SWTOR Free To Play Is Now Free To Play

John (left) and Jim (right), yesterday

“Hello, Guinness Book Of Records? Was Star Wars: The Old Republic the fastest MMO to go from subs-based to free-to-play? Why yes, I could go away and do the most token amount of research instead, but I wanted to hear a human voice for a change. Also, can I have a pint of Guinness please? Yes, Extra Cold, thanks.”

And now you can try out SWTOR’s freeiness to playiness for yourself, albeit in a contained, reduced version, as the first vestiges of it are now live on that MMO folly’s test server.

It’s only a test and none of the Cartel Coins – the new F2P in-game currency – earned/obtained on this practice run will carry over to the full game, nor will there be any effect on your ‘live characters’, but if you want to have an early Jedi Peek at how the new system works, go for it.

Testers will be “periodically granted a small amount of Cartel Coins for the purpose of testing the Cartel Market”. so there’ll be no buying currency as yet, but you can spend CCs on “several unlocks, boosts, and Legacy perks.” Just like in Star Wars! I think we all remember that bit where Luke bought a new hand for $7.99.

More details here. And yes, you do need a paid-for copy of the game to try this.


  1. mr.ioes says:

    According to link to nerfnow.com the disadvantages for F2P-users are pretty significant.

    • mmalove says:

      “Cannot equip most purple items without a pass”

      In other words, about as pay-to-win as you can get.

      • ShDynasty says:

        Other than raiding and endgame PVP, there’s really no need for purple gear so I don’t see it as P2W.

        • Grygus says:

          I don’t see how an MMO could possibly be more pay-to-win than having pay-to-win raiding and end-game PvP.

          • ShDynasty says:

            What exactly are you winning with raiding? There’s no one to compete with unless you’re one of those world/server first kind of players, in which case your ability to wear armor won’t matter if you suck at the content. All it does for F2P is unlock the ability to wear purple armor. You still have to pay to unlock access to raiding for a week and you still have to earn purple armor unless you spend a lot of money on the GTN for player crafted mods.

            Maybe for endgame PVP it’s P2W, but a player still has to grind for valor points in order to wear purple PVP armor.

          • minafds454 says:

            link to ick.li
            Ha ha! Really good thing!

  2. Lucid says:

    >And yes, you do need a paid-for copy of the game to try this.

    Wait, what?

      • Brun says:

        The article doesn’t make it terribly clear, but the full-up game is not F2P yet. The F2P changes are currently in Public Test.

      • ShDynasty says:

        Yeah… it’s only F2P on their test server. You can actually create one of their free trial accounts to access it if you don’t mind essentially downloading the game twice.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      Keep in mind, it just says a copy of the game – not an active sub. It’s the test server, not live. It makes sense to limit the audience along some kind of line. Going after lapsed subs to test out the FTP stuff seems as good as anything else, really.

  3. thebrassthief says:

    Sadly, TOR’s free-to-play accounts make some of those free asian MMO’s look enticing.

    • fish99 says:

      I dunno, the only bit I’m interested in playing is the story missions.

      • celozzip says:

        same here, resintalled at the weekend, patching up right now.

        the only problem i had with my few hours of the old republic back in march was the mmo part of it. i’d do a quest, fight through the baddies, get to the end then turn around and they’ve all respawned! it’s my first mmo so i was a bit shocked that combat is pretty much constant and so so repetitive. by the end i was just running past everyone i saw just to get to the next cutscene.

        • ScubaMonster says:

          My biggest complaint about this game is 90% of the enemies were virtually the same. Pockets of soldiers/droids with blasters or sabers just sitting there standing still in groups of 4 or so. It became so monotonous it was ridiculous.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      For the fun killing and looting, I have Guild Wars 2. For crafting and farting around, I’m very much looking forward to Salem: The Crafting MMO. I do love me some crafting in GW2, but that’s just because I’m jonesing for Salem.

      I was thinking about this a few days ago, and I don’t know why I like crafting in games so much. I did it a lot in Skyrim, too…

      • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

        Salem is awful and unsalvageable at this point. It is genuinely bad.

        “Crafting MMO” is extremely misleading.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        If you’re into crafting, LoTRO has a great crafting system. Disclaimer: I’ve only ever played two MMOs that had crafting, so my opinion may be uninformed.

      • Richie Shoemaker says:

        Salem didn’t grab me much either. Crafting in LoTRO was good, but Fallen Earth was better. In fact now that I mention it I have a hankering to install it again.

