Star Wars: The Old Republic made big news when it announced that it would go free to play very soon. After all, it was just released in December of 2011, so it’s still a fairly new game. It’s also one of the most expensive MMOs ever made and it took years to put it all together. While some predicted the change in the model, others thought it might hand on a little longer before making the change.
So, why is one of the most expensive video games ever made making such a drastic change? Here’s what CNN Money had to say about the decision:
“It’s a straightforward economics problem. The subscription business model cuts off casual players, who can’t justify paying $15 a month (particularly in this tough economy) for a game they only touch on occasion. That leaves the hard-core players, who are often reluctant to split their time between more than one or two MMOs at a time.”
It would appear that it all comes down to money and time. Many people have demanding jobs and other commitments that limit the time they have to play. While they may have time to play seven or eight times one month, they may only have a chance to play once or twice the next month. It’s hard to pay for a video game when you can’t play regularly. Therefore, many people who want to try it, don’t because of the monthly subscription.
Some experts said SWTOR would be the last pay to play MMO and it looks like since it didn’t even make it far with the model, they may have been correct. It’s not that SWTOR was a bad game- but rather it looks more like people just aren’t paying as much for games anymore, regardless of how good they are. The story by CNN Money seems to support this evidence.
How do you feel about it? If you don’t play now, will you start once you don’t have to pay for the game? Will you be willing to pay for virtual items and other things offered in the game once it’s free to play?
Drop by CNN Money to learn more about the decision to make SWTOR a free to play MMO.