I was writing this week’s SotW (Story of the Week) all about DC Universe Online’s conversion to a Freemium F2P model, when I received an e-mail from those pesky lads and lasses at BioWare… apparently they’re making a Star Wars game, calling it Star Wars: The Old Republic and its launch date is now December 20th in the NA and December 22nd in the EU.
In the essence of fairness, since both are pretty big freakin’ deals, let’s call this week a tie.
DCUO going F2P signals a pretty massive shift in the business strategy of SOE. Sure they’ve been experimenting with F2P before, and sure DCUO hasn’t exactly been burning barns after its successful launch but changing a game over in less than a year and saying “We wanted to do this all along” is kind of a big deal. With Planetside 2 going F2P and the thought of EQ Next doing the same… it seems like SOE has definitely decided what path they’re headed down in terms of revenue.
Now those who have lifetime subs, or those who want to have all the perks of a subscription will still be able to so. Meanwhile this opens the floodgates to allow thousands more people to join the game and hopefully make the streets of Metropolis and Gotham interesting again.
Check out our Exclusive F2P Interview to find out more on the changes.
Then there’s that whole, still developing, SWTOR launch date thing. My brain’s still trying to figure out how I’m going to tell my wife and her family that I won’t be able to join them for Christmas. Don’t they understand there’s a galaxy to bend to the will of the Empire? There was an inter-office pool going around on the launch date for this one, and we all started to panic a bit at the rumors of BioWare’s MMO missing 2011 entirely. But Mike Bitton won out as he changed his guess to December, and I held firm on the 2nd week of November… purely out of hope for an earlier launch.
There’s really not much else to say at this point. Pretty soon the beta test weekends will be back on track, more and more folks will get a chance to see the game, and before you know it the launch parties will begin and then the real fun will start. The hype will end, and we’ll see for ourselves just how well BioWare can stand up to the pressures of the MMORPG industry.