        I keep meaning to give Xsyon a go for the crafting aspect.

      • Whisperduke says:

        Best crafting game I’ve ever played was Mortal Online. BUT its also open world PVP. Not the most stable MMO and not the most populated.

      • De_willy says:

        You should try EVE-online.

      • Baardago says:

        From what I heard, Salem is shit. I’d recommend against trying it.

        If you want a similar game, the closest you can get, you might as well go play Haven and Hearth. It’s from the same devs at Salem.

        Haven’t played it in ages, so I don’t know if it’s dead in the water or still being developed, but, basically, it’s an isometric, 2D (graphics could be way better, but whatever), crafting/building/sandbox MMO. Free open-world PvP with permadeath (for both PvP and PvE), so it can get really rough – not a game for wimps.

        Xsyon is another game I’d actually recommend, too. However, i did make the mistake of preordering it. Why do I call that a mistake? Because the game’s launch was really horrid. During the two months I played (2 free months for preorering), the game’s servers were extremely unstable and weak. Horrible lag. Crashed all the time.

        However, Xsyon seems to have some real potential. It really, really does. I would fully recommend you try it out if I could, but I also don’t know what current state it’s at. I have faith in it, though, ’cause I remember devs being really dedicated to their little baby. It has a free trial server, so why not go for that?

        And, last but not least, you could try out Wurm Online. I played the free bit of it for a while and -loved- it, but it does require a monthly sub that’s a bit hard to justify, sometimes, and it’s a huge time sink (I actually spent several real-life days, playing something like 6 hours a day, to build a single, tiny shack. Wall by wall, floor and door.)

  4. Tom De Roeck says:

    hmmmmmm…. guiness beer….

  5. Stiletto says:

    Star Wars: The Old Republic – Now Pain-To-Play!

    Join in the excruciating adventure and feel like a true Star Wars fan!

  6. derbefrier says:

    Pints of Guinness make you strong!

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Some Guiness was spilt on the barroom floor
      When the pub was shut for the night
      Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
      And stood in the pale moonlight
      He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor
      Then back on his haunches he sat
      And all the night you could hear him roar
      “Bring on the goddamn cat!”

  7. Aemony says:

    I’d love to try the game out again but sadly my SWTOR account is “secured” behind a mobile security authenticator app long lost.. And what do I have to do to get it removed? Call a friggin international support line for something that should easily be doable through support with photos of my ID. Similarly, how the heck are they going to verify my identity without any photos through the phone?

    The irony of it all is that the security thingy only protects the least viable of my EA account, SWTOR. All of my Origin games and BF3 are still accessible… Oh well, it’s just another thing I can rant about while also serving as an unnecessary limit on why I’ll never be able to get back into SWTOR.

    • Yoshis95 says:

      i called to support to remove a security key and the only verification they needed was my name email and one security question, its not that hard dude…

    • Stellar Duck says:

      For what it’s worth, you can call that number for free via Skype and they’ll sort it in a couple of moments. At least they did that for me.

  8. futage says:

    I think I’ll wait for the price to come down further.

  9. Slinkyboy says:

    Do I have to install Origin-ware to to play it? I’ll pass if I have to. Steam is enough shit to install. I hope I hope I don’t have to!

    Edit: Bullshit, I’m not buying the game to play this.

    • Phantoon says:

      Wait, you WANT to try this, but installing Origin is the deal breaker?

      • pupsikaso says:

        Origin is a deal-breaker for many people. That’s how bad it is.

        • EPICTHEFAIL says:

          Am I the only one around here who has had more trouble with Steam and Desura than with Origin? Besides, it does say beta on the window.

          • aliksy says:

            I never tried Origin so I wouldn’t know. (See what I did there?)
            It would help if EA was making games I still wanted to play, of course.

          • Lanfranc says:

            I must say I think Origin generally works fine enough, and I don’t mind using it (though I still prefer Steam), but it was rather annoying how they handled the transition of accounts into the new system – essentially, all shop and forum accounts from Bioware, EA and probably a number of other brands were just copied over as Origin accounts. So now I’ve got about four or five different Origin accounts, with different games, content and credits spread out over at least three of them. Rather annoying.

          • Emeraude says:

            I don’t see much difference between Origin and Steam from where I stand really (Desura’s on a… slightly different position). None should be mandatory in their use and for access to games. Period.

