Inevitable Disturbance In The Force: SWTOR Goes F2P

By Alec Meer on July 31st, 2012 at 8:49 pm.

69p to make your lightsaber purple

Well, that took all of about a fortnight. Pretty much everyone called this one, given the age of the expensive monthly subscription game seems to be over, bar a few very particular exceptions. So it is that the struggling juggernaut that is EA/Bioware’s MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic is to join the rapidly-swelling ranks of free to play. They’ve just announced that play up to level 50 will be gratis and open to all as of this Fall Autumn. That’s no moon – it’s a fully-armed and operational new business model.*

All eight classes will be available, “with some restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.” The subscription model will continue in tandem with the F2P one, but renamed to ‘Premium Players’ who will be given a monthly allowance of ‘Cartel Coins’, which appear to be the new currency for microtransactions.

Honestly, there’s a million catty things I could say about this, but I’m going to settle on ‘told you so.’ Because honestly, SWTOR was at least two years too late as a subscription game, and the MMO itself pulled way too many punches when it finally released after all those years and all that money EA spent on it.

“Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe,” said Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin. If it were me, I’d say “people simply didn’t want to spend that much every month on a very familiar experience.” But it’s not me. It’s Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin.

More details on the F2P move here and specifically on planned content updates here. It’s not due until “this Fall”, but the base game will be discounted to $15 next month ahead of that. You should probably wait until Fall Autumn, though. Free, see.

TOLD YOU SO NAH-NAH, NAH-NAH

*Yes I know I mangled together quotes from two different films. It’s post-modern, probably.

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136 Comments »

  1. JackDandy says:

    It was only a matter of time, I guess.

    When will you learn, EA?

    • djbriandamage says:

      EA will learn when they team up with Bioware to make an MMO with every intention of transitioning to the F2P model.

      Oh wait, that happened. They learned.

      This is transpiring exactly as Bioware anticipated. They planned to transition to F2P from the very beginning.

      • Premium User Badge

        Keirley says:

        I think you may be right. By going subscription-based first they got a bunch of initial purchases and a good few months of subscriptions – that’s got to add up to a hell of a lot of money by anyone’s standards. Now that they’re going free-to-play they get a big marketing boost. Maybe it was all just poor management on EA and Bioware’s part, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if they saw this coming from miles away.

        • Wreckdum says:

          Yeah, maybe it got them out of the 300 million dollar development hole they were in. Now that they broke even they can start to make money on a shitty item shop. =D

          • Grygus says:

            I don’t know whether you even care, but that $300 million number is completely made-up.

          • Wreckdum says:

            Whatever the actual number is, it’s far higher than any other MMO spent for development. Except for maybe Age of Conan. They are paying more off the top just to get their license. And we all know George Lucas. Guaranteed it wasn’t cheap.

            P.S. The game is terrible.

          • DrSlek says:

            I’ve heard some analyst estimates go as high as $500 million. The sad thing is, most of that would probably be advertising.

          • woodsey says:

            $10 million is added each time the figure is guessed at. By Christmas it’ll no doubt be at a neat $1 billion.

          • lazxncnb says:

            Quick, someone round up all the statements EA made that make them look dumb in light of this development!
            http://www.swtor.com/free

      • Shuck says:

        Yeah, you simply wouldn’t make a subscription MMO these days without a plan to move to F2P when subscriptions drop. (That way you maximize revenue.) I’m absolutely certain even WoW has a F2P future mapped out.

      • Jay says:

        You’d think that if you were planning on using a F2P model for most of your game’s lifespan, having a near 30 gig client download might not be the way to go.

        • BooleanBob says:

          This is an excellent point.

        • Cooper says:

          Except that fewer MMOs now need to download all of the game files to be able to launch.

          My betting is on a 2-3GB requirement to get going whilst the rest downloads as you play…

      • fenrif says:

        Counterpoint: No. You are mistaken.

      • exogen says:

        Except not. The large file size is the first piece of evidence against your thin arguement.

        The second is, EA was banking on this rivaling WoW in terms of subscriptions.

        Third is, initial resistance to the idea. I can’t be assed to dig the quote out now, but EA didn’t want this for SWTOR.

        so, in conclusion:

        lol u stupid.

        fanboy

        • Premium User Badge

          Revisor says:

          Please be nice to others. We all share a common interest.

