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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: Free-to-Play and Schadenfreude

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  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5427

 
OP  8/01/12 2:26:38 AM#1

EA's announcement that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be going free-to-play in the Fall has sparked some interesting reactions from gamers around the 'net. In this week's SWTOR column, we're weighing in on the news and explain why we feel the switchover is worthy of praise over doom-n-gloom.

The reaction to the news has been mixed. Many gamers have responded well to the announcement and appear to look forward to checking the game out once it goes free-to-play. On the flipside, the self-congratulating and practical foaming-at-the-mouth rush to get one’s “I told you so!” in has been nauseating, to say the least. I realize schadenfreude is pretty popular around these parts, but some of you are reading the wrong signals in this announcement.

To some, it would seem, Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play in less than a year is the ultimate vindication. This news, some would believe, is clear proof that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been an abject failure, validating the various criticisms that have been leveled at the game for some time now.

I disagree wholeheartedly.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic: Free-to-Play and Schadenfreude.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  tawess

Elite Member

Joined: 3/24/05
Posts: 1980

8/01/12 8:17:22 AM#2

I think it might have been a case of "shit this is not working but it is way to late to change from sub to hybrid before launch" as they did admitt that they completley missed the market. As for WAR it is eaither a contractual thing between mythic and EA or it is not worth saving. Saddly i think it is the later, it would cost to much to convert it for it to be worth it.

 

As for this news, i am happy as it let's me do all the things i like in the game without paying a subscription.

Tomas Soapbox

This have been a good conversation

  WhiteLantern

Novice Member

Joined: 1/27/10
Posts: 2778

8/01/12 8:21:07 AM#3

How did Garrett miss the hat-trick? He sleeping in or something?

I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  victorbjr

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/13/10
Posts: 160

8/01/12 8:23:02 AM#4

@Bigbenz

If by Dumas, you mean Alexandre Dumas, the chap who wrote the Three Musketeers and Count of Monte Cristo, then I will have to correct you. The author's name is Michael, and he's a cool fellow as well. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Dumas

A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  lifeordinary

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 691

8/01/12 8:24:17 AM#5

I wish EA would turn WAR into F2P but they won't because it doesn't have a huge player base like SWTOR to support that model.

EA is going to roll in money just like Turbine did with LOTRO F2P. Very smart move.

  Ice-Queen

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 2435

"Always borrow money from a pessimist. They won't expect it back."

8/01/12 8:28:15 AM#6

[mod edit] Warhammer and SWTOR subscriptions sharply declined in just months because they were both  poorly designed, wanna be WoW clones, that were rushed too soon. Developers didn't listen to beta testers in either game and paid the price, so yah "I told you so" is in order. They didn't listen and paid the price, losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers. It's humorous that BW and their hardcore fans try to spin it as if people just don't want to pay a sub as the reason for the game doing so poorly, it's laughable. The game is a niche game and will only retain the harcore SW and Bioware fans. Face it, the game is crap and will never recover to it's original numbers. Mmo fans are tired of mediocrity.

What happens when you log off your characters????.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
Dark Age of Camelot

  Terranah

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3616

8/01/12 8:28:39 AM#7

One of the problems with SWTOR is it was mislabeled.  If you think of it as a co op game and not an mmo it's good.  But as an mmo it fails.

  WolfClaws

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/21/05
Posts: 476

8/01/12 8:30:09 AM#8

I have to agree with this as well.

TOR was not a failure.  The main design of the game was to focus on the story for 8 characters (the classes on each side).  They did a fantastic job with the several classes I have played through.

 

As a MMO of the standard genre of it all, it did not make the mark, however.

 

Most definately no end game content that was worthwhile to play.  And the pvp is mind numbing.  They designed an entire planet to be a PvP only WORLD.  But that was a bust.  Then you had the PvP servers.  That was a bust.  Why?  No incentive, no rewards, and in turn, no risk.  Add all that up, and you get a PvE server.  Meh.

 

But the Free to Play model might not be all bad.  Star Trek Online did it, and with them pushing out New Chapters on a regular basis, which is awesome.  They have bug fixes and new ships, equipment, and bridge officers.  All awesome.  I might have to redownload that...

DC Universe Online, fun game, awesome graphics and you get Mark Hamill and Gina Torres which is all kinds of win.

Lord of the Rings Online has a huge amount of content.  Not just huge, sorry, ginourmous huge.  And it is pretty to boot.  I wish I would have stuck with this but something about the combat made me, meh.. or it might be how the quests are delivered, or maybe it is just so damn huge that I don't know where to begin.

