This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, considering the low subscription numbers, butStar Wars: The Old Republicis making the switch to a free-to-play plan. BioWare General Manager Matt Bromberg, however, told IGN in an interview that the switch was less about subscription numbers as much as it was the current market for MMORPGs.
"There has been some decline in our subscriber numbers, but I wouldn't say that's what's driving the decision...what's happened in the marketplace is that free-to-play has really become the market standard for MMOs and we felt like there were both potentially millions of new players who were Star Wars fans who never tasted the game because the subscription was a barrier. Our research also told us that a lot of the folks who we had earlier on who left the game would like to come back and try some of the new features and content that we've put into the game since they've left if the subscription wasn't a barrier. So we feel like the market and our players are telling us that greater access is what they want and so we're really responding to that."
So, if you're a Star Wars fan who didn't play The Old Republicbecause of the subscription fee, there won't be an excuse for you not to try it this fall. What does this new change mean for the game? Well, EA and BioWare are saying that going free-to-play will allow them to pump out more content updates. The first of these supposed updates will be launched with a sale of The Old Republic for $14.99 (giving customers both the game itself and a one-month subscription). After that update, the companies plan on releasing updates every six weeks. Lastly, if you subscribed to the game and decided to quit playing, you'll be rewarded with Cartel Coins if you decide to come back and play.
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