          • Narzhul says:

            I have Origin for BF3, and I didn’t think it was going to be shit, but it IS shit. If I leave it open(hidden in the taskbar) it has a chance of randomly driving my cpu usage up 20% for no good reason. Scared me to death the first time it happened, didn’t know why my cpu temp was as high as if I was playing a game back then.

            According to google it’s the store page loading and reloading even though I have it minimized. Steam has never given me any trouble for the longer time I’ve used it. So yes, I think Origin is shit.

          • otaku4225 says:

            Yea, I used Origin a lot because of the free games (Awesome move on EA’s part), and I gotta say the actual program isn’t so bad. The interlay is a lot better then steam’s, and although the library organization isn’t so good I can’t find any glaring faults.

        • Baardago says:

          It’s a deal-breaker for me. Totally.

          Not just ’cause I prefer Steam, too.

          I also +1 what emeraude said.

    • D3xter says:

      It doesn’t require Origin (at least the Full Version), and apparently this is only for the “Test Server” and you will likely not require a copy when it actually goes F2P. Don’t know why RPS didn’t wait until then.

    • pupsikaso says:

      I think you only buy it on Origin, download it from there, but then you can delete it and never have to use it again? Something like that?

  10. aliksy says:

    Meh. They’d have to pay me to play this thing.
    To continue beating my dead horse: No auto grouping, no levelscaling/sidekicking, no sale. Or in this case, no download.

    • Grygus says:

      Not arguing with you, but judging from the restrictions, the whole point of F2P TOR seems to be soloing your way through the storyline, so none of that would seem to be necessary.

      • Ateius says:

        The only thing about TOR that could possibly interest me is co-op story quests so I can roleplay with a friend or two … but they don’t support co-op in the storylines (I’ve heard).

        • Cenarl says:

          you can co-op everything in the game and its pretty great too. You and a friend can both use companions to fill out a party as well (you have tank,dps, and heal companions). I advise everyone to not go into the game with a pre-established hate…I only played the first 2 months but had a good amount of fun before the end game grind got to me (multiplied by the usual mmo terrible PUG games), they fixed a lot of things since then to make it better though…but end game equipment is still a mindless grind but the previous 80-90% of the game is much better then it was.

  11. Adekan says:

    I wish this game would just die already, and stop constantly reminding me that I wasted $50 on it.

  12. ScubaMonster says:

    This game is so tedious. The enemy encounters are almost all the same. Pockets of a few soldiers/droids with blasters and sabers just sitting there waiting for you to stumble on them. There was such a lack of variety it was unbelievable. What variety there was, was too few and far between to make up for it. If your MMO is about combat (yeah story too, so what, you do more combat than story) you better damn well make that combat interesting and fun.

  13. pupsikaso says:

    Like the rest, I’d like to echo how bad the game is. It’s like they decided to copy WoW, but rather than copy all the good parts of it they copied all the terrible parts of vanilla WoW.

  14. Aydrian says:

    Wow…people jumping on the hate train when it comes to a Bioware game. At least the whiners are consistent.

    The restrictions on the F2P accounts for this game are actually a lot less than the restrictions on just about every other MMO that went f2p. I pointed this out before, but DDO has about 70% of the game locked away from F2P users, and their method is letting you access any of the story content without paying is extremely tedious. Same thing for the other MMO’s. Go ahead, go look at their F2P restrictions and then look at these again.

    DDO was close to shutting down before they went f2p, now it has a ton of players and they’re releasing new content all the time. Same thing for LOTRO. DC Universe Online is doing quite well after going F2P as well.

    And yet, some of you still think it’s going to fail using the free model as well. Now, I can understand people genuinely hating the game because it just wasn’t their thing, or they were overhyped and disappointed with the finished product. That’s fine. But those people came in, calmly gave their reasons for not liking the game, and left it at that.

    The people who are saying stupid things like “They’d have to pay me to play this game” are just hating because they can hate.

    And before you give me that crap about respecting your opinion, there’s a HUGE difference between respecting your right to HAVE an opinion, and respecting the opinion itself. The people who come in here and say lines like that above are free to have that opinion, and I respect that, but I think your opinion is hate-filled crap.