          • Shodex says:

            Which is ragging on EA, Blizzard, Ubisoft and all the great evil powers of the gaming industry,

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        “They planned to transition to F2P from the very beginning.”

        I doubt that very, very much.

        • Shuck says:

          They’d be idiots not to have done so. (And no, the entire organization isn’t made up of idiots.) I suspect they didn’t expect it to happen so soon, however.

    • DuddBudda says:

      VGTW

  2. Premium User Badge

    Gundato says:

    Well, this is depressing, but totally expected.

    Ah well, if it means more content (I like this post 50 content, especially if it is story-based) then I suppose this is a good thing.

    But yeah, TOR has not done too well this past year.

    • mouton says:

      Depressing? Naah, it was too obvious. And its not shutting down, it just might get better/new content or whatnot. Wouldn’t know – never played it.

      • caddyB says:

        Indeed. It worked for several games, it might make the game better.

        • dawnmane says:

          Agreed. If LOTRO, DDO and DCUO are any indication, this will mean the game will be way more succesful, and more fun to play.

      • Phantoon says:

        I think he meant it was depressing it wasn’t getting shut down.

  3. Iskariot says:

    I am a real Star Wars fan from the early days. I collected the Movies, the games, Concept Art books etc. etc., but still this free to play is not enough to convince me to play this MMO.
    -
    The reason I think this MMO business does not work in the long run is that I and many other SW fans want to experience a personal adventure in the Star Wars universe without encountering dozens of jedi’s all going on about that special white, purple or green-blue light saber they found, etc. It is so immersion destroying to see them running and hopping around etc. It’s like being in an amusement park with the kids instead of truly feeling immersed in a Star Wars adventure.
    -
    For me MMO breaks the spell and makes me want to puke.
    -
    Just give me a true open world Star Wars RPG/action game. I want to be able to immerse myself. I don’t want to play the universe-saving-hero. I want to be like an average bloke on Tatooine or Corruscant or whatever. I want to be able to earn money to buy my first second hand ship and finally be able to get of the planet. Do a little trading, a bit of smuggling. I want to encounter my first Star Destroyer and marvel at it’s detail, it’s power, it’s beauty. I want Imperial customs to board my ship and check my papers and search for contraband. I want to get involved in bounty hunting. Make a name for myself etc. etc. etc.

    • Montavious says:

      Star Wars Galaxies was much like you are saying. But then they butchered the game with a lot of unneeded content and basically made it a kids game. I really miss SWG, i think it would still be going strong right now if they didnt destroy the game.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Making a sandbox MMO is hard. To make a really good one, you have to solve a number of sticky problems that have never been dealt with truly well by anybody. Making a simple WoW-like MMO, while it is an enormous undertaking, is also a well-understood problem with little risk.

      It’s a business, and MMOs are a large investment. You try to minimize risk.

      Someone, someday, will take the spirit of Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies and do much better than them. I just worry that it’ll be a long, long time before that happens.

      • Iskariot says:

        I understand how hard it is to create a good MMO.
        But the point I really tried to make is more fundamental. My point is that MMO will always fail as far as true immersion in a gameworld is concerned. The nature of MMO is by definition gamey and this is caused by the fact it’s gameworld is supposed to contain the masses instead of creating a believable immersive world for a single player.

        There is no gaming genre in which these words of Sartre are more true: L’enfer, c’est les autres (Hell is other people.)

        That is why I am disgusted by MMO. It is the presence of all those others that is killing the immersion. MMO is fine if you just are in it for some mindless leveling, or for wanting to find the best loot, or for socializing, or for shooting stuff. But it is not fine if you want to immerse yourself in a cool believable Star Wars universe.

    • equatorian says:

      Most people are into doing awesome things and being cool and watching special effect in a highly dramatised situation. The desire to roleplay an average bloke (regardless of level of roleplaying, light, heavy, etc) is seen as inherently silly and childish.

      Unfortunately for them. And unfortunately for us. I want nothing more than to pretend to be a trader who complains about imperial customs and how the rebels are menacing trade routes and would everyone just leave me alone, dammit.

      As long as the people who wants a gamey game where they can bash things outnumber people who wants immersion (a state of mankind, we’ve been this way since our apes days) and both of us sees the other as childish and wanting to have nothing to do with each other (again, a state of mankind), we’ll always be stuck with this lament I’m afraid.

      • Just Endless says:

        Aren’t there ‘role-playing’ servers on WoW? Is that a common thing across MMO’s, a place where one must do that?

