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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Four Reasons BioWare Really Should Consider F2P

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,720Administrator Uncommon

Comments recently made by BioWare's Emmanuel Lusinchi alluded to the possibility of BioWare 'looking at' free-to-play for Star Wars: The Old Republic. While the article in question has since been mysteriously taken down, we're really hoping BioWare is considering free-to-play for the game, and we're offering up four reasons why in this week's SWTOR column.

The gist of the report was simple, according to Lusinchi, BioWare is “looking at” free-to-play. Did he misspeak? Who knows? But even if he did, BioWare really should be looking at free-to-play, and given all the recent events, I wouldn’t be surprised if they indeed are.  With that said, I’ve got four reasons in mind for why BioWare should be looking at free-to-play for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and that’s what we’ll be discussing in this week’s column.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic: Four Reasons BioWare Really Should Consider F2P.

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Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • frestonfreston orensePosts: 521Member

    Grab the asbestos suit, michael.

  • StevenraStevenra Etters, PAPosts: 6Member

    Yeah because playing games in which kids just steal their parents credit cards and buy items that should only be earned is a real fun way too play games....Get real any game that goes pay too win deserves to bomb.  Stop trying to speak for everyone that games the majority dosnt want this type of platform of paying.

  • BigHatLoganBigHatLogan Bellingham, WAPosts: 688Member

    Might as well go F2P, the game is pretty much dead so anything that even has an off chance of resurrecting it is a good idea for EA.  I honestly don't think any MMORPG is worth a sub fee at this point, they are all pretty boring.  SWTOR is the worst AAA MMORPG though so a sub fee is just a joke.

    Are you a Pavlovian Fish Biscuit Addict? Get Help Now!
    image
    I will play no more MMORPGs until somethign good comes out!

  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    SWTOR will definitely go full f2p it's just a question of when. As soon as it gets to the point where EA can make more money from f2p they will make a business decision and change models regardless of the community's opinion.

    I happen to think SWTOR would be pretty damn successful as a f2p game if they transition it correctly and have a sensible model that doesn't put massive restrictions on players like some MMO companies do. 

  • DurrayDurray NorwichPosts: 174Member Uncommon

    I personally dislike FTP games, I left aion when it went FTP after 2.5 years of playing it!

    But with SWTOR...I stopped playing after 3 weeks (max leveled nothing to do). But I would probably go back if it went FTP and they fixed PvP.

  • raistlinmraistlinm new orleans, LAPosts: 673Member

    I'm on record as not being opposed to free to play with options what mmy hope continues to be though is that they would folow a path more similar to turbines and less like the one followed by EQ2 though for me I don't that it would have an effect I still love TOR and wil more than likely be a subscriber for years to come.

  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 1,857Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Stevenra

    Yeah because playing games in which kids just steal their parents credit cards and buy items that should only be earned is a real fun way too play games....Get real any game that goes pay too win deserves to bomb.  Stop trying to speak for everyone that games the majority dosnt want this type of platform of paying.

     

    This is pretty ignorant.  You don't think this happens in P2P games? 

  • theniffrigtheniffrig DublinPosts: 351Member

    It's pretty much in beta for f2p from a dev's point of view from the recent interviews coming out from Bioware's end. Reminds me of STO going f2p; the dev's don't really want to admit that they are preparing for f2p, when infact they are holding meetings/have held meetings and will continue to hold meetings about getting the game to f2p as I even type this! At this point it's just a matter of time. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just not living in the real world.

     
  • st3v3b0st3v3b0 Gainesville, FLPosts: 147Member Uncommon

    F2P communities suck to put it mildly.  I'd much rather pay $15 for a quality game than play a F2P game.  With that said, I did just recently cancel my TOR account.  If they could come up with a premium server that was not as much as $15 (say $7.50) just to get away from the F2P community I'd pay that, but I will never play a truly F2P game.

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by Stevenra

    Yeah because playing games in which kids just steal their parents credit cards and buy items that should only be earned is a real fun way too play games....Get real any game that goes pay too win deserves to bomb.  Stop trying to speak for everyone that games the majority dosnt want this type of platform of paying.