    SWTOR isn’t nearly as bad as people think it is. If you want a Bioware game then that’s what you’re going to get, just in MMO form. TOR is a Bioware game to the core, and that’s kind of the problem. It has a single player philosophy in an MMO wrapper and doesn’t always work. But it’s still an MMO. Get a few friends together and the game is a blast, but try to solo it, as I’ve seen sooooo many people try to do, and it’s going to be significantly less fun and far more grindy.

    The stories are fun and interesting, your choices really do matter in the game, you’ll meet an absolute ton of interesting characters, and having just one friend join you makes such a huge difference. Just beware the fact that it’s the first multiplayer game Bioware has made in ten years.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      I`m trying to find a word to express how thoroughly I agree with you. As I ranted in a previous post that had to do with ME3, people are so obsessed with worshiping old Bioware that it never seems to occur to them that their employees are human beings. Human beings make mistakes, guys. Now please stop this nonsense before you give someone an excuse to categorize nostalgia as a mental illness.

    • aliksy says:

      You’re glossing over DDO was (is) pretty different from WoW and other DikuMud derivatives. It’s almost all self contained dungeons with secrets and mini-stories.

      Also DDO lets you access all the important parts of the game. Content only starts to get thin after you’ve put in a lot of hours.

      SWTOR is a so-so modern bioware game grafted onto the shittiest MMO conventions of the past decade. We’re talking uninspired hotkey combat, 2% bonus traits*, stupid mobs, and time sinks everywhere. It’s a pretty bad game.

      * edit: I think. I don’t actually remember too much about the numbers underpinning the combat, but I remember not liking it.

      • Aydrian says:

        “You’re glossing over DDO was (is) pretty different from WoW and other DikuMud derivatives. It’s almost all self contained dungeons with secrets and mini-stories.

        Also DDO lets you access all the important parts of the game. Content only starts to get thin after you’ve put in a lot of hours.”

        I started needing adventure packs just two days into the game. That may seem like a while, but that was me running the same dungeons over and over again. As a reminder, the more you play a dungeon in DDO, the less experience you get for it.

        “SWTOR is a so-so modern bioware game grafted onto the shittiest MMO conventions of the past decade. We’re talking uninspired hotkey combat, 2% bonus traits*, stupid mobs, and time sinks everywhere. It’s a pretty bad game.”

        TOR is a great Bioware game because it does everything that Bioware games are known for. However, I definitely agree that it’s a so-so MMO as far as combat and sidequests go. However, few other “better” MMO’s can match the feeling you get when you’re this badass, evil Sith Lord just murdering left and right and rising in the ranks to become someone who is feared.

        • aliksy says:

          I played for a few weeks without spending any real money, but my friends and I were content to repeat content multiple times on higher difficulties, and with other classes. Diablo conditioning, I guess.

          I thought the single player parts of SWTOR were adequate for a bioware game, but it’s like trying to swim with with cement MMO shoes. If all the filler / time sinks was cut out, the companion party size was bigger, and the combat mechanics weren’t quite so vanilla, I’d probably like it.

          Acceptable counterargument: “It sounds like you don’t want an MMO at all!”

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Every single great employee that used to work there has left. Even the fucking founders are now gone.

      BioWare is nothing more than a trademark. The company, as so many of us once loved and knew it, simply doesn’t exist anymore. It’s become merely another EA subsidy.

      • Betamax says:

        That is incorrect, a number of BioWare old timers post on the BioWare Social Network let alone still work on their games. Not that it matters, EA doesn’t replace them with soulless robots, they are still people trying hard to make a game people will enjoy.

        • nzmccorm says:

          It’s a shame that they’re terrible at it. Even ME is pretty shitty even if you restrict yourself to the fun-having side of it because of mediocre level and encounter design being the norm.

    • Ebon Hawk says:

      I am sorry but I believe that on certain level you are incorrect…

      Sure, BioWare is staffed by human beings and not robots,
      But the rule goes: treat others as you would want them to treat you… applies at all times.

      When a company lies, blames player base for its shortcomings and treats you like mushrooms (by keeping you in the dark and feeding you shi…)
      It deserves the same treatment in return.

      There are companies out there who have earned their good name by respecting their players,
      Most of all respecting player choices (something that BioWare is notorious for ignoring, especially in TOR setting).
      So, while I agree with you that we too should treat them as we want them to treat us, there is no excusing their attitude.

