SWTOR going free to play up to level 50 this fall
Bioware and EA have today announced that their sci-fi themed MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic will be offering a free-to-play option to players this fall. The option will enable players to access all eight classes up to level 50, with some notable restrictions.
Players who want unlimited game access, which includes new features and high-level game content will have to either pay via the current subscription based option, or individually purchase the content/features they are interested in.
According to Matthew Bromberg, GM of Bioware Austin, the reason for the additional option of free-to-play gameplay is:
“Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe.”
In an effort to entice new players, the base game will retail for a special price of $15 in August and will include a free month of play to allow players to experience what the game is all about, and see whether it’s something they’d be interested in.
Starting in fall, the game will offer two separate and unique ways to play:
- Subscription — This option will enable players to have unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.
- Free-To-Play — This option will allow players to experience the first 50 levels Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.
Exactly what restrictions apply to the free-to-play option can be found here.
For those of you saying ‘hey, I’m currently a subscriber, what will happen to me now?’ the answer is simple – nothing changes for you unless you want to change your option. Staying as a subscriber will enable you to have unlimited access to the game content, provide content updates that free-to-play players will have to pay for, and net you monthly Cartel coin grants, which you can spend at the soon to be released Cartel Market. The market will let you spend cartel coins to buy gear styles, consumables and speciality items.
For those players wanting to know more, Bioware have updated their official SWTOR website to include a FAQ section which explains the changes in more detail.
Is this a smart move by Bioware and EA, which will result in an increase in the currently falling player base? Does the free-to-play option make the game more attractive to as yet previously un-interested players? Will you consider giving SWTOR a go now it’s free-to-play up to level 50? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: SWTOR official site