Submitted by Gekko 897d ago | article

Why a $150 million Star Wars game is going free

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Electronic Arts shook up the video gaming field last week with a major price change: Star Wars: The Old Republic, one of the most ambitious and expensive multiplayer games ever made, would soon drop its subscription fees.

The move essentially marks the end of the traditional business model for "massively multiplayer" online games, better known as MMOs. Almost every major publisher has now given in and eliminated its monthly fees -- the genre's bread-and-butter business model for the past 15 years -- relying instead on sales of premium content or virtual items to make money. (EA, Industry, PC, Star Wars:The Old Republic)

jc48573  +   897d ago
Square Enix needs to drop its subscription too for both Dragon Quest X and Final Fantasy XIV. I play by my own time.
#1 (Edited 897d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
ATi_Elite  +   897d ago
Why a $150 million Star Wars game is going free
cause it's NOT worth $15 a month!

EA has already made their money back plus some from the 3 million plus sales of SWTOR and the first 3 months of 2 million gamers paying $15 a month in subscriptions.

But the Subscription base has fallen GREATLY so EA is going to the popular F2P format to keep the game relevant and making easy money.

But all this doesn't matter cause once Guild Wars 2 gets released SWTOR is DEAD!
Soldierone  +   897d ago
Because Pay-to-win models make a crap ton of money. Might as well make extra money with people buying the game and subscribing for a while, then go make bank and pure profit off pay-to-win fee's, I mean free-to-play models.....
Like LoL, Planetside & tf2? free 2 play doesn't = pay to win.. That is an internet myth. But yes pay 2 win games do exist.
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Soldierone  +   897d ago
There was a time when DLC also meant "ADDITIONAL CONTENT" but today it feels like 90 percent of it is "the rest of the game."

Free-to-play will do the exact same thing. Facebook is already there. There will be several GOOD free-to-play games to entice people into supporting the model, and then it will eventually be pay-to-win a majority of the time.
StayStatic  +   896d ago
"pay-to-win a majority of the time"

Get a grip you don't even know what your talking about , such ignorance , expect nothing less from someone who doesn't play or understand them.

" Pay-to-win models make a crap ton of money"

So does cod but you don't have to slap it all up front and feel ripped off by your purchase , don't like a f2p game ? no more micro transactions necessary , don't like cod ? have to spend more money trading it in , SIMPLES !
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Soldierone  +   896d ago
Nice trolling, have nothing better to do today? Please tell me more about my ignorance since your reply failed to bring any fact to the table proving me wrong.

Dont like COD? Cool pay 60 bucks upfront and keep it, take it back and get 30 dollars back if you don't. Dont like F2P COD? Cool pay 60 dollars to get anywhere in the game, then pay another 100 bucks for micro transaction crap if you do happen to like it....Want to compete with the best? Well that'll be 5 dollars for the in-game gun, one dollar per attachment, 1 dollar per perk, 1 dollar per killstreak....oh "but you don't HAVE to pay for this stuff to play the game" yep enjoy your peon basic gun with basic perks and bare bones gameplay then, or wait a month to finally level up....

Like I said (don't worry I understand some people fail to read entire things) not ALL F2P games are bad, but to think certain greedy publishers won't exploit them to the fullest is stupid......
kesvalk  +   896d ago
go play Aion, completely Free to Play.

also Dota 2, Alien swarm, TF2 and PSO2
GamerToons  +   897d ago
It really wasn't a surprise to most gamers that follow the mmo market. Also F2P is not the same as pay to win and whoever says that doesn't know crap.
Actually YOU are the one that doesn't know shit. In F2P MMOs you are as good as the money you spend on it. Ever seen a big behemoth character with the most overpowered weaponry and armour? Chances are he wasted thousands of cash just to build the character. Why spend 8000 hours in pointless grinding when you can just get a fifth job in real life to afford it all? Sounds like a paid to win model to me.
Soldierone  +   896d ago
I like how everyone defending "F2P" either lists the SAME games over and over again, and never goes outside the box, and never follows up with reasoning to defend it. Some of us are just not blind and can see where F2P WILL go, that doesn't make us idiots....