      Fool me once shame on you… fool me twice shame on me…

    • malkav11 says:

      I liked TOR and I think the backlash is a bit silly, but LOTRO and DDO have far fairer F2P setups. Ultimately, F2P is simply an alternate business model, and as much as people would like it to be about them getting to play the whole game for free, that’s not what it’s about, and there have to be some things people pay for in order for the game to function. LOTRO and DDO not only let you earn the currency to get those things in game (albeit slowly), they let you buy things a-la-carte that pretty much put the “free” player at parity with a subscriber with sufficient investment. And they charge for more game to play, not for basic functionality to make playing that game tolerable. SWTOR is giving away the game, and expecting you to pay for things like being able to run, resurrect in the field, and (apparently) use more than one action bar. If you give me some fun content and then ask me to pay to play more of it, I am likely to oblige, happily. If you let me play all your content, but poke me with sticks the entire time to see if I’ll pay to lower the number of stick pokings, I am likely to tell you to bugger off and quit playing.

  15. SonicTitan says:

    Guys, guys, you’re all missing the bigger picture here.

    Alec Meer drinks his Guinness COLD. What the HELL.

    And here I thought RPS was a tasteful, well-read gaming website that would never allow these kinds of shenanigans to run rampant through its pages. The affront, nay the inhumanity of it burns my soul.

    • Brun says:

      That’s a pretty common way to drink Guiness here in the States at least – I think lukewarm beer is primarily a UK thing.

      • Dave Talbot says:

        I have drunk far too many beers, lagers and ales all across the UK and never have any of them been served lukewarm.

      • mondomau says:

        Pedantry ho!
        A) No one drinks lukewarm beer in the UK, this is a misconception / exaggeration propagated entirely by americans.
        B) Drinking guiness un-chilled is not a ‘UK thing’, it’s the way it’s supposed to be served. This ‘Extra cold’ nonsense (which I drink every now and then, btw) came in about 10 years ago when Guinness tried to rope in the trendy bar demographic.

    • derbefrier says:

      There is nothing better than an Ice cold Guinness after a long day of work and warm beer is gross.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      No self-respecting man drinks “extra cold” stouts. Stouts are actually supposed to be one of the warmer served beers. They’re not meant to be served “lukewarm” either. Most styles should be served around 40-55F/8-12C.

      link to ratebeer.com

      Ice cold beer is done for one reason and one reason only: to mask the fact that Budweiser and Miller High Life and all of those super cheap macro beers taste absolutely horrendous. Good beer has complexity, and drinking it freezing cold denies you the ability to taste those complexities.

      Michael “The Beer Hunter” Jackson is rolling in his grave…

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I always thought the 1873 was a Heineken reference…

    • Jenks says:

      If you’re going to drink warm beer, why not save yourself some money and just drink your piss?

      • Barberetti says:

        If my piss was the equivalent of a good ale, I would do.

    • Alec Meer says:

      My tipple of choice is a very much non-chilled real ale/craft beer, but for some perverse reason I prefer Guinness cold. Not that I order it often, given the ale renaissance means I am spoilt for far, far superior choice in most places now. This makes me a very happy boy indeed.

    • Baardago says:

      Are you kidding me?!

      I drink Guiness cold. Ice cold. South-pole cold. There’s no other way around it.

      Warm beer is just blech.

      I mean, when it’s 38C all around you, and even the pub’s AC isn’t cutting it, an ice-cold beer – even a stout – is a godsend. Warm beer, on the other hand, is crap.

      Chilling the beer also doesn’t cut so much flavor out of it, either. Not at all. I only drink cold beer, and I never settle for anything but the best. Guiness, Pliny, St Gallen, etc.

      Shit beer (Heineken, Bud, Miller light, Stella Artois, etc) is still shit beer, cold or not. Chilling them doesn’t disguise that, for me.

  16. FreshwaterAU says:

    I loved it from launch until about March, then the magic just died. My first MMO. no regrets but just didnt feel the drive to keep on playing. I think I probably will go back and check out the jedi free to play, unless I have to pay for sprint, not sure I will since I paid before….I dont think so…

  17. Arathain says:

    I am less bothered by all this than most of you are. The restrictions are mostly on things I am less intertested- mostly group content and PvP. If you’re going to be playing enough to make those things worthwhile a subscription would be perfectly fine value for money.

    For someone like me who’s going to log on when I feel like it and play through some more story stuff this model will be fine. The restriction on travel before giving them some money is a little vexing, but I don’t mind stumping up a little cash for what is still quite a lot of game.