  4. db1331 says:

    “TOLD YOU SO NAH-NAH, NAH-NAH”

    I find your lack of humility disturbing.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Enough of this! db1331, release him!

    • Phantoon says:

      We’re talking about Bioware, the same company that calls any of its fans that don’t like a single detail of the games “entitled”.

      You really think the caustic bitchslapping wasn’t a two way street the entire time?

  5. Slinkyboy says:

    I was about to jump into this but I think they want you to install Origin, right? Forget it man :)

    • Tuor says:

      You don’t have to have Origin installed to play SW:TOR. It has its own launcher.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        Isn’t this effectively Origin with different branding? Or did they develop and maintain two fundamentally different content delivery mechanisms?

        • RatherDashing says:

          …no? The launcher is no different than any MMO’s launcher. You start it up, it handles login/patching. No friends list/etc features. The Origin version of the game just starts up this launcher from within Origin.

        • Tuor says:

          As RatherDashing said, the launcher is a standard MMO launcher and not Origin with different clothes on.

  6. tlarn says:

    If I don’t have to create an account for and install Origin, I’ll think about it.

    • RatherDashing says:

      You don’t have to install Origin. When you create your account you are effectively “Making” an Origin account(it will link the purchase and the email and if you ever log into Origin you’ll have it there), but it’s not something you have to ever install or see.

  7. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    Between this and the Ubisoft DRM balls up, it’s Predictable News Gaming Week really isn’t it?

    Next we’ll have an analyst declaring that he expects the next COD game to be the fastest selling game ever, someone else declaring that PC gaming is dead, and then finally something to make John cry.

  8. skymt says:

    Hypothetically, if a KOTOR fan wanted to solo the various story campaigns while ignoring most of the MMO trappings, would the cap at level 50 be a show-stopper?

    • RandomEsa says:

      From what I have gathered the story takes a deep dive at around lvl 20. Even for those classes that have a decent story.

      You’re better off just replaying kotor 1 and 2 and forget that TOR exists.

      • caddyB says:

        It’s an alright game for whatever many hours you spend getting to end of the class stories. Of course, after doing the 1-50 once, only different thing with other characters is different dialogue ( that essentially says the same thing but it’s still nice ) and the class quests. Rest is all the same, so it gets mind-numbingly boring by the 3rd character.

        I will pick my sub back up when they continue the class stories, play them and go back to waiting for more.

        • Azradesh says:

          Only with in the some faction, if you play two classes, one on either faction, then everything is new.

      • Premium User Badge

        Dolphan says:

        That’s not my experience of the Jedi Knight at all – a lot of the better class story stuff was later on – and it doesn’t particularly match what I’ve heard about other classes (i.e. their best beats vary in timing). The 50 cap shouldn’t be a problem at all, since it’s the level cap at present – I finished the class story at 48. The story was pretty self-contained, I doubt you’d wind up feeling like you had to pay for later content to get closure.

      • gunny1993 says:

        There a great story missions and story lines, unfortuantly they are interspersed between mind numignly boring and pointless gathering mission, just doesnt work for pacing. Also all the lvl 50 missions are about FUCKING RAKGHOULS

    • RaytraceRat says:

      it really depends how you like your story to be served. If you like it like this:

      - Here is an interesting plot hook!
      - now, go and kill 20 of those, because… because I say so
      - Ok, you killed it, so, here is a bit more of that plot
      - Now, someone completly unrelated needs your help! Fly there and collect 10 of something
      - Ok… you did it… so, here is a bit more of that story
      - Now… you should go and kill 20 of those other things, but first you should level up a bit or it will be a pain in the a…

      then you might enjoy SW MMO experience.

      • Obc says:

        this, this so many many times.

        i played a bounty hunter and it was quite frustrating when on coruscant i had to do so many tedious fetch/kill rat quests just to progress my story a teensy tiny bit. after two hours of walking endlessly though overlong corridors and killing hundred same looking mobs, the story developed only a little but further into what i was already expecting. i wanted the whole shit to be over with to get to the good part. alas they never showed and what showed was always like 3 min of bioware wheely dialog and 1 hour of mmo trappings. sith inquisitor wasn’t better, at level 25 in whatever glowy city i gave up and even with the game going f2p i won’t be joining back.

        mop beta and gw2 beta on the other handle this way better. i quested through kun-lai summit in one night because it was so much fun. gw2 had me hooked for all 3 days. i’d happily pay for these two mmo’s.

        not copying what wow did 8 years ago is the way but either developing some new original ideas or polishing it to the new wow standard spitshine is the key.

