Developer BioWare has already announced plans to allow gamers to enjoy their MMO The Old Republic for free as long as characters stay under a level 15 cap, but it seems that the design teams have bigger plans linked to the business model.
Emmanuel Lusinchi, who is the lead technical design director working on Star Wars: The Old Republic,
has told GamesTM that, “The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well. Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.”
It’s not clear whether the development team is actually exploring the possibility of making the entire MMO free-to-play or whether they are just looking around to see what other teams are doing with the concept.
Lusinchi added, “I think it’s more than the free-to-play model – it’s more that there is a lot of competitive offers. If it was just free-to-play games and they weren’t very good it wouldn’t even be a question but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do.”
At E3 2012 BioWare announced that it was set to introduce a whole new planet during 2012 to The Old Republic
, allowing high level players to explore it and solve a number of quest lines linked to it.
Gamers also get access to new Warzones and they can also quest in order to get a new companion, HK-51, which is adept both at killing enemies and at spouting clever one-liners.
Analysts predict that Star Wars: The Old Republic
will go free-to-play before the end of 2013.