    But the majority does want F2P. The majority are playing F2P. The majority have chosen F2P over the few remaining sub models.

    He isn't speaking for everyone. There are those of us who still prefer sub models. But, we need to come to grips that we are no longer the majority.

    An interesting example is my nephew. He is 19 and going to a jr. college with an associates degree in game design. He loves fantasy rpg. He asked me what games I played, and I rattled off a list of sub-based mmos that I have enjoyed over the years. He visibly grimaced at each and everyone and in very stereotypical teenage gamer form said, without fear of hurting my feelings, 'Those games all suck. They suck hard'.

    So I asked him why. He replied (paraphrasing)  "Cuz they all make you pay a sub fee. I'm never going to play a game that forces money from you without knowing you'll get something in return"

    He was so certain, so assured with an attitude of 'everyone knows this'. He went as far as degrading WoW players for being gullible. And not because the game is simplified or cartoony or because of wellfare epics.....it was because he thought all WoW players were idiots for playing a game with a sub fee.

     

    Now granted this is just one kid - I don't mean to cover all future developers in the same blanket. However, it was obvious to me that his opinion was cemented in place and he was obviously surrounded by a slew of other gamers who felt the same. He was comfortable that his opinion was the majority - he had never met someone like me; he was shocked and dissappointed in my gaming habits. I was speechless too, as I had never met anyone in real life with his opinion.

    To further, I supervise a lot of guys in their twenties. Probably about 1/3 of them game. Most have had some experience with an mmo - but most don't consider themselves 'mmo'ers' but 'gamers'. One of them played WoW for awhile, but is now playing D3, prior he was a DOTA and Starcraft player after leaving WoW. I told him I'd give him a scroll of resurection if he wanted to play with me but he vehemently said no. Why? Because he felt duped by paying a sub fee for those 2 or 3 years - why do that when there is so much F2P stuff out there? Again, like my nephew, he said this with the conviction that he was in the majority opinion. With his attitude, and the attitude of other of my employees plus with my nephew, entering the dev buisiness, holding all virtually the same sour opinion of sub fees, I had to come to grips.

    I thought sub-based games were what the majority wanted - I found out it was just my generation of gamers.

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    If it wasn't worth it to pay $15 a month, it's not going to be worth it to pay more money in micro/macro transactions.

    Just pull the plug.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon

    If there wasn't sub for this game i'd probably try it out again at some point.

  • NaeviusNaevius Houston, TXPosts: 334Member Uncommon

    Even if SWTOR decides to go F2P today, it will take them a year to get it up and running. Think of all the design and coding they would need to do to support a new model.

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member

    TBH, I really think SWTOR should have been B2P to begin with.

    The game is just not built for longevity, I said this when it came out, and I think that recent events have proven me right.  The whole idea is that there are all these stories for you to go through...but then once you go through them, they are over...why stick around?

    I felt like the game was an MMORPG only because they were trying to justify charging a sub for what is essentially a largely single player experience with some Coop and PvP options.  But that strategy doesn't work...because no one is going to pay a sub for a game that they hardly play anymore because they already finished the story.

    The only thing to keep people there is grinding a few raids for gear, and most people that like to do that will probably play WoW.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • raistlinmraistlinm new orleans, LAPosts: 673Member
    [mod edit]
  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    I think f2p should die... it spawned the dreaded cash shop...

     

    please if any devs are reading these forums dont go down the f2p route stick with p2p thanks..

     

     

  • FredomSekerZFredomSekerZ Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    Sub model is dying? Weird, isn't Rift a sub game without a CS and tons of content updates over the last year, with an upcoming full expansion, large scale 3 faction pvp and mentoring system? Yeah, dead.

    I think spending millions and millions of bucks on tons and tons voice acting, not to meantion the slow progress it causes on content updates, is simply just not a good idea.

  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 668Member

    How will it go ftp? TSW is made to go ftp. They can lock weapon sets, quests anything they want really. Tor has one thing The main story line.