    • TwwIX says:

      lol What “MMO trappings”? This hardly qualifies as an MMO.

    • RatherDashing says:

      Level 50 is the current level cap. You can play through the entire class story, up to the conclusion. The quality/pacing of the stories varies a lot by the class itself(I’ve played five) and what you like in a story. Sith Warrior has better characters/character drama, Sith Inquisitor has really cool weirdness about it but isn’t very engaging plot/character-wise, Smuggler has lots of great wisecracks and funny dialog, Imperial Agent has the best plotting/reveals, and Jedi Knight just feels badass with big setpieces and lots of things that make you “feel cool”.

  9. huw says:

    It was just so boring. I tried the demo and was so disappointed. I played as a Sith and got through well over 10 levels, and the whole area I’d been playing in was literally a maze of corridors. Add to that the familiar mechanics with not a single bit of innovation and I couldn’t have been more underwhelmed. I’m astonished it cost as much as it reportedly did to make.

    I might dabble in it every now and again when it’s free but, like Star Trek Online, it will never be more than a mild distraction.

  10. CaspianRoach says:

    Honestly it wasn’t the subscription fee that was bugging me, but the upfront “box cost” of the game that accompanied it. I don’t want to pay so much for a game I might not even like.

    • djbriandamage says:

      The vast majority of MMO players leave the game in the first 2 months. This is why MMOs (like TOR and The Secret World) start off with the traditional box-plus-subscription model before inevitably transitioning to free to play. Early adopters help recoup development expenses.

  11. marcusfell says:

    Quick, someone round up all the statements EA made that make them look dumb in light of this development!

    • Shuck says:

      I’m sure they knew that they would go free to play but also denied it – after all, they were trying to encourage people to pay a subscription fee, something people might be a lot less likely to do if they knew it was going F2P within a matter of months. (Which, frankly, with a subscription-based MMO these days, you can pretty safely assume.)

    • TormDK says:

      Judging by the feature sheet on swtor.com, if you are not paying a sub you are not doing operations (Raids).

      So end game will be on the old subscription model based on their current feature sheet :

      People that are subbing, and own the CE (like myself) will be getting a shitload of Cartel Coins though, based on this overview : http://www.swtor.com/free – a quick calculation says about 2500 coins, so it will be interesting to see what those coins are worth in real currency.

  12. Kaje says:

    A message to developers –

    Don’t make what is essentially a single player game with poor multiplayer interaction, very little customisation and requires an always on connection – and then expect people to pay a huge amount to actually buy it followed by large monthly payments for the privilege of continuing to play it.

    I’ll play it when it’s F2P, there was no chance in hell I’d play it for around £40 for the base game and then over £100 a year.

  13. TheWhippetLord says:

    Not sure how fair it is to call this F2P – doesn’t the level 50 cap effectively mean that you must start paying when you hit engame(ish,) which tends to be where most of the play in MMOS comes? Have other ‘free’ MMOs done this kind of gating? Pretty sure Star Trek Online doesn’t.
    Free2Level?

  14. Tolkfan says:

    Another skull to put in front of WoW’s cave.

    • PopeJamal says:

      I’m not yelling “WoW Killer” or anything, but I fully expect the Panda expansion to sell well, but not meet expectations. Then, I’d say no more than 12 months before WoW makes a substantial<move towards F2P. I don't think they'll go full bore, F2P, but they'll offer a similar concession like a reduced sub with a limited number of hours or some similar restriction.

      As for SWTOR, this is good news for people like me because I bought the game and liked it, but not more than Skyrim and I wasn't willing to pay $15 a month to play what was essentially for me, single-player KOTOR 3. Now, I get to take my time and pay as I go since I don't have loads of game time anymore being an old man.

      Someone has to keep those damn kids off the grass…

      • Shuck says:

        I think WoW will go full F2P, but I think their subscriber numbers are going to have to go down a lot before it becomes worthwhile.

