Star Wars: The Old Republic gained two million players since free-to-play transition

It's been nearly half a year since Star Wars: The Old Republic transitioned into a free-to-play game. So, how did it go? Pretty darn great, if you asked Jeff Hickman, executive producer on the game.

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It's been nearly half a year since Star Wars: The Old Republic transitioned into a free-to-play game. So, how did it go? Pretty darn great, if you asked Jeff Hickman, executive producer on the game.

In a new blog post, Hickman owns up to the shortcomings of SWTOR's rapid decline at launch. "Last spring, there was some uncertainty surrounding Star Wars: The Old Republic as we were starting to lose subscribers and players were growing frustrated," he said. "In fairness, many of the complaints and worries were justified."

"We just weren't sufficiently focused on improving the core experience," Hickman said, noting that the game has changed significantly since launch. Not only did the switch to free-to-play add "vitality" back to the game, but new features like Group Finder made it easier for friends to find each other and play new content.

According to Hickman, since the free-to-play transition, the game has added two million new accounts. "Our new, high capacity servers are teeming with people," he boasted. "This means more people to play with, more growth for your guilds, more Warzone matches, and more ways for players to continue to advance their characters."

The success of SWTOR as a free-to-play game shouldn't be surprising to most, given the numerous people that predicted resistance towards a subscription model. We're sure somewhere, Garnett Lee is drinking a beer saying "I told you so."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 21, 2013 3:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Star Wars: The Old Republic gained two million players since free-to-play transition.

    It's been nearly half a year since Star Wars: The Old Republic transitioned into a free-to-play game. So, how did it go? Pretty darn great, if you asked Jeff Hickman, executive producer on the game.

    • reply
      March 21, 2013 3:56 PM

      2 million registered to try it out for free sure...how many of those 2 million have accounts that have been active in the last 30 days.

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        March 21, 2013 4:00 PM

        They've been bullshitting us from the start with this one

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        March 21, 2013 4:48 PM

        I know what you mean...

        Seriously, I preordered and liked the game but my guild fell apart about 2 months after launch so I gave up on it. Gave the F2P a try, it's so crippled I can't even play my higher level characters anymore (pay for more than 2 hotbars, wtf?!)

        Also, paying to hide headslots is retarded. I wish EA would just give up.

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      March 21, 2013 4:47 PM

      I was going to give this a shot -and then I read about how gimped the F2P is until you start forking over money. Love LOTRO and love its' F2P model!

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          March 21, 2013 5:07 PM

          indeed. even the fucking GUI is limited. what the fucking fuck. fire everyone and make KOTOR 3

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            March 22, 2013 6:29 AM

            Are you serious? How is the GUI limited?

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              March 22, 2013 6:34 AM

              They disable a lot of options out of the GUI. The biggest one is F2P players only get 2 quickbars. If you play a Jedi Consular, that isn't even close to enough.

              There's tons of other things, most of the emotes you have to purchase packs to get access to (and they're random unlocks) the Helm-Hide option is disabled, the color-match clothing option is disabled, you can only be revived 5 times a day in the field (otherwise you have to revive at the spawn point for the area), restricted inventory (severely), you can only have 1 crew member with 1 skill (restricts crafting), you cannot do multiple flashpoint events per week, cannot equip purple items.

              Etc etc. This applies to both F2P and former purchaser accounts, BTW. All of those restrictions except the quickbars apply to me, who purchased 3 copies of the game including the CE.

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          March 21, 2013 5:08 PM

          Haha, can EA do anything right?

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          March 21, 2013 5:32 PM

          hahaha

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          March 21, 2013 5:43 PM

          Fucking lol

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          March 21, 2013 7:30 PM

          Man, what a fucking rip-off!

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          March 21, 2013 10:05 PM

          Holy good lol at the credit cap.

          So what would happen if I logged on to my toons that had 10's of millions of credits? Did I lose all that?

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          March 21, 2013 11:16 PM

          Holy shit, seriously? They even restricted customer service support!

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          March 22, 2013 12:09 AM

          god damn I wish I'd seen this before I began the download/patching process, just cancelled it

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        March 22, 2013 1:33 AM

        This is why I didn't go for it either. More MMOs should follow the LOTRO model where you don't actually have to pay any money to access any of the content. AxeMan808 is amazing and has basically unlocked everything until Isengard with tons of grinding and hasn't paid a single dollar for it (iirc).

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          March 22, 2013 3:11 AM

          This is true*. HOWEVER. I just had to pay for the Advanced Guild Access (for the 2 new craft tiers T7-T8) for all my players that had it before it went F2P (The 2 chars who already paid for it (for T5-T6) since F2P did not have to pay again for T7-T8).
          So I'm kinda pissed because that was a BIG chunk of the Turbine Points I'd been saving to get Isengard.
          I mean, I won't have to buy the Advanced Guild Access for anyone again, but that was almost 1500 points for the 5 chars.

