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Announcing a Free-to-Play Option

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Announcing a Free-to-Play Option
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

deags's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 04:31 AM | #691
Quote: Originally Posted by Silkule View Post
I'd definitely suggest to read the following -

If anything, subscribers are getting at least 50% of the game. Plus future updates for "free" where F2P would presumably either have to pay, or not access it.

Percentage wise, they're probably getting a quarter of what subscribers pay for.
I've read the feature chart, and all those limited access things don't affect me as i play the game causally anyway and at the end of the day you still have access to all warzones,flashpoints and space missions.

So i really don't see this 50%, maybe this is true if you are hardcore player but not many MMO player are these days, i mean who has the time...
Vors, sith assassin of Guild Grievance

MandFlurry's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 04:35 AM | #692
Quote: Originally Posted by Yokomohoyos View Post
Directly from the desk of EA:

1. Official announcement - see Page 1:
"STAR WARS®: The Old Republic™ will move to a more accessible two-tiered pricing
model in November. Players can chose between a $14.99 premium monthly
subscription and a free-to-play model with some restrictions on content and advanced
features. Players will be able to purchase upgrades with in-game currency."

"Summary - Overpriced" - Clients feel that the game's price is not worth the expense.

2. Investor Information See Page 2
"The disappointing results of Star Wars: The Old Republic were largely offset by a powerful
performance from Battlefield 3 Premium service – although revenue-recognition rules will push
this very significant EPS driver into our fourth quarter."
"Summary - EA / BW Expected better [financial] results" - The traditional equation of "Low Investment and High Return" did not materialize and instead became "Low Investment / Even Lower Return".

Page 5 of that same document above:
"Non-GAAP revenue for the fiscal year is expected to be between $4.10 and $4.25 billion. We
are lowering the midpoint of our guidance from $4.30 billion to reflect current exchange rates
and lower expectations of Star Wars."

"Summary - SWTOR will not become a focus area" - Less investment will be made in the game as it's expected return is now lower than our collective initial expectations.

Read all of page 7 of that same document:
"First, the game many of you have been tracking closely, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Although it launched well, subscriptions have been on a declining trajectory and have now
slipped below one million
. Last year we announced that the breakeven point was roughly
500,000 subscribers. And while we are well above that today, that’s not good enough.
The message from players exiting the game is clear – 40 percent say they were turned off by
the monthly subscription
. And many indicated they would come back if we offered a free-to-play

"Summary - Can't retain subscriptions". Will not invest in keeping subscriptions either, micro transactions will be used to milk revenue from the remaining players. Now, those that subscribe will continue to experience the same game access (with some slight aesthetic currency rewards). We will penalize those that do not pay by limiting their game access. This, by the way, is in no shape or form uncommon practice in all other "Free" to play models.

Page 8:
"We couldn’t be more pleased with how the diversity of our business allows us to make up for a
miss on one franchise with a big hit on another."

"Summary - SWTOR never was our focus" - Investors, rest assured that if you continue to be an investor in EA, we have a broader portfolio of products that are indeed generating revenue, albeit not SWTOR. Let's focus on our cash cows and products that are indeed generating revenue for us aligned with our collective expectations.

Lastly, the retail value of the software license will drop to $14.99, which is less than 1/3 of what I paid for the license alone. Even the developers and publishers admit that the license is overpriced for the product. Lowering the fence and allowing free to play will increase the player base and we will see more credit spammers.

This is certainly something that I did see coming. As I am sure that many others did, the Legacy system and the prices more specifically is what lends itself extremely well to a free to play model.
At least I got something in return for my remaining subscription. I got me some of that in-game currency, which is not available yet, by the way as the model releases in November, which is exactly the time for the next quarterly call.
Still, interestingly enough, I am not able to consolidate my characters onto a single server, which is the only reason that I have not re-subscribed. The costs of the perks and other items as well as the game itself would allow me to play it more, if all characters were in one place. The whole few hours that it takes raiding all the current end-game content would actually be "grindable" if all my toons were in one place.
If the game does not generate sufficient revenue, restructurings have lead to a diminished developer / engineer base, it is also not going to be possible to deliver on that gimmick that "content will be released more frequently". Seven months, that is all that this game lasted before the announcement to free to play. Holy cow. What a greedy owner they have.
I don't play free to play games.
1. If you think that there are hackers now, wait until the freeloaders get in. They can hack a free game and then also embark on the credit sale market to make some real money off the free-to-play platform.
2. If you think that the quality of the player base is average or less than average, wait until the real baddies join or return for free.
3. If you think that the lag is bad, wait until there are far many more people, wait for the even worse spam, wait for the harassment, ugh it is going to get f-ugly.
4. if you think that the grind is bad, the grind on free to play games is even worse with the limitations that are embedded.
5. Lastly, the only real way to make progress on free to play games, is to actually pay for the capability to move at the pace that you want to move.
5.1. It will be so sad how some people will simply dish out money hand over fist, because for some people, paying for the content is not a big cash dump. The high-rollers will pay to win, as some people have aptly coined it.