        • TheWhippetLord says:

          I think a lot depends on how many WoW players come back for the new expansion after leaving during the current pre-patch content freeze – 6 months or so with no new content tends to drive raiders etc away. I suspect that trying to sell an MMO expansion pack for £30-£35 isn’t going to help them much there, having talked to other dormant members of my wow guild.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with Real-Money AH in a F2P wow eventually, maybe coupled with a Premium Battle.net sub that gives you full access to wow and also whatever Starcraft 2 expansion they’re releasing at the time – as they’ve just done with the ‘annual sub’ deal. (that guess is pulled out of my posterior mind you.)

          • Tritagonist says:

            Right, I’ve noticed there’s quite a lot of ‘play the first three months after expansion’ players in WoW who are just not interested in the content-less max level gameplay. The lifespan of content patches that are the last of an expansion cycle have been especially bad on Blizzard’s part; WoW’s last one was released in November 2011 and nothing of note as been added since.

            If WoW ever goes free-to-play, it’ll be interesting to see what changes are made in the way of micro-transactions to make it profitable.

      • cocoleche says:

        I’m skeptic about Pandaria’s success. They seem to think that including Facebook-like games (pet battles, farming) will tie players to a sub. But why would someone pay a sub for stuff that’s free on Facebook? Plus you probably have more “friends” on Facebook anyway, so the “because of the community”-argument is kind of moot.

  15. Dark Nexus says:

    For anyone else wondering, here’s a general comparison of features for sub vs free:

    http://www.swtor.com/free/features

    • Kaira- says:

      Doesn’t look too shabby from my point of view. I’m mainly wondering what character creation options will be limited and what “Operations” are. Are they something akin to raids or what?

      Honestly, fully available story content, I could see myself soloing/playing co-op with a friend to level cap at least once and if things are well designed might even drop a dime or two at EA’s direction.

      • TheWhippetLord says:

        Operations = raids
        Flashpoints = instances/ dungeons (4-player group)
        Warzones = battleground thingies

        • Kaira- says:

          Right, so it seems that from the way I would be playing the game, I get most of what I want from the free to play edition. Not bad at all. Well, maybe for EA, but eh.

      • Dark Nexus says:

        Yeah. It sounds kind of like “casual” end-game play will be free, while more serious (or “time intensive”, “focused”, “hardcore” – take your pick) end-game play will require a sub.

  16. derbefrier says:

    hmm this came sooner than i expected. thought it would at least make it a year. subs must be dropping faster than i thought. the game isn’t terrible just not worth 15 bucks a month

  17. Oneironaut says:

    When this first came out I said that I would play it once it went free-to-play. Now, with Path of Exile’s open beta on the horizon, I don’t think I care enough to bother with the installation.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      That’s pretty much how I feel.

      pre-release: a sci-fi mmo is a rare thing, I’ll try it out!
      now: that other game looks cool. Months of BS/Denial/etc from Bioware/EA makes me not want to touch this even for free

  18. dawnmane says:

    it’s not dying, silly! Its a transition.

  19. aliksy says:

    HAH.

    I probably won’t play it anyway because the free weekend wasn’t very fun. It’s a so-so bioware game tied down to shitty MMO gameplay.

    If the gameplay did anything new or interesting, maybe I’d try it again.

  20. Strutter says:

    with gw2 on the horizon this is just a little bit on the late side.

  21. Oasx says:

    So how many subscriptions based MMO’s are left? Only significant ones i can think of are Wow, Eve & Rift

    • Shuck says:

      The older MMOs – Dark Age of Camelot, Asheron’s Call, Everquest (and the Final Fantasies) are still, surprisingly, subscription based. Secret World, of course, for the moment. A smattering of other titles as well:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massively_multiplayer_online_role-playing_games

      • Jay says:

        Not sure about the others, but both the EQs have gone free to play. It didn’t happen until surprisingly recently though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some people missed that.

        • malkav11 says:

          Albeit with a fairly terrible free to play setup. SOE doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing in that regard.

      • frightlever says:

        Asherons Call was a terrific game back in the day. I came to it a couple of years after it started and the landscape was just dotted with dungeons left over from their monthly events. Total spreadsheeters game though. I had someone look at my level 8 axeman’s stats and he explained that I’d completely gimped the character.

        I somewhat enjoyed Asheron’s Call 2 – one of the first major MMORPG casualties I think.

        No point the low-res games going F2P. They’re being run on a Game and Watch in the cupboard with a few tens of thousands of loyal players still grinding it out.

