Tuesday, July 31, 2012

News Filter: SWTOR Goes Free To Play

  • Of course Syncaine would be on vacation just when we need him.

  • According to Alexa Ray Corriea from Polygon, Star Wars: The Old Republic will go free to play this coming November. The new cash currency will be Cartel Coins, which can be used to access optional features and high level content. But all classes and story lines will be available to the level cap.

  • It's about damn time. Maybe I'll finally get my ship back. What do you think?

© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

7 comments:

  1. I shouldn't be surprised, but it does frustrate me that TOR is already making the move to f2p. I am thankful for the f2p model because it does allow me to play a game that I might not if I had to sub.

    It seems that the bashing of TOR is at an all time high and I don't understand why. The game is good, it does what it does well so why the mass exodus? And I personally find it hard to believe that people were turned off the by the monthly sub.

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    Replies
    1. People are very quick to turn on something that they loved just before. Like you, I don't think the monthly sub was driving current players away from the game. But F2P is much more inviting to new players.

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  2. They had to announce free to play because the only other SWTOR announcement they had was that subscriptions dropped below the 1 million mark. Ouch.

    No regrets about cancelling my pre-order after I played in the beta. I think the "wait and see" approach will be my new default.

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    Replies
    1. I suspect that we would all be better off if we followed Van Hemlock's three month rule. Testing newly launched MMOs is a sucker's game.

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  3. From the news we have gotten today the game still has somewhere between 500K and 999K subs (my guess is 600-800K)seven months out from launch. If you compare it to anything but WoW, it's a smashing success for a sub based MMO. No one is claiming that either Rift or EVE even have 500K subs as far as I know, and they are the only other modern sub based MMOs that are generally considered successful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And yet the trend line, 1.7 million, 1.3 million, sub 1 million... that is not a good sign. It is tough to spin losing half your customer base as any sort of success.

      Their profit threshold is at 500K by their own admission. I doubt either Rift or EVE have that kind of overhead.

      Which leads us to how many free to play players will EA need after the transition, and how active will the cash shop have to be?

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    2. Unless they are running their 12 remaining servers on crushed diamonds, 7.5 million a month (500K users) can't possibly be their overhead to keep them running. "Break even" referred back to their development costs, it was part of a statement where EA also indicated they had spent no-where near the rumored 300 million developing the game.

      However, I'll admit I overstated things in my original reply in trying to make a point (I have since written a more nuanced follow up elsewhere). In my mind, it comes down to whether their current numbers are steady or not as to how much of a future the game has. Worst case, if the game is still bleeding subs at the same pace now that it has for the last 8 months, going FtP in November is going to be too little and much too late to stop the game from crashing and burning.

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