          * = I did have a monthly paid account up until they went F2P.

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          March 22, 2013 6:01 AM

          So how do they make money? People who just don't want to grind? I thought people hated that (pay2win and all)

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            March 22, 2013 6:26 AM

            Some people do hate it. Some people don't.

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            March 22, 2013 6:56 AM

            I think they still have a solid subscription base plus they sell cosmetic and convenience items on the store. They also sell buffs and boosts to your character but they are available in game as well, but getting some of them is pretty grindy so I'd assume they sell a number of those as well.

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        March 22, 2013 6:25 AM

        I downloaded it again last month and re-did my Consular. The intro planet wasn't much of a change, but when I ran the Esseles, I lost 3 class-based loot rolls to a subscriber. After that I shut down the game and uninstalled.

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          March 22, 2013 7:55 AM

          Jedi stories are the worst in the game sadly = (

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      March 21, 2013 5:32 PM

      I played it to level 13 or so and was having fun getting lightsabers and leveling them so I decided I'd buy just 1 month of it. I think I played one more week or two until level 25 and then never logged in again. This was just a couple months ago. I didn't really notice any feature changes from F2P to Paid except the cartel coins to get some gimmicky stuff off the store.

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      March 21, 2013 5:39 PM

      I jumped into it once it went F2P and have enjoyed it a lot. It's a nice WoW style fix for no money and the story lines for the classes are pretty cool.

      The F2P limitations are incredibly minor and unobtrusive.

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        March 22, 2013 7:57 AM

        I logged in last night, but i couldn't hide my helm slot without subscribing again. The limitations they put on everything are so arbitrary and almost spiteful it's hilarious.

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          March 22, 2013 9:25 AM

          Does the helmet hiding make a difference to people that much?

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            March 22, 2013 10:04 AM

            Have you seen the consular helms (and in general armor design) in SWTOR? It's pretty much a necessity.

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              March 22, 2013 10:24 AM

              I've only played Empire so far, and I thought the Inquisitor stuff was alright. I would take it off before big storyline moments sometimes, though.

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            March 22, 2013 10:05 AM

            Honestly, I think they design the headgear to look as shitty and lame as possible, so that people subscribe.

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      March 21, 2013 5:47 PM

      I've been debating whether or not I should bother giving it another try. I was in the closed beta and enjoyed it enough gameplay wise. The free to play restrictions seem pretty extreme to me. For anyone who's tried it, do they actually affect gameplay a whole lot and how often do you run into the limitations?

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        March 21, 2013 9:13 PM

        The weirdest thing about the f2p limitations to me is, they limit how often you can do instances and pvp matches. Seems to me, this is the point where more f2p players would actually add value to the paying customers by providing more people to play with. And on the other hand the whole storylines are totally free to play, which is the thing they spent the most development money on, and kind of the big deal about this mmo. Seems exactly backwards to me.

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      March 21, 2013 9:58 PM

      I'm one of the 2m ppl that decided to check the game out as a F2Per and I can honestly say I think the game is GREAT! It makes me laugh that ppl criticize BW or EA for asking ppl to pay for certain things. You can totally play the game from start to finish FREE. If you want to play the Single Player aspect of the game you really don't need any of the other things they are asking you to pay for.

      Me on the other hand enjoyed the game so much from lvl 1-10 I decided to go ahead and pay for the game. I bought the CE of the game and that gave me 1 month access, mount and some other junk for $15. I've since payed for another month of it and am at lvl 48. I've also already bought the digital expansion for it too for a measly $10.

      Having said all that I don't end game MMO anymore. So, once I get to lvl 55 I'll probably hang the game up (log in as a F2Per). But the story was fantastic and that's just ONE story. There's like 8 of them or something. I totally recommend the game to any Star Wars fan or MMO fan in general.

      Lastly, good for them for acquiring 2 million more players. IMO, the game deserves it.

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        March 21, 2013 10:03 PM

        The PvP was a ton of fun back before F2P; I had three 55's and enjoyed the game a ton but the end game was all but non-existent at the time.

        I understand that they've added some content (I did play some of the first content patch and briefly played around with the 2nd that added lfg) but the mechanics and "feel" of the raids were just off to me. Also there were enormous balance issues.

        Nothing I've seen / heard leads me to believe they've really addressed any of the things that I took issue with but I absolutely feel like I got my moneys worth (game at launch + a few months subscription).

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      March 22, 2013 9:24 AM

      Honestly, the unlimited time trial until level 15 with all features unlocked (bars, sprint, etc) was much more fun than the F2P model.

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