        I’m currently playing LOTRO again, albeit very casually. I bought the VIP membership at launch but only played a couple of weeks. Logged back in last weekend and I had accrued 13k of Turbine Points, which can buy some very nice hats.

  22. Hoaxfish says:

    ‘Cartel Coins’, which appear to be the new currency for microtransactions

    Actually it’s EA finally revealing its new business strategy, borrowed from Mexican Drugs Cartels…

    If you don’t pay up, your legs get broken.

  23. lexoneir says:

    Not really a surprise. Swtor came close to being decent, but fell short. Too much story, not enough MMO gameplay.

    • aliksy says:

      Or “Not enough story, too much MMO gameplay.”

      In other words, they delivered a product no one wanted. KOTOR fans wanted more single player KOTOR goodness, MMO fans wanted something more than reskinned WoW.

  24. Tuskin38 says:

    Still paying a sub because I enjoy and love this game, plus its the only way to get content past level 50.

  25. Silver says:

    Next up Mass Effect MMO ? :/

  26. wodin says:

    Should have made a single payer game. Simple. MMO is a buzz word finally in it’s death throes, as no everything MMO is super cool, infact i think it’s pretty shit. Give me a great SP game anyday of the week.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    It’s a good game but you need to be a great game in order to compete with WoW.

    Removing the subs means that I’ll probably get back to it play some more.

  28. shagen454 says:

    I might give this a shot if it’s free. I mean I stopped playing after week two because it was so boring. So, just maybe if it’s free I’ll give a whirl for a couple of days.

  29. Azradesh says:

    I’m glad they are keeping the sub option, I’d rather sub when/if I ever play it again.

  30. Josh W says:

    I don’t think this will work, as about half of the people I know who gave up did so because they were hoping to play a starwars game with their friends, and found that all their levels went out of sync and they couldn’t play together any more.

    If I were them, I’d make it so that you can get a low complexity upgrade to your character to make you competitive, or at least a sidekick, when playing with a friend of higher level.

    That way you can play through the story content together, go ooh and choices that other people made etc. This should never have been a game about “looking for group”, or the usual mmo social structures, but one about using the real existing friendship groups with shared feelings about starwars. About the strengths of their single player game made social, with common experiences etc.

    Of course, the other half gave up because they went hardcore and got bored with a lack of depth or variety, which also suggests that the mmo elements let them down, and are in need of improvement, but whatever, I’d still go with making the starwars game that people want, and not worrying about legacy details like levels.

  31. Solanaceae says:

    Well according to the FAQ on their site looks like free players will have unlimited access to the main storylines. Great stuff! Will definitely get me playing.

    This was pretty fast, I was just thinking I hope they go F2P soon cause I enjoyed the IA and Sith Warrior storylines enough to want to grind through the boring MMO portions. Looking forward to this.

  32. eel says:

    Anyone knows if people who bought the game on release get any appreciation freebies?

    • Dark Nexus says:

      Yes, you get 150 “Cartel Coins” per month subbed to date, 1000 Cartel Coins and a “Heroes’ Banner” if you bought the CE and have an active sub when the game goes FTP, a “Fan’s Choice in-game Item” if you have an existing sub still active with the game goes FTP, 200 more Cartel Coins per month subbed from now to FTP, and another 250 Cartel coins as a lump sum for being active going into FTP.

      They’ve got it further down the page here, in grid form:

      http://www.swtor.com/free/

    • TormDK says:

      CE owners that have kept their sub active will be getting around 2500 Cartel Coins. It will be interesting to seeing what sort of value they will represent once the store goes live.

  33. spectone says:

    Oh no the subscribers have failed release the whales.

  34. Heliocentric says:

    /me flicks on sunglasses*

    I guess failure stuck first.

    /me poses as guitars strum out and the scene fades to black*

  35. Howl says:

    I would happily pay monthly for an MMO. (EDIT: I had 3 DAoC accounts on the go for years) I’d pay twice the going monthly rate if an MMO was good enough. SWTOR’s problem was that it wasn’t a good game. Everyone seems so hell bent on providing easy, linear, single player, story based experiences that the essence of MMO’s has been lost in the scrabble to duplicate Blizzard’s success.

    Give me a first person L4D/DAoC hybrid, or a Mad Max/Interstate ’76/DAoC mashup with a skill based levelling system and maybe vehicular combat too. I don’t want hand holding, just a rock solid interface and game mechanics and a big open world for players to fight over.

