BioWare’s epic MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free-to-play on November 16.
The massively-multiplayer RPG launched back in December of 2011, receiving great reviews from critics and fans alike. Initially, subscription numbers were very strong, and grew substantially within the first few months. Recently, many MMOs have been suffering from subscriber losses, The Old Republic included. However, the free-to-play business model has had massive success lately, and BioWare is hoping that it will help boost the game’s popularity and ultimately bring in new subscribers.
Of course, there are some restrictions to the free-to-play model. BioWare will allow free-to-play users to level their characters all the way up to level 50 (which is the current level cap), but certain areas of the world will be will off-limits to non-subscribers. Free-to-play members will also have to deal with slower leveling, a more limited inventory, and restrictions on participating in PvP events. Not all of the specifics have been given, but Damion Schubert of BioWare made a statement on the game’s official site, saying:
“Giving more information about these limitations is a core part of our communication efforts over the next few weeks. Our goal is to allow Free-to-Play members to play the game from levels 1 to 50 and encounter most of the class and world content along the way. However, it is equally important to us that the subscription members will have access to a significant number of convenience features that make the game easier to play – leveling speed, bank access, inventory size are all good examples. Once these details are published, I think that most players familiar with the game as it is now will agree that while Free-to-Play members will be getting a good experience and the subscription members will be getting a substantially improved gameplay experience.”
BioWare continues to create new and exciting content for the game in the form of new races and classes to new Operations and Flashpoints, the MMOs version of raids. Gamers who do not wish to subscribe monthly can also opt to individually purchase certain items and content.
Offering eight different classes across several races, and the ability to side with either the Sith Empire or the Galactic Republic, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a must-play for Star Wars fans, or anyone who enjoys large-scale MMOs. May the force be with you, gamers!