    Free to play is pretty much all positive for a time-starved player like me. Even if I have to pay for stuff once in a while it works out a lot cheaper than a sub, and comes without that feeling that when I’m not playing a sub game I’m wasting my money.

  18. Dominic White says:

    Count me as another that honestly doesn’t see too much wrong with the business model. From the looks of things, it’s all high-level PvP/endgame type content that is locked away behind a pay gate. The core of the game – the main zones and personal story content – is all free. That’s the only part I’m really interested in, anyway. I’ve got no interest in raiding and WoW-esque PvP, so having that stuff kept for subscribers just doesn’t bother me at all.

    It really does need repeating here: F2P doesn’t mean Freeware. At some point, they want you to pay SOMETHING, even if it is just a couple of bucks to unlock sprinting or some other minor pay-gate feature. If I’m getting a full-length multiplayer RPG out of it for $0-5, I reckon I’m doing very well.

    Unlike EA, who spent countless millions of dollars on this, and are likely to get less than $10 out of me for it.

    • Vorphalack says:

      ”Count me as another that honestly doesn’t see too much wrong with the business model. From the looks of things, it’s all high-level PvP/endgame type content that is locked away behind a pay gate. The core of the game – the main zones and personal story content – is all free”

      That is essentially what is wrong with the business model. The MMO aspects of the game, the ones locked behind a pay wall, are utterly derivative, bland slabs of repeatable filler content. Why anyone would want to unlock the raids, PvP or second ”crafting” (air quotes show contempt now) profession is beyond me. The only bits people might want to sample, the character stories and single player quest content, is all free. So, how do they make any money on that basis? It’s actually not a bad deal for the free player, but this leaves EA with nothing worth selling. [yodavoice] That….is why they fail……[/yodavoice].

      • Dominic White says:

        Oh, I agree that it’s dumb business on EA’s part, but as a consumer, I really can’t complain. For MMO PvP, I can always go back to Guild Wars 2 whenever I want, anyway, and World vs World is far more interesting than anything SW:TOR can offer.

      • Arathain says:

        I understand, from a friend who plays as well as some other stuff I’ve read on forums, that the PvP is actually pretty good.

        • Dominic White says:

          It might be decent by WOW-ish standards, but that’s a combat engine that I would define as being ‘endured’ rather than ‘enjoyed’. Give me 300-man sieges in GW2 any day.

    • malkav11 says:

      What’s wrong is they’re locking the stuff that makes it tolerable to play the content they’re giving away for free. They should be doing it the other way around. Most recently, apparently they are selling access to additional action bars past the first, in a game where classes not infrequently have enough abilities to fill three or four such bars.

      It’s also uncool that they are not doing anything to cover those people who already gave them money, for the box and possibly additional subscription time, unless those people are subscribed at the time of the F2P transition.

  19. Mirqy says:

    HEY, BETHESDA! CAN YOU HEAR ME IF I SHOUT? Please stop making the elder scrolls online – this will happen, you’ll piss off generations of fans and your brand won’t be worth a cabbage by the time it’s finished.

    • pupsikaso says:

      You are implying that fans are not already pissed off and their “brand” is not already worth less than a cabbage?

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Er… yeah, people are pissed off about TES:O and the DLC has received some lukewarm reception, but the brand is hardly worthless. Oblivion did very well and Skyrim was a massive financial success.

  20. Hardmood says:

    i think i sit n wait til ea makes it PAYED2play hahaha

  21. stupid_mcgee says:

    Call it conspiracy, but I honestly think Riccitiello played the good doctors of BioWare like a fiddle.

    John became the CEO of VG Holdings (Pandemic + Bioware) until he quit to become CEO of EA in April of 2007. This is where things get interesting because six months into the job, EA announced it was going to buy Pandemic and Bioware for $620 million in cash and $155 million in equity retention. $775 million dollars to buy his ex-firm’s portfolio company. The kicker is since John was a founder of Elevation Partners and ex-CEO of VG Holdings, he would make up to $4.9 million from EA buying the company he invested in 2 years ago. If that isn’t a huge conflict of interest, I don’t know what is.

    link to seekingalpha.com

    After Pandemic got shuttered, Ricci knew he had to milk some serious cash out of BioWare, so he ramped-up production to full speed.

    Dragon Age: Origins magically stopped being a PC exclusive. While I’m not against multiplatform, I can’t help but wonder if and how this affected the production of the title.

