Star Wars: The Old Republic Investigating F2P Transition; Or Is it?!

With BioWare and Electronic Arts reassuring players and analysts that Star Wars: The Old Republic is doing fine – both in terms of content and growth – the company has shown quite the opposite. Actions like free time, server mergers and layoffs generally point to disgruntled players and underpopulated servers. Clearly, the companies have taken actions to stem the bleeding, but few expected the idea of free-to-play to come out of Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi’s mouth.

In a since-pulled interview with GamesTM, Lisinchi stated that “We are looking at free-to-play, but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.”

Talk about a bombshell.

Lisinchi goes on to say that the investigation isn’t specifically related to the drop in subscription numbers. The main issue is competition coming from the F2P sector. Perhaps the first outright admission by a AAA game, Lisinchi states that “there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out.”

I’ll say. Firefall, the subscriptionless Guild Wars 2, SMITE, End of Nations and many more point to the F2P business model finalizing its stance as a disruptive innovation. Ushering in MMOGs as piecemeal consumption items instead of a retail product with Software as a Service (SaaS) attached.

Why the article was pulled? That’s a completely different story. Without a specific retraction coming from GamesTM, the safe bet is that the news wasn’t supposed to get out in this fashion.


  1. Honestly, I’m not entirely surprised. Though the fact that the game hasn’t even fully reached the 6-month mark before the subject of F2P was brought up (even if just in passing) is very much disappointing. In my opinion, this just goes to show how badly EA dropped the ball on this one. In fact, they not only dropped the ball, they practically threw it on the ground and stomped it flat.

    That’s just my opinion though, no need to go spreading it around.

  2. Personally, they did more converting than creating with TOR. Meaning, trying to get the universe to fit an MMO, rather than creating an MMO around the universe.

  3. I might go back to play it as a F2P, the quest story lines were pretty good and I wouldn’t mind playing through a few of them – just not at £10 per month.

    It wasnt that horrible, it had some good things going for it – just not enough to make it worth paying monthly subs for.

  4. I’m not surprised at all. A few months ago, some friends and I got some emails from bioware to fill out some surveys for free game time. Half the questions where asking about free to play stuff.

  5. The Old Republic was pretty boring. I probably won’t go back even it goes free to play. It’s sad because I love Star Wars and Knights of the Old Republic and had such high hopes for the game.

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