive) didn’t take notice of this shift is why we are seeing this gorgeous game fail*.

In the meantime I leave you with some pages to read. First of all, the comparison of free to play vs subscription features. And here is the FAQ from Bioware.

*Fail — Not meeting expectations.


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1 Comment

  1. Fingy

    Your review of SWTOR sounds more like a review of GW2 in many places…now GW2 really is a (very good) single player game with other people sharing the same game space as you…

    The F2P option is a pretty good business model…i still pay subs but i ALSO buy stuff from the cartel (i.e. using real money to purchase goods)…in the first month of F2P I must have spent an additional £30-40! Trust me I am not alone in doing this 🙂

    The F2P version of the game is pretty restrictive so as soon as someone “gets into the game” they will either be spending on the Cartel or they will sub to unlock everything..or both of course!

    No MMORPG could match the functionality and features found in WoW from the start, but I feel if SWTOR was released now it would be a massive success: the killer for me to start with was no proper LFG tool, i.e. something that would allow you to go out and quest and teleport you to the instance when group matched (so you no longer have to stand around in the fleet spamming /1 LFG)…as well as allowing you the option of going back to your original location at the end of the group….and this is something that is now there. I probably spend 80% of my time in instance groups now…but can spend the rest of the time productively questing/doing class story. I would go as far to say that SWtOR is now (IMHO) the most MMO of MMORPGs at this present time.

    SWTOR is the only other game which i feel matches WoW in complexity of boss fights and i can see more and more people giving the F2P a go and getting sucked in before parting with their cash!

    SWtOR is now the game that it should have been at the start…but we all understand the pressures of balancing when and what is released to start the money rolling in…and especially in SWtOR’s case which is the most expensive MMORPG ever made.

    Personally i stopped playing SWtOR when GW2 came out…until i realised that GW2 group play was pathetic at best (such a shame as the single player levelling is easily the best and most fun out of any game i have tried). I couldnt hack going back to play WoW which i had done from beta up until SWtOR being released (became so much of the “same old”).

    So I went back to SWtOR and am having a ball 🙂

    PS I am no fanboy of SWtOR…i still have subs to WoW and of course GW2 being free I am able to play that whenever i want…i really am of the opinion that I pay to play a game as opposed to paying to be played by a game (WoW achivements which are a thin veil over getting people to spend hours and hours doing pointless things…collect 200 mounts etc).

    I really value my spare time and truly do whatever I find fun…and for me that is currently SWtOR, but I have no issues moving to whatever looks to be fun if SWtOR becomes boring for me.

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