It looks like the biggest possible competitor to the MMO Juggernaut World of Warcraft has gone the way of many other failed MMO’s by going Free to Play. Electronic Arts has announced Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to go free to play this fall.
In a press release Electronic Arts will be going Free to Play this November and the anyone can purchase the game for $15 starting August 7th. This $15 cost will include a month of free play. Now you may remember that The Old Republic allowed players to play for free until hitting level 15, but I promise you this is different. Players will now be able to play any storyline all the way up to level 50 FREE. But, don’t think you’ll get everything for free. The higher tier content will have to be paid for either by a subscription or piece by piece. Very smart, get em’ hooked and make em’ pay. Most MMO’s have gone this route because it’s a lot easier to get people to play your game if there isn’t a monthly fee associated with it.
In BioWare’s press release they talk about the two methods to which you can play their game.
Subscription – A service designed for players who want 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 – The first 50 levels will be Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.
If you already pay for The Old Republic you’ll be getting some rewards for your service. You will receive 150 Cartel Coins per month paid. 1,000 Cartel Coins and a “Heroes’ Banner” for those of you who picked up the Collector’s Edition. There are other bonuses to those who sign up between August 1st and November.