Dungeons and Dragons Online... FTP and continuing to bring out new areas and classes and races.  Decent looking game with great dungeons and "active" combat.

 

So there a  number of FTP games.  But yes with Guild Wars 2 coming out, who knows what will happen.  MMOs in my mind should have a social aspect to it.  It should have housing that you can customize from your exploits, guild gathering locations that everyone can get to quickly, and most of all, it should be allowed to have others visit and give a reason to visit.

 

You could check out my blog.. it has stuff on there for a Shadowrun MMO and what it should have, but all MMOs should contain these perks. http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/WolfClaws 

 

Will I keep playing TOR?  Maybe.  I dunno.  Once I am done with all of the class quests for all the classes, not sure if there is a reason for me to stick around, until they do something drastic, and engage the Multiplayer part of MMO.

  Methos12

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/05/08
Posts: 1203

Its better to be quiet and perceived as stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

8/01/12 8:31:06 AM#9

Of course everyone thinks it's a great idea. Gotta reserve some room for those "TOR going F2P" adds that are bound to come. But hey, I'm OK with this. After all it lets me play through class story without paying a dime and that's ultimately the only standout thing worth mentioning in TOR.

Nature without Technology is little more than animals running about.
Nature without Magic is without wonder or miracle.
.........
Magic without Technology is fantasy.
Magic without Nature is formless and useless.
.........
Technology without Nature is application without understanding.
Technology without Magic is repetitious and uninventive.

  Denambren

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/03/08
Posts: 307

8/01/12 8:31:37 AM#10

Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO but more on Electronic Arts’ failure to recognize (and perhaps significant levels of arrogance) of what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs. I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.ri

 

 

You hear that, guys? The writer is telling us, as fact, that EA's biggest mistake with their MMO was their subscription model.

[mod edit]

  User Deleted
8/01/12 8:31:56 AM#11

As much as I respect MikeB's opinion, all I will say is this: if the game was better, I would have kept paying the sub.  

  Illyssia

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 1523

8/01/12 8:33:49 AM#12

I think it is the right way to go for SWTOR and it nicely  makes the game competitive with GW2 as casual players don't have to stop playing they can just go casual and free-to-play. For those looking at keeping the sub then there are a heap of incentives to be gained and the prospect of regular content added to the game.  After all this is the Star Wars mmo and I think it can and will succeed by this strategy.

 

  Fadedbomb

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

8/01/12 8:35:37 AM#13

It's about companies abusing terms in order to generate more profit. Simply because you call a car a boat doesn't mean it won't sink any faster because it's a CAR.

 

Similarly, simply because Bioware said SWTOR was an MMO didn't mean it'd generate the retentionrate & subscriber base than an MMO is capable of doing. They abused the StarWars IP for an "easy sell", and failed miserably to do so. I'm not saying it HAD to be a sandbox to be an MMO (as i played DAOC for YEARS), but an MMO is hardly what I could try to glue to SWTOR.

 

The announcement that SWTOR is going F2P is a sure sign that it has failed miserably. Everyone and their brother knows that a HEALTHY MMO can easily be far more profitable with a subscription plan than F2P. F2P is where MMOs go to die due to old age or being failures.

 

I wholeheartedly, DISAGREE with everything you said.

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  Ice-Queen

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 2435

"Always borrow money from a pessimist. They won't expect it back."

8/01/12 8:36:14 AM#14
Originally posted by Denambren

Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO but more on Electronic Arts’ failure to recognize (and perhaps significant levels of arrogance) of what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs. I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.ri

 

 

You hear that, guys? The writer is telling us, as fact, that EA's biggest mistake with their MMO was their subscription model.

[mod edit]

Quite hilarious, if the game had been a solid mmo, people wouldn't mind paying $15 a month for it. I'd pay $50 a month for a solid game. Money isn't the issue, it's poor quality/mediocrity of mmos these days.

What happens when you log off your characters????.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
Dark Age of Camelot

  lifeordinary

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 691

8/01/12 8:38:07 AM#15
Originally posted by Tayah
[mod edit]

 Warhammer and SWTOR subscriptions sharply declined in just months because they were both  poorly designed, wanna be WoW clones, that were rushed too soon. Developers didn't listen to beta testers in either game and paid the price, so yah "I told you so" is in order. They didn't listen and paid the price, losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers. It's humorous that BW and their hardcore fans try to spin it as if people just don't want to pay a sub as the reason for the game doing so poorly, it's laughable. The game is a niche game and will only retain the harcore SW and Bioware fans. Face it, the game is crap and will never recover to it's original numbers. Mmo fans are tired of mediocrity.

