The Old Republic Free To Play, Subscriptions Plummeted

Normally when I open an article with “to the surprise of absolutely no one,” I am exaggerating slightly. However, the announcement today that The Old Republic is heading to a free to play model should come as a surprise to absolutely no one with an internet connection and a finger on the pulse of Electronic Arts. Later this fall, The Old Republic will make its transition, allowing players to experience everything* that a galaxy far, far away has to offer. Players will have access to all eight classes, the complete story content, but will be limited in warzone and flashpoints, as well as space missions, travel functionality, and extremely limited access to the galactic trade network.

So why is Bioware suddenly choosing free to play? Well as the announcement puts it:

We feel that flexibility and choice in playing our game is important for all current and future players. For that reason, we began the exploration of expanding the game to include a Free-to-Play option.

Also, at the investor call today, Electronic Arts announced that subscription numbers dropped below one million (from the last reported figure of 1.3 million in May) but “well above” half a million. More specific subscription figures were not made available. Bioware heralded The Old Republic back in December as “one of the greatest and most ambitious achievements in video game history.”

(Source: The Old Republic)

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