Previous & Current Subscribers To Get Bonuses
It is the news that many were expecting to hear for some time now, but it has finally happened. EA and BioWare announced last night that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going Free-To-Play later this year. A microtransaction store will be implemented into the game, with bonus “Cartel Coins” being handed out to all current and former subscribers. We have all of the details after the jump.
Coming “this fall”, SWTOR players will be given two ways to play; Subscription and Free. Subscribed players will have unrestricted access to the game, along with priority game login. Meanwhile, free players will find they are limited in a number of areas, including how many times they can access Flashpoints, Space Missions, and PvP Warzones. Character creation choices will also be restricted, with subscribers the only players who will have access to all race options. The level cap will not be affected though, with all players free to experience the full story for their class and reach level 50. You can read a list of the restrictions announced so far by heading to the link here.
In the meantime, current and previous subscribers will be rewarded with “Cartel Coins” which will be the currency for the microtransaction store. If you have subscribed any time before 31st July, you will receive a sum of coins for each paid month, with subscribers beyond that point gaining slightly more per month until the release of Free-To-Play. Purchasers of the Collector’s Edition will receive an additional1000 coins. Expect levelling boosts, special cosmetic items, and collectables to be available on the microtransaction store.
In a statement on the official blog, Executive Producer Jeff Hickman explained the reasoning behind the decision to the current player-base.
Since launch, our team has spent a lot of time trying to find new ways to be able to bring the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ experience to as many potential players as possible. We quickly became aware that our subscription only model was a major barrier for a lot people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe. In fact, many players who have left the game said they would happily come back if they could play without the commitment of a monthly fee.
We feel that flexibility and choice in playing our game is important for all current and future players. For that reason, we began the exploration of expanding the game to include a Free-to-Play option.
Along with the Free-To-Play news, it was also announced that a new Operation called Terror From Beyond, a new Warzone called Anchient Hypergate, and several new Space Combat Missions for high level characters would be coming soon. Along with the recently unveiled HK-51 companion, BioWare are aiming to continue to provide content for the fanbase well into the future. You can find out more about the announcement by heading over to the official website.
As we’ve already stated, this is a move that has long been expected by the industry, especially considering how the positive reception died off steadily, but will it be enough? Looking the relative success that the F2P switch has had for Lord Of The Rings Online, Champions Online, and Star Trek Online, it’s not impossible to believe that the Star Wars brand power will help keep this afloat with the word “free” beside it.
We know a number of you gave it a go in the past, but will you be willing to head back without a need to commit to any monetary cost? Let us know in the comments!