The Free Republic: Star Wars MMO considers free-to-play model

SWTOR free-to-play
SWTOR free-to-play

That was fast, huh? It looks like EA and its leading role-playing game studio, BioWare, might give in to the free-to-play (F2P) shift after all with their recent big-budget massively multiplayer online game (MMO), Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). During an interview with gaming magazine GamesTM, lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi admitted that the MMO may go F2P in the future.

"We are looking at free-to-play, but I can't tell you in much detail," Lusinchi told GamesTM, Massively reports. (The interview has since been removed from GamesTM's website for reasons unknown ... but we have some ideas.) "We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on."

While SWTOR has quite a large player base as what could very well be the last subscription-based MMO, those numbers are dwindling, and fast. (The game lost about 400,000 players since it peaked earlier this year amid developer exits and a few less-than-satisfactory updates.)

"If it was just free-to-play games and they weren't very good it wouldn't even be a question, but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do," Lusinchi told GamesTM. Looks like the pressure is on, but a shift to F2P isn't synonymous with failure. (Just look at MMOs like Everquest.) A Star Wars that you could play for free? Where do we sign up?

Are you bummed or excited about a free-to-play Star Wars MMO? What do you think this says about online gaming? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.