    It took 3 years between Mass Effect 1 and ME2, but only 2 between ME2 and ME3. Not a big deal, but ME3 could have obviously used some more time. Why do I say that? Because you couldn’t even import your previous gamedata when the game launched. That’s kind of a very important and crucial element for the series and to launch without that shows, to me, that the title was rushed.

    Dragon Age 2 bastardized the franchise into some action-packed hack’n’slash metalfest. Dragon Age was originally touted as being a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate. Strangely, DA2 seemed to fit right in with the over-the-top action-packed metalfest trailers that were so out of place for Dragon Age: Origins.

    SW:TOR went from being “we want to try new things in the MMO genre” and “we’re looking at different payment models other than the traditional subscription model” to “World of Starwarscraft.”

    I don’t blame Ray and Greg for leaving. It seems like their entire vision just got shit on and rushed out to make a quick buck.

    • nzmccorm says:

      They were in charge of Bioware Group. Myzuka was widely perceived as Ricetello’s likely successor, and so on. They weren’t played like a fiddle, they were willing participants. Grow up and stop idealizing video game makers.

  22. GoodKnight says:

    To all those complaining about buying the game… STOP!
    You’ve all got yourselves to blame.. Stop pre ordering games please!
    Just stop it! Wait for your favorite reviewer to review it and then decide.. Or better yet a demo!
    (Not necessarily talking about GS or IGNorance for me it’s will be TB or a demo..)

  23. Wodaman says:

    I liked the game. Bought it, played it up to level 50 dual light saber wielding Jedi Master. Yeah the interface is kinda like WoW but so what? I got sick to death of WoW — not because of the interface — but because of nine million add-ons you have to have to go with the exact right pieces of gear for your cookie cutter build character in order to have your dps exactly where it needs to be. Then it comes down to the most important skill for, say, a Death Knight, being the same skill needed to play Guitar Hero, button mashing in sync with colored lights. Then they fill the expansion with boss mobs that all do some sort of horrible AOE at some point making everyone run away from them, including the melee DPS types who then see their oh so carefully balanced DPS crash and have it advertised by those damn add-on dps counters everybody says aren’t important but that they all actually live by. And then Blizzard’s response is something along the lines of, “Well, we have lots of other classes, take the time to level one up and you can play one of those,” which is kind of like Ford telling Edsel owners, “Don’t like it? We have lots of other car models then, take the time to earn the money to buy one and you can have one of those.” Hoo, that felt good, sorry for the digression.

    SWTOR at least gave me the feeling I was playing some version of KOTOR 1 or 2 on steroids — and I loved those games, especially KOTOR 1.

  24. MrNash says:

    I’m still not interested, even if it is F2P. I played it a bunch at launch, and it just didn’t hold my attention. A lot of the mechanics felt way to similar to what I’d experienced in WoW, and I pretty much treated SWTOR as a glorified single player game. I’d have been much happier if the game was basically single player KOTOR 3, toss in a big open world a la Elder Scrolls, and maybe some limited multiplayer like Saints Row. For me, that would have been a much more entertaining experience I suspect.

  25. wodin says:

    F2P…wow thats a shock…everyone knows they should have just made a single player game.

  26. Branthog says:

    Having spent $65+ on launch day and played up to level 19 before quitting, I would say that free is about the right price.

  27. Iskariot says:

    I am still waiting for an old fashioned Star Wars RPG game that is not MMO.

  28. MortalWombat says:

    It’s just insulting and disrespectful to think someone would really want to waste their time with this sort of game. If you want just that, do something meaningful with your life or get some real drugs…

  29. ocelot113 says:

    “And yes, you do need a paid-for copy of the game to try this.”

    So no, SWOTOR free-to-play is NOT free-to-play yet.

  30. seniorgato says:

    “And now you can try out SWTOR’s freeiness to playiness for yourself, albeit in a contained, reduced version, as the first vestiges of it are now live on that MMO folly’s test server.”
    Yay! ….. oh.. it’s a demo. never mind. FTP my butt.

  31. Barberetti says:

    FTP? Not good enough. Like I said in the comment box I was presented with when I cancelled my sub a few months back, I wouldn’t carry on playing this game if they paid me my monthly subscription fee to do so.

  32. otaku4225 says:

    I love how The Secret World (a game with considerable amount less marketing and capital) is still going strong in comparison. And hopefully will for a long time. Awesome game.