Well this was rather inevitable: Amid stories of dwindling subscriber numbers and months of rumors Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free-to-play this fall (while still maintaining a subscriber option). It’s easy to be snarky and all, “well duh,” about the announcement, but in truth I have to applaud. The Old Republic isn’t a bad game. There’s a whole lot of it that I enjoyed quite a bit, and not just because lightsabers have been and will always be cool. It’s just not, “Here, take $15 of my money every single month,” good. For me, it’s the sort of game you hop into every now and then when there’s nothing else on your plate, and that’s a perfect fit for the free-to-play model. I wouldn’t even mind dumping some money into the game every now and again if I’m playing it a lot in a given week and the benefits seem worth it.
So, how’s this all going to work…
You can check the link above for the full details, but for dedicated players the subscription program isn’t going away. Bioware is turning to a new currency system, referred to as Cartel Coins. Since there’s like eighty other currency forms in the game (the badges), what’s one more? The coins can be used at the Cartel Market to… make purchases of some kind that involve “valuable items, customizable gear, and convenience features that will enhace the game play experience.” Who’d of guessed?
People who stick with the subscription program will get an allotment of Cartel Coins every month, along with access to content for characters over level 50. Free-to-play subscribers will also face some “content restrictions” and miss some “advanced player features.”
Oh EA. You can always be relied upon for unabashedly dishing on the specifics.
As an additional enticement to get players playing now, and not just when it all goes free, there’s another info page showing what’s coming in terms of new in-game content and information on bonuses players will received for continue to pay now (mostly more Cartel Coins to spend). Thanks, but I think I can manage to wait this out. In the fall, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if old Sarevok rides again.
Go on with your bad self.