EA should have left this franchise alone. Their new CFO comes from the clothing industry. That is how much real knowledge capital they have to meddle in the video game industry. LOL, in this day and age, where most content and games are distributed online and downloaded, EA still thinks that it is in the business of packaged goods, so laughable.
Their last CEO Ricctello loved SWTOR, well I knew EA had something to do with this. If LucasArts was smart they would take SWTOR away from EA then, as Star Wars and everything haveing to do with it is Trademarked and Copyrighted

Selenial's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 04:48 AM | #693
Quote: Originally Posted by deags View Post
I've read the feature chart, and all those limited access things don't affect me as i play the game causally anyway and at the end of the day you still have access to all warzones,flashpoints and space missions.

So i really don't see this 50%, maybe this is true if you are hardcore player but not many MMO player are these days, i mean who has the time...
Warzone limitations will be low as ****.
Im guessing 5-10 a week. Tops
We all live or die as Krayt wills, Stryfe. At his word, I would cut out my own heart. Or yours.
Zarys Sorcerer Cathinka Seeliara Sage
Posted the prologue of fanfic Echoes.

Rasticles's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 05:01 AM | #694
Quote: Originally Posted by SupremeLegate View Post
Fair enough. This is my 2nd MMO, the other being STO which also went F2P. However I still think it is a good idea to not jump to any conclusions, which I think most people are doing right now, until we know all of the specifics.

I think we both agree that it all comes down to how they handle this Cartel Market.

I don't entirely agree with this statement, but I probably fall into this demographic.
I don't think anyone is jumping to conclusions.... I'm pretty sure we're basing these comments from an established track record........

Rasticles's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 05:02 AM | #695
Quote: Originally Posted by SupremeLegate View Post
Given how quickly this thread has grown I think we can be sure of at least one thing: Friday's Community Q&A will be very interesting.
Nah, business as usual..... Got a real question? Forget them answering it.....Ask about a Fluffy Pink Bunny pet: BOOM!!

MandFlurry's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 05:10 AM | #696
I'd say the onlt reason some of these posts were ok'd with bad language in them is because it was EA that crapped on us and not Bioware. The only Compnay that can say no to EA is LucasArts, but they want to milk this cow to.

Deathbolt's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 05:25 AM | #697
I honestly don't know what to say. I'm trying to be optimistic about this move, but for some reason it's freaking hard to do.

Less than a year and going F2P? Heck, I wouldn't have even thought about buying the collectors edition. I think the perks for F2P collectors edition are a joke. I definitely feel cheated. This is what I see when I read about the extras for collectors edition owners: "Sorry, we're embarrassed you paid for something extra that has no value any longer. Here! Look at this! ... ooo shiny huh?... Did that distract you?"

All those thinking that you'll have access to 50% of the game content at F2P better read the current access limits for those accounts. What F2P will do to your loaded characters is scary to think about.

I'm a wait to see kinda person. But to borrow a line, "I have a very bad feeling about this."
You can't live in the past, but you can live by means of it.

vandana_'s Avatar

08.02.2012 , 05:45 AM | #698
Quote: Originally Posted by Rasticles View Post
I don't think anyone is jumping to conclusions.... I'm pretty sure we're basing these comments from an established track record........

TomPH's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 05:45 AM | #699
Quote: Originally Posted by Deathbolt View Post
I'm a wait to see kinda person. But to borrow a line, "I have a very bad feeling about this."
Me too.

I have suffered through the F2P conversion of Star Trek Online and that game became P2W. P2W is just how F2P makes money. It is a sad truth.

I will remain subbed until the point where the first P2W item hits the cartel shop. Then I'm out of this game because I won't make the same mistake twice. I learned it the hard way when I trusted PWE/Cryptic Studios to do right by the Star Trek IP.

EA/Bioware disappointed me in the past too. All I have to say is ME3. Never played it because of the Origin Spyware requirement. I don't have much trust and faith left to give to the gaming industry.

Nulore's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 05:51 AM | #700
I to have a real bad feeling about this, STO went free to play and basically that meant PAY TO WIN with all the good stuff (ie better than loot drop) was purchasable, so i left and came here. Great move huh, bought the game, pay the subscription and BOOM........

I play a game to enjoy it, not to farm some stupid item to sell for cartel coins to buy the gear i should be getting from high end content drops. All i can say to everyone is. Yes, at the moment content is the thing thats mildly restricted but just wait, soon most of the upgrades and patches will be spent introducing newer, more powerfull items to buy and less on REAL game play.

So i will see what happens but as soon as the PAY TO WIN starts i will leave for good.