Star Wars: The Old Republic going free to level 15

Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free-to-play through level 15 in July.

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We've seen plenty of MMOs making the move to free-to-play, and we've wondered if Star Wars: The Old Republic won't eventually head in that direction. While BioWare isn't giving up the premium price ghost yet, it took a seeming half-step in that direction today with the announcement of the game going free-to-play through level 15.

The free demo-like feature won't launch until July. Not coincidentally, it seems similar to a recent move in World of Warcraft's F2P through level 20. Other upcoming features include new Companions, a new Nightmare difficulty, and a new planet.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 4, 2012 1:43 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Star Wars: The Old Republic going free to level 15.

    Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free-to-play through level 15 in July.

    • reply
      June 4, 2012 1:46 PM

      Shocking.

    • reply
      June 4, 2012 1:47 PM

      i'm surprised paid MMOs don't just do this right away at launch now. it's a great way to get people to try the game while still making subscription money from people once they're hooked.

      • reply
        June 4, 2012 1:57 PM

        And generally with most of these modern mmo's the first ~20 levels are the most polished. Get people hooked with the free early levels. I understand not doing it at launch but seems like it would be a good business model a month or two later.

      • reply
        June 4, 2012 2:18 PM

        Biggest reason not to would be that server needs for all of these failed MMOs spike at the release date. So starting free-to-15 would cause them to build out a lot more infrastructure.

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          June 4, 2012 4:24 PM

          Plus let's be honest if the game sells really well you don't need to. They still want you to pay the $60 entry fee and the monthly fee. WoW can do this, so why not (game X)?

          If SWTOR cost $200M to develop and they're already dipping their toes into the F2P pool they must be really really fucked.

    • reply
      June 4, 2012 2:16 PM

      Logged in the other day around primetime and there was 11 people in the fleet. A /who returned everyone on the faction who was on.

      Server had queues at launch, too.

      • reply
        June 5, 2012 6:48 AM

        Part of the reason lots of us say this is a really good single player game.

    • reply
      June 4, 2012 2:16 PM

      I think "going free-to-play" isn't as simple as just not charging any more. There's a lot that goes into developing a business model, building a billing system to handle tons of microtransactions, creating content people actually want to buy, etc. I don't think it is EA holding on to the subscription model as trying to figure out how to convert this thing to free-to-play.

      • reply
        June 4, 2012 2:24 PM

        Honestly, I just want KOTOR3...

        TOR was fun but I was done with it after my 30 days.

        • reply
          June 4, 2012 2:35 PM

          How many days do you think you would play KOTOR3 for?

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            June 5, 2012 6:39 AM

            Yer but thats not a fair argument to make, TOR is meant to last you for way more than 30 days, it's an MMO.

            While a new KOTOR game would last you hopefully the length of a decent Single Player RPG. You might as well of said how many days would a mass effect game last you.

      • reply
        June 4, 2012 2:43 PM

        Guild Wars seems to have it figured out.

        • reply
          June 4, 2012 2:48 PM

          How much of what Guild Wars does are you aware of?

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          June 4, 2012 3:00 PM

          Cuz GW is totally an MMO. And GW2 doesn't have an upfront cost or anything and has shown itself to be successful after launch.

    • reply
      June 4, 2012 2:26 PM

      So I am betting Old Republic is shutdown in two years. Maybe a year.

    • reply
      June 4, 2012 2:28 PM

      I'd love to see stats about MMO profit/losses/userbases for shits and giggles. I mean, how many are long term profitable? Can the world handle 500 mmos? 5000? 50? 5? These are the questions that keep me up at night

      • reply
        June 5, 2012 6:52 AM

        Was asking these questions just after EQ launched and the next one was on the horizon; which I think was Dark Ages of Camelot. So far I'd say the market can handle 1 big mmo, a couple of next tier and then less than scraps. But, I also see the market totally changed the last few years. More people playing in total, but not playing as long. Think mmo as a genre has already peaked, like fps peaked before mmos were so huge.

        • reply
          June 5, 2012 7:42 AM

          I don't think MMOs have peaked but the current type of quest-based and grinding types of MMOs are probably near their limits. It's such simplistic and shallow gameplay that it shouldn't be surprising that tolerance is limited when yet another quest/grind game comes out. Back in the naive days of UO, there was the idea of GM-driven content and the players themselves contributed to the game to a limited degree. New games need to provide reasons to give players a reason to log in every week or every day. New activities, events, letting players actually drive some of the content (e.g. Contested zones or property), GM-run adventures, something like that.

          I know some games have those elements but that's probably the only reason to keep me coming back. Single player RPGs are so much more fun and rewarding to play that I'm not going to bother with an MMO for a while. My WoW friends try the latest MMO but they always go crawling back to WoW in the end.

    • reply
      June 4, 2012 2:39 PM

      SWTOR could have been a great F2P game. Players who don't spacebar+3 through dialog become really attached, and most people would drop $10 to unlock the second/third act for their characters. Instead it's doomed to fail because of the subscription model.

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        June 4, 2012 4:05 PM

        It wasn't the subbing that killed it for me, it was the boredom of end game. $15 a month is cake, $15 a month with nothing to do is the suck.

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          June 5, 2012 4:06 AM

          ^ this

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          June 5, 2012 5:40 AM

          yea that game is boring as shit once you hit the endgame

          • reply
            June 5, 2012 9:55 AM

            For someone like me who has limited time to play, I hardly ever reach endgame before I move on to the next MMO, so for me it's not so much endgame as it is good play mechanics, other people to play with, good story, etc.

    • reply
      June 5, 2012 4:07 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      June 5, 2012 5:06 AM

      Holding out with playing this game is starting to pay off! I always wanted to try it out and just go through the story, and this is good news for me.

      • reply
        June 5, 2012 5:14 AM

        There isn't that much story to be had to only L15.

    • reply
      June 5, 2012 5:51 AM

      So, free-to-15, but then you have to buy the game and pay monthly fees? Or monthly fees only? Because those are two hugely different things.

      • reply
        June 5, 2012 6:50 AM

        Sounds like its an extended trial, play to 15 for free then buy the game if you are interested.

        • reply
          June 5, 2012 7:04 AM

          So then yeah, once you hit 15 you have to buy the game as well as pay the monthly fees.

          They're just postponing the inevitable at this point.

          • reply
            June 5, 2012 7:15 AM

            It might get them some box sales, 1-20 is pretty solid the warts don't begin to show till the later levels.

            • reply
              June 5, 2012 7:30 AM

              Yeah, with the speed upgrades, the post-first planet stuff might not be so bad now.

    • Ziz legacy 10 years
      reply
      June 5, 2012 5:56 AM

      Will i be able to play my old account?

    • reply
      June 5, 2012 6:00 AM

      Still hoping for proper space combat :(

    • reply
      June 5, 2012 6:41 AM

      I really enjoyed the free trial weekend as a single player game, I can totally see myself getting every class to 15.

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