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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » Do you believe SWTOR is a failure for becoming "F2P"?

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80 posts found

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

OP  9/14/12 3:44:11 PM#1

I'm seeing this constantly now on forums everywhere after the recent announcement (relatively speaking) of SWTOR's "payment model change". What I found most interesting about the subject at hand isn't that SWTOR is making the move to F2P, but the fact that people are now viewing "F2P" as a move for failing MMOs to make in order to avoid closure.

This means that the overall outlook towards "F2P" has either downshifted from "Where the market is going" to a more broadly understand realization that "F2P" isn't what consumers want out of their payment model for an MMO regardless of what big companies are telling us. (Looking @ you EA / SOE).




The move from P2P -> F2P is seen as a failing move, but games built from the ground up with F2P in mind are still becoming popular. However, on a personal note I've never once encountered a product that was built from the ground up with F2P in mind that was worth a single hour of my time invested into it. All of the current "F2P" titles on the market currently that people point to as "How you should do F2P" were box & subscription based payment models for the longest time, and only recently have made the move to F2P in order to keep their products more open to audiences they may not have touched yet so they can keep their doors open longer on aging products.


Do you consider either of these views plausable, or do you have your own idea of what "F2P" means for the market after SWTOR's announcement? Afterall, SWTOR was pushed by the general big-corp market as being the "Title to watch" to see where the market should go for the next 10years.



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



Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11863

9/14/12 4:00:58 PM#2

i dont think its a fail move

i think its an adaptive move - to make the game a freemium mmo w better earnings


until I see EA allowing ftp for DAOC and Warhammer,

I'm not convinced EA has embraced ftp


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/05/09
Posts: 538

9/14/12 4:08:25 PM#3

 Ok , I've said this a few times , and will re write it again.   Let's say for example your creating a MMO which costs money , and you notice that to get back your money and start making profit out of it , you'll need 8,000 to sub at 10$ a month for 3 years. Which is pretty reasonable.  But Devs only care about the $$$ , they want to be billionaires within the first 2 months of release , so they put the game F2P with a cash shop and catter millions.  By doing this , they just killed the soul of the MMO and it's community.    If CCP only cared about $$$ , EVE-Online would of been free YEARS Ago , but they are making enough millions to upgrade their servers yearly and releasing free expansions , last time I checked,  WoW's expansions weren't free.


  So yeah , pretty much every Dev team sucks now a days , besides a FEW.     SWTOR could of been something GREAT.  But it's just another WoW / GW2 or whatever type of game with chewbaccas and light sabres.


Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7209

9/14/12 4:13:49 PM#4

It was a failure from the start.  Typical big company hired a bunch of people without a clue how to keep MMO players engaged in a game.  Making a technically superior game with lots of voice overs does not get it.   Too much hand holding quickly leads to boring gameplay.

I love Star Wars, but did not even attempt to purchase this game,  beta testing showed what a loser it was.  It was far inferior when it comes to gameplay than what was already on the market.

Any company working with Lucas Arts has a huge handicap, they don't even know what a MMO is.  They think that it is just an extension of their single player games.   That is why I don't have great hopes that a Star Wars universe MMO will ever be successful unless LA gets new leadership.


Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 17715

9/14/12 4:19:18 PM#5

I think EA sees it that way.

Lets face it, TOR is not the success it could have been but MMOs live longer than other games and can change, Eve started out with 25K players and are doing fine.

But just making the game F2P wont change anything, Bioware need to update the game so it becomes better long term and keep its players. I am not sure that is what they have in mind since that cost more money, maybe they let it sink like WAR.

But failure to reach EAs guesses does not make the game a failure, that is something we cant judge short term. If they close it down next year it surely was a failure, but they might fix it up and turn things around, anything is possible.

My bet however is that EA will try to milk out as much money they can from it while putting in so little they can and in that case it will indeed go down as failure in MMO hoistory. But then have my opinion of EA never been high since what they did to Westwood, so I might be too pessimistic.

I hope they turn it around though, the IP deserves better than what MMOs made out of it.



Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14702

9/14/12 4:26:53 PM#6

No.  "Free to play" does not mean a game is a failure.  The only business model that conclusively says a game is a failure is pulling the plug, and even then, only if it comes not that long after launch.