  36. lociash says:

    Hey, maybe I can complete the Sith side storylines now. I only got to lvl 40ish in the beta, I knew all I had to do was wait.

  37. Metonymy says:

    They’re still charging for the client download? Something tells me they have no idea what makes this business model work. You need hundreds of thousands of people trying out your horrible MMO, so when 1% of them ‘stick’ you actually make some money. No one is going to pay for what they have just confirmed is a subpar game.

    • syndicatedragon says:

      Yeah, still charging for the client makes no sense to me. They don’t seem to understand what “free” means.

  38. vee41 says:

    Wonder why more games haven’t adopted the Guild Wars business model? The first one sold pretty well, I recall something along 10 million boxes and content expansions on top of that. That sounds pretty damn succesfull to me.

    GW2 will probably be even greater financial success.

    • TormDK says:

      There’s alot of hype about GW2, but over time I think the model your game has depends alot on your targeted group.

      GW2 is not for everyone, but is being hyped (By the masses) as such.

  39. Kageru says:

    A business move that speaks of desperation more than any sort of planned progression. It’s still not going to be enough for their insane model of expensive, one-off, story-centric content.

    This failure was destined from their original design document.

  40. afarrell says:

    I am concerned that if and when WoW starts to freefall (and I’m by no means convinced that it’ll be soon – if they can add Guild Wars 2′s skull to the pile then the increased amount of content and ways to play in Mists of Pandaria may well start bringing people back) and if Blizzard fumble transitioning people to Titan, then there’ll be more excitable people (or just actual idiots as with Studio 38) convinced that there’s gold in those hills, and the market will be a piranha-tank of doomed subscription MMOs for years until and unless one actually gets the momentum to survive.

    It’s foolish to put out a subscription MMO now because of WoW – arguments that people won’t pay for one have to ignore the fact that 10 million people already do – but after WoW?

  41. Kuroko says:

    I called it, and got flamed for it.

    • frightlever says:

      Everyone called it. You probably got flamed for thinking you’re special.

      • Kuroko says:

        The replies I got were certainly dismissing my call, so your statement that “everyone was calling it” is certainly wrong. In fact, I recall most people sucking the game’s penis back then, and you were probably one of those.

        • Chris D says:

          I had a quick look back at some of the older threads. Over half of all the words written on the subject were saying how SWTOR would be terrible and would be free to play in six months.

          Admittedly this was while Wulf was still posting on RPS so I’m don’t know if we can conclude anything from that.

          • ananachaphobiac says:

            I hate to admit it, but part of me misses Wulf’s epic, dissertation length, deconstructions. They always made me laugh.

  42. jkz says:

    I feel a disturbance in the balance sheet, as if hundreds of thousands of subscriptions cried out in anguish, and were suddenly unsubscribed… You must go on with your grinding.

  43. Groove says:

    Woooo, I get to try this then get bored of it again!

    Honestly I can’t imagine sticking with it after hating the beta quite SO HARD, but I’ll at least jump in for a bit with it F2P.

  44. JoeGuy says:

    My lvl 48 Bounty Hunter will be happy; the other Bounty Hunters have been kicking ass and taking bounty names to jail while mine idles about, reading Jedi erotica and lighting his cigarets with his flamethrower.

  45. frightlever says:

    My major problem with SWTOR was that it wouldn’t run on my gaming PC. I could install and patch on a crappy laptop and copy the patched install over and it would work fine. But patching on the main PC failed at the verification stage every single time – on a computer that runs pretty much everything else flawlessly. Support, at the time, had its head up its own ass so I left in a huff. Prepared to try it again for free.

  46. Apprehension says:

    1. Make M*MO game
    2.Sell CD-Key for 50$+, sell “life time” subscriptions
    3.Offer no endgame, only easy modo grind to 50, and lousy imitation of KoToR storyline. Yell that voice acting is “innovation” and “amazing feature”.
    4.Wait till initial subscription profits die, go F2P.

    What is worst its current model for release of most MMOs, cash up on initial box sale for outrageous price and drop development later since you don`t care about people keeping subscriptions.

    *I can`t call game Massive when CS or CoD have more players in “instance”.

  47. Jade Raven says:

    Fall Autumn Spring, I think, Autumn is still 7 months away.

    Quarters (Q1, Q2, etc) make way more sense.

  48. Suits says:

    Love it when apologists are proven wrong