Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free to play

Posted by Shane McGlaun

No gamer is likely to forget all the buzz and hoopla surrounding EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG.

The Old Republic kicked off with over 1.7 million subscribers, yet slowly lost a significant number of players as time went by. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that EA plans on making a major change to the game in an effort to help lure back some of its original fans.

Yes, the game is going free to play.

"The message from players exiting the game is clear, 40% say they were turned off by the monthly subscription and many indicate they would come back if we offered a free-to-play model," explained EA exec Frank Gibeau.  

"Our plan now is to pivot and provide a two-tiered pricing plan, which will make the game more accessible and grow the audience."

As per the guidelines of EA's new strategy, the company will allow players to explore the first 50 levels of the game at no cost with a limited feature set. However, players will still be required to spend $15 monthly for full access and to gain a monthly allowance of in game cash to purchase items. EA is also cutting the price of the software, which was originally priced at a premium $50.

On a more personal note, it's probably worth noting that I actually purchased Star Wars: TOR immediately after it went live. It was fun for about 48 hours, yet ultimately became quite boring and repetitive once the novelty of playing as a Jedi or Sith wore off. So frankly, even offering free levels isn't enough to convince me to invest time in the game once again. It's sad really, as I had high hopes for the Star Wars MMORPG.