I do, on the other hand, believe that SWTOR is a failure for not selling better after being so expensive to build.  Exactly the same sales numbers on a $20 million budget would be a success.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/09
Posts: 905

9/14/12 4:31:42 PM#7
SWTOR is a failure because it didn't copy the SWG-Pre CU model. Themeparks in generals been failure over the last 5 years with the exception of WOW.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/12
Posts: 170

9/14/12 4:34:00 PM#8
I think its a failure for them closing half the servers, firing half the staff, and being forced to go FTP to recoup losses, yeah. That's what you get when you tack a monthly fee on a game that plays like a singleplayer game.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/12
Posts: 170

9/14/12 4:35:07 PM#9
Originally posted by Kopogero
SWTOR is a failure because it didn't copy the SWG-Pre CU model. Themeparks in generals been failure over the last 5 years with the exception of WOW.

Try the last 8 years. There hasn't been a single successful themepark. Rift came the closest but even they were merging servers almost right away.





Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11863

9/14/12 4:46:09 PM#10
Originally posted by Loke666

My bet however is that EA will try to milk out as much money they can from it while putting in so little they can and in that case it will indeed go down as failure in MMO hoistory. But then have my opinion of EA never been high since what they did to Westwood, so I might be too pessimistic.

i hope you are wrong but i have not forgotten what happened to Sims Online

later renamed to EA Land and made ftp -- then 5 months later shut down



Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/27/08
Posts: 24

9/14/12 5:05:55 PM#11

To me F2P == flexibility. That is, if I decide not to play much if at all for 6 months I can stop paying. The ability to jump on once a month and play for 2 hours or just take care of "business" (guild duties, bank, broker, etc) is VERY appealing to me. I refuse to pay any amount per month just to "maintain" my account. Ive seen a lot of moves to f2p from ddo to eq2 and beyond those margins and well between. To me its a smart move to give the customer options and its anything but a failing move. Rather its a competitive move. You have features the others do not. At the end of the day regardless of how you implement that f2p it will come down to two things in my opinion. Marketing and game quality/availability.

Its sad that marketing plays such a heavy role as Ive seen numerous games that from a quality and availability perspective squelch anything out there and yet they die a slow and painful death of player base lacking.

Overall, F2P inclusion is a smart move and beneficial to both parties.

-It makes it easier to try out.
-It makes it easier for the customer to "take a break but still participate".
-Most content up front was a "loss in cost" regardless anyhow so why not use it as an advertising unit.
-Even if people remain F2P they bring community to the game which is one of the primary driving forces in online gaming if not THE driving factor.
-Charging for content allows you to offset marketing costs to the consumer and they educate you without surveys etc and yet even with investment in content to do so you still gain said content and the tech behind it.
--Could continue but why... we all know the truth of it.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 209

9/14/12 5:18:01 PM#12
I believe that it depends on whether the games initial design had a Free2Play conversion built it.  If not, then, IMO, it is safe to say that going F2P after launching as pure subscription play, is an effort to save an otherwise dying game.  In some cases, the conversion works beautifully and saves the game (DDO, DCUO) and in other cases, it tends to flounder about half heartedly (LoTRO, STO) and acts more as life support than resuscitation .


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/27/08
Posts: 24

9/14/12 5:30:03 PM#13

The logic of a f2p conversion being a failure because it was not part of the original design is directly equivalent to saying if they change the way a skill works in a game after some period of time and other changes then the original skill was a failure. Sorry, that is wrong. Things have to adapt. If there was any failure it would be in the original consideration of the designers to have f2p part of it not the fact they went f2p later.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3306

I liked MMOs better when gamers didn't play them, and just geeks did.

9/14/12 5:35:25 PM#14

When a company spends the kind of money they did on a game, and to have it bleed subs like it did, I believe it is a sign of failure yes.


I promise you this: EA/Bioware probably knew they would eventually go F2P, but I don't think any of them expected to have to pull the trigger nearly as fast as they had to.

Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/24/02
Posts: 23

What do you mean its not Spam?

9/14/12 5:35:59 PM#15

Swtor was a failure unfortantly long before the F2P  came along..    sad, I enjoyed the time I had there..

There are quite a few F2P success, so maybe this might breath some life back in to it.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/23/03
Posts: 1130

9/14/12 5:37:07 PM#16
No, its a failure, because its a terrible game that did nothing to move the genre forward.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5695

9/14/12 5:38:22 PM#17

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2959

9/14/12 5:42:08 PM#18


Closing down = failure.

F2P = Change of business model.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

9/14/12 5:43:57 PM#19

The game was already a failure a few months past launch.

The F2P announcement itself was just salt in the wound.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2980

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

9/14/12 5:48:57 PM#20
No. think with P2P is you NEED to be good. Swtor was just far to mediocre to do well. As much as I'm not huge on it, it wasn't that badf of a game. Going F2p tends to be more so a boost to popularity for games that might be doing a bit weaker then desired. Look at DDO, that game was near dead and its now the shining example of what glory good F2P can bring.
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