    Even if they want to go ftp, how long will it take to make it so with that mess of a code they have?

  • raistlinmraistlinm new orleans, LAPosts: 673Member
    Originally posted by Zorgo
    Originally posted by Stevenra

    Yeah because playing games in which kids just steal their parents credit cards and buy items that should only be earned is a real fun way too play games....Get real any game that goes pay too win deserves to bomb.  Stop trying to speak for everyone that games the majority dosnt want this type of platform of paying.

    But the majority does want F2P. The majority are playing F2P. The majority have chosen F2P over the few remaining sub models.

    He isn't speaking for everyone. There are those of us who still prefer sub models. But, we need to come to grips that we are no longer the majority.

    An interesting example is my nephew. He is 19 and going to a jr. college with an associates degree in game design. He loves fantasy rpg. He asked me what games I played, and I rattled off a list of sub-based mmos that I have enjoyed over the years. He visibly grimaced at each and everyone and in very stereotypical teenage gamer form said, without fear of hurting my feelings, 'Those games all suck. They suck hard'.

    So I asked him why. He replied (paraphrasing)  "Cuz they all make you pay a sub fee. I'm never going to play a game that forces money from you without knowing you'll get something in return"

    He was so certain, so assured with an attitude of 'everyone knows this'. He went as far as degrading WoW players for being gullible. And not because the game is simplified or cartoony or because of wellfare epics.....it was because he thought all WoW players were idiots for playing a game with a sub fee.

     

    Now granted this is just one kid - I don't mean to cover all future developers in the same blanket. However, it was obvious to me that his opinion was cemented in place and he was obviously surrounded by a slew of other gamers who felt the same. He was comfortable that his opinion was the majority - he had never met someone like me; he was shocked and dissappointed in my gaming habits. I was speechless too, as I had never met anyone in real life with his opinion.

    To further, I supervise a lot of guys in their twenties. Probably about 1/3 of them game. Most have had some experience with an mmo - but most don't consider themselves 'mmo'ers' but 'gamers'. One of them played WoW for awhile, but is now playing D3, prior he was a DOTA and Starcraft player after leaving WoW. I told him I'd give him a scroll of resurection if he wanted to play with me but he vehemently said no. Why? Because he felt duped by paying a sub fee for those 2 or 3 years - why do that when there is so much F2P stuff out there? Again, like my nephew, he said this with the conviction that he was in the majority opinion. With his attitude, and the attitude of other of my employees plus with my nephew, entering the dev buisiness, holding all virtually the same sour opinion of sub fees, I had to come to grips.

    I thought sub-based games were what the majority wanted - I found out it was just my generation of gamers.

    Zorgo you are right but I think the problem in this community is tha alot of people here have rl friends who are alot like them and play mmorpg's all the time so they really tend to not be in touch with the fact that the general population of gamers still looks at subscribing to a game you already paid for as a big no no.

    I am the only person I know personally who plays mmorpg's and this is the sentiment I get from all my friends who are into video games they simply will not pay a sub fee for a video game they already bought or even one they would get for free often.

    i am different because I really do think I love gaming more than all the people I hang with and it is why I was able to eventually get dragged into sub based gaming even with that though I was aware of games like EQ,DAO,UO and while I was often intrigued by what I saw it took a beloved franchise like Star Wars to finally drag me into paying a sub fee for a game.

    It's one thing to say I'll pay five bucks a month for x box live and be able to play any multi player game I buy to saying I'm going to pay fifteen bucks a month for access to a single game.

  • StevenraStevenra Etters, PAPosts: 6Member
    Originally posted by Zorgo
    Originally posted by Stevenra

    Yeah because playing games in which kids just steal their parents credit cards and buy items that should only be earned is a real fun way too play games....Get real any game that goes pay too win deserves to bomb.  Stop trying to speak for everyone that games the majority dosnt want this type of platform of paying.

    But the majority does want F2P. The majority are playing F2P. The majority have chosen F2P over the few remaining sub models.

    He isn't speaking for everyone. There are those of us who still prefer sub models. But, we need to come to grips that we are no longer the majority.