Do you honestly think developers are creating Free-to-play titles on purpose and changing their entire studio direction into them for no reason at all? They are just there to give you games for free? Its all charity because you enjoy games and their 60 dollar games are not needed? lmao no....Same with the DLC push, as I said, "look its great, we can add on to games, jump on board!" few years later "look we can't even put a full game on a disc, buy the rest on the DLC store!"
aquamala  +   897d ago
I like paying for content so much more than paying per month, when I pay $15 for a month of MMO I feel like I should only play that game in the month, and I just hate that, I have other games I want to play.
Puddlejumper75  +   897d ago
I have yet to play a pay to play MMO game that didnt offer tons of free content that was added as the game went on...

WoW being a perfect example. I got more free updates/upgrades from them over the years than a lot of companies put into expansions that they charge for.
Menchi  +   897d ago
Ugh, good thing I didn't bother with the game. There is a distinct lack of quality wen comparing games that are "Free to Play" and monthly subscription.

Yes, it sounds great in theory, and I can see why publishers love it. But the truth is, most cases, games become less supported and content ends becoming "Pay to Win"

It suits shallow, casual, pop in and go MMOs, which, is actually the entire market right now... Can't wait for a deep, content heavy MMO to come out again.
sugadaddy  +   897d ago
I'm going to have to agree with Jim Yin. Free-to-play is not always the best route. The very existence of WoW proves that there are millions of players that are willing to invest money each month for an MMO experience. The problem is, publishers and developers have continuously re-packaged the WoW-experience while sitting back and making the assumption that people will buy from them instead.

Free-to-play might be the best route for TOR at this point because they might not have any other option but for developers like Turbine to advocate the one-size-fits-all package that requires developers to walk a high-wire that is frankly, in my opinion, impossible to do is ridiculous.

At this point, if you want to not only survive but thrive in a pay-to-play market you better put BOTH innovation and quality at a premium. I would argue that TOR got the quality part but with innovation they were left trying to beat Blizzard at their own game.
rdgneoz3  +   897d ago
They had the quality part for most of the game, though that died off towards the end. The beginning and middle of the game (level wise) had a ton of polish and was pretty damn good, but the end game was lacking in areas. Also, promising a game that wasn't going to be a WoW copy and that it'd be innovative, then trying to beat blizzard at their own game didn't help them either. I also loved one quote from a dev (of SWTOR) saying how it wasn't very heroic for a bunch of heroes to be beating on one enemy...

And as you said, WoW's existence shows that million will pay monthly fees to play an MMO. The only thing is that they want the content and polish at this point. It may not have had a ton of content when it first released, but by now everyone is expecting a lot of bang for their buck.
Emme  +   897d ago
Dunno, as has been said, why the sudden shift instead of making it 9.99 a month ?
I also am not sure f2p is a business model. Its basically working for free for the developers PLUS spending money on marketing. Ask a banker if he likes to loadn money to companies who actually offer their product for free. Rockefeller became a millionaire in a similiar way, but he had a product people wanted and foremost, needed. MMO's are ten a penny, very risky thing to go f2p.
Cheap2Play would be more like it. The old arcade machines also required You to insert a coin to play, and insert loads of coins to win, and people did it, because once in a game, You wanna finish it. Seems reasonable.
Puddlejumper75  +   897d ago
In a free to play model they make money off of selling items/gold to users. There just isnt a monthly charge to access the game. I think you arent sure its a business model because you dont understand how that model works. Not everyone buys stuff but enough to do make it worth it for developers.

I cant believe you really thought they dont make any money at all on free to play. Maybe you should look into it before judging it and commenting on it.
Lucretia  +   897d ago
haha this game failed. so happy to see that. everyone was like "its gonna be the best EVER!!!!" faaaail

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