[mod edit]

By the way SWTOR still hovering around 500K subs, did WAR had same after 6+ months of release? how many P2P themepark MMOS you know right now holding half a million player base?

 

[mod edit]

  Fadedbomb

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

8/01/12 8:38:43 AM#16
Originally posted by Tayah
Originally posted by Denambren

Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO but more on Electronic Arts’ failure to recognize (and perhaps significant levels of arrogance) of what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs. I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.ri

 

 

You hear that, guys? The writer is telling us, as fact, that EA's biggest mistake with their MMO was their subscription model.

[mod edit]

Quite hilarious, if the game had been a solid mmo, people wouldn't mind paying $15 a month for it. I'd pay $50 a month for a solid game. Money isn't the issue, it's poor quality of mmos these days.

 

Pretty much sums up my personal feelings. [mod edit]

 

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  lifeordinary

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 691

8/01/12 8:40:57 AM#17
Originally posted by Fadedbomb
Originally posted by Tayah
Originally posted by Denambren

Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t necessarily experienced a decline in subscribers as sharp as we’ve seen  solely due to any particular failure on BioWare’s designers to create a solid MMO but more on Electronic Arts’ failure to recognize (and perhaps significant levels of arrogance) of what is clearly a strong trend away from subscription based MMOs. I know this sounds like I’m using a scapegoat to excuse the game for all the myriad deficiencies of which some of you are clearly convinced, but honestly, EA’s biggest mistake with Star Wars: The Old Republic was a financial one, not necessarily a design one.ri

 

 

You hear that, guys? The writer is telling us, as fact, that EA's biggest mistake with their MMO was their subscription model.

[mod edit]

Quite hilarious, if the game had been a solid mmo, people wouldn't mind paying $15 a month for it. I'd pay $50 a month for a solid game. Money isn't the issue, it's poor quality of mmos these days.

 

Pretty much sums up my personal feelings. 

[mod edit]

 

I wouldn't... so who decides the pulse of the MMO industry since it varies from player to player? unless you somehow think that you and the person you quoted are somehow part of majority? GW2 is damn good but i wouldn't pay 50 bucks for it,  and i am glad it is B2P.

 

  Ice-Queen

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 2435

"Always borrow money from a pessimist. They won't expect it back."

8/01/12 8:42:40 AM#18
Originally posted by lifeordinary

Can i sue the same logic you sued to label him a Bioware fanboy to label you as a hater? does that make sense?

By the way SWTOR still hovering around 500K subs, did WAR had same after 6+ months of release? how many P2P themepark MMOS you know right now holding half a million player base?

 

The only one with blinders is you. I am not a Bioware fanboy but some people just love to throw logic and reasonign out of window to make more space for their veitrol against SWTOR.

I don't hate anything or any one. I'm just not ignorant enough to sit back and believe that because Warhammer, SWTOR, AoC, Tera, and many other terrible mmo's reason for losing subscribers is because no one wants to pay a subscription fee, it's because they were terrible games and didn't warrant a $15 a month sub, simple as that.

What happens when you log off your characters????.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
Dark Age of Camelot

  Zefire

Novice Member

Joined: 9/21/10
Posts: 700

8/01/12 8:47:11 AM#19

i hate those per week limitations.

Either give players to unlock warzones instances etc by paying once and be bound to account or dont get this game free to play.

I can play gw2 and play all instances for free why do i need to pay per month for not having this limitation.

Free to play is good as long as u can pay and unlock things for lifetime.other than that is crap and not worth playing and paying.

  lifeordinary

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 691

8/01/12 8:47:57 AM#20
Originally posted by Tayah
Originally posted by lifeordinary

[mod edit]

By the way SWTOR still hovering around 500K subs, did WAR had same after 6+ months of release? how many P2P themepark MMOS you know right now holding half a million player base?

 

[mod edit]

I don't hate anything or any one. I'm just not ignorant enough to sit back and believe that because Warhammer, SWTOR, AoC, Tera, and many other terrible mmo's reason for losing subscribers is because no one wants to pay a subscription fee, it's because they were terrible games and didn't warrant a $15 a month sub, simple as that.

And how many good games are running right now which are worth 15 bucks?. I bet you will be done even before you finish counting on fingers of first hand.

Majority of people here would tell you how much WOW sucks but still millions pay 15 bucks for it. On the other hand a niche game like TSW which is considered to be such an amazing game you have people who would say 'yeah good game but not worth 15 bucks'.

With such varied opinions from player base i wonder how you arrived to such an accurate conclusion. Not saying Mike B is right but there is no need to flame people for their opinions. Is it really that hard to be civil?

neither you are right or him, the truth lies somewhere in between.

 

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