    An interesting example is my nephew. He is 19 and going to a jr. college with an associates degree in game design. He loves fantasy rpg. He asked me what games I played, and I rattled off a list of sub-based mmos that I have enjoyed over the years. He visibly grimaced at each and everyone and in very stereotypical teenage gamer form said, without fear of hurting my feelings, 'Those games all suck. They suck hard'.

    So I asked him why. He replied (paraphrasing)  "Cuz they all make you pay a sub fee. I'm never going to play a game that forces money from you without knowing you'll get something in return"

    He was so certain, so assured with an attitude of 'everyone knows this'. He went as far as degrading WoW players for being gullible. And not because the game is simplified or cartoony or because of wellfare epics.....it was because he thought all WoW players were idiots for playing a game with a sub fee.

     

    Now granted this is just one kid - I don't mean to cover all future developers in the same blanket. However, it was obvious to me that his opinion was cemented in place and he was obviously surrounded by a slew of other gamers who felt the same. He was comfortable that his opinion was the majority - he had never met someone like me; he was shocked and dissappointed in my gaming habits. I was speechless too, as I had never met anyone in real life with his opinion.

    To further, I supervise a lot of guys in their twenties. Probably about 1/3 of them game. Most have had some experience with an mmo - but most don't consider themselves 'mmo'ers' but 'gamers'. One of them played WoW for awhile, but is now playing D3, prior he was a DOTA and Starcraft player after leaving WoW. I told him I'd give him a scroll of resurection if he wanted to play with me but he vehemently said no. Why? Because he felt duped by paying a sub fee for those 2 or 3 years - why do that when there is so much F2P stuff out there? Again, like my nephew, he said this with the conviction that he was in the majority opinion. With his attitude, and the attitude of other of my employees plus with my nephew, entering the dev buisiness, holding all virtually the same sour opinion of sub fees, I had to come to grips.

    I thought sub-based games were what the majority wanted - I found out it was just my generation of gamers.

    Hope you have been reading these posts because people that want f2p are in the minority... [mod edit]

  • viiralviiral DønnaPosts: 4Member

    they already said they would go f2p.. not following much?

  • RaikoLivesRaikoLives NewcastlePosts: 89Member

    I totally disagree with all this "Free-to-Play isn't free" crap. As soon as DC Universe Online went F2P I started playing it and haven't paid a cent to Sony. Not once. I reach max level. I can get everything I need to compete with other players. There's stuff I can't do, places I can't go, but as far as I'm aware those things don't give you anything I need. I'm not going to pay for anything I don't want. I'm not competetive enough to buy things just to compete with other people. Their experience doesn't matter to me. Only my own. If they want to buy things in the cash shop, so be it. But I don't need to in order to play. I played Anarchy Online for a good year and a bit, never paid Funcom a penny. I enjoyed the game and experienced as much of it as I could in the time I had available (that game is freaking massive...) and I did it all for free. DDO - completely free. I didn't really enjoy it and didn't hang around for long, but again I didn't have to spend any money in order to play. F2P is exactly that. You don't HAVE to buy anything if you don't want to. And that, I believe, was point number 1 in the article. Options are good.

     

    Personally, I have no problem with there being a cash shop in a game. I prefer not having to buy specific things in order to continue through the game, but if that's how they want to run their game, so be it. If they have a cash shop and you don't like it, either don't USE it or don't play the game period. People vote for the games and game styles they like via 1 method and 1 method only. If something isn't making money it won't hang around unchanged for long. I might - MIGHT - buy a mount or a pet or a cool costume from a cash shop, but I'm not going to pay for XP boosting items. That reduces the length of the game and reduces the amount of time I am enjoying it. I might buy extra character slots if I like the game enough (and I'm a bit of an altoholic) but you better have a good game for me to want to. I'm not going to buy "fuel" for my vehicle or some crap like that. But I might buy a cool skin/design for a weapon or something.

     

    Seriously, if you "can't" play a F2P game without paying for it, maybe you need to look at how and why you're playing the game in the first place. Sure there are some games out there that will pretty much railroad you into paying for stuff. I played a Korean game called Rappellz and I'm pretty sure I was dying alot and getting nowhere because I needed to buy something. I didn't pay for anything and I don't play the game. Simple.

    image

  • RaikoLivesRaikoLives NewcastlePosts: 89Member

    @viiral - Free-to-Play to Lvl 15.

    image

  • AlusciaAluscia Toronto, ONPosts: 32Member

    F2P is probably the only thing that can save this game from itself now - I'm one of the many who finished the story line on their main AND on another max-level alt within the first couple of months and quit because there was no reason to play anymore. If it were F2P within reason, I would definitely consider coming back... maybe even paying something as well.

    The problem Bioware/EA has faced from the beginning is prioritizing some changes over others to get them out the door without a longer-term vision of what those changes would do. Take Ilum as a perfect example of this - I have 0 doubt that it was well intentioned and if the server faction populations had been in balance, it would have been a lot of fun! Alas, it wasn't considered (and server transfers/population balancing efforts hadn't been made yet) and got pushed out the door before the supporting structure was in place for it. The lack of Looking For Group functionality at all in the game for months (came out WAYY too late to catch the instance-running keeners) is another perfect example.

    So, I'm all for this. I think a lot of the moderate hardcore-on-a-casual-time-budget players would be too.

  • raistlinmraistlinm new orleans, LAPosts: 673Member
    Originally posted by Stevenra
    Originally posted by Zorgo
    Originally posted by Stevenra

    Yeah because playing games in which kids just steal their parents credit cards and buy items that should only be earned is a real fun way too play games....Get real any game that goes pay too win deserves to bomb.  Stop trying to speak for everyone that games the majority dosnt want this type of platform of paying.

    But the majority does want F2P. The majority are playing F2P. The majority have chosen F2P over the few remaining sub models.

    He isn't speaking for everyone. There are those of us who still prefer sub models. But, we need to come to grips that we are no longer the majority.

    An interesting example is my nephew. He is 19 and going to a jr. college with an associates degree in game design. He loves fantasy rpg. He asked me what games I played, and I rattled off a list of sub-based mmos that I have enjoyed over the years. He visibly grimaced at each and everyone and in very stereotypical teenage gamer form said, without fear of hurting my feelings, 'Those games all suck. They suck hard'.

    So I asked him why. He replied (paraphrasing)  "Cuz they all make you pay a sub fee. I'm never going to play a game that forces money from you without knowing you'll get something in return"

    He was so certain, so assured with an attitude of 'everyone knows this'. He went as far as degrading WoW players for being gullible. And not because the game is simplified or cartoony or because of wellfare epics.....it was because he thought all WoW players were idiots for playing a game with a sub fee.

     

    Now granted this is just one kid - I don't mean to cover all future developers in the same blanket. However, it was obvious to me that his opinion was cemented in place and he was obviously surrounded by a slew of other gamers who felt the same. He was comfortable that his opinion was the majority - he had never met someone like me; he was shocked and dissappointed in my gaming habits. I was speechless too, as I had never met anyone in real life with his opinion.

    To further, I supervise a lot of guys in their twenties. Probably about 1/3 of them game. Most have had some experience with an mmo - but most don't consider themselves 'mmo'ers' but 'gamers'. One of them played WoW for awhile, but is now playing D3, prior he was a DOTA and Starcraft player after leaving WoW. I told him I'd give him a scroll of resurection if he wanted to play with me but he vehemently said no. Why? Because he felt duped by paying a sub fee for those 2 or 3 years - why do that when there is so much F2P stuff out there? Again, like my nephew, he said this with the conviction that he was in the majority opinion. With his attitude, and the attitude of other of my employees plus with my nephew, entering the dev buisiness, holding all virtually the same sour opinion of sub fees, I had to come to grips.

    I thought sub-based games were what the majority wanted - I found out it was just my generation of gamers.

    Hope you have been reading these posts because people that want f2p are in the minority...[mod edit]

    Yeah because mmorpg is such a true representation of the entire gaming populace..........

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