The new General Manager of Star Wars: The Old Republic developer BioWare Austion, Matt Bromberg, isn’t so sure about the success that will appear once the online title goes free-to-play this fall, as nobody can really predict how fans will behave.
Star Wars: The Old Republic came out back in December of last year and many believed that it was the MMORPG that would bring down World of Warcraft and other successful subscription-based online titles.
Sadly, that didn’t happen, as the monthly subscription turned people away, despite the various promotional free trials
that were organized by developer BioWare Austin.
Now, the game is getting ready to be turned into a free-to-play experience
for all players, but the new GM of the developer isn’t so sure about how much profit will be extracted from this shift.
"My primary intention is to make as many people play this beautiful game that we've made. It just so happens that the business will naturally grow as more people come to play the game, but we're not trying to squeeze every single penny out of it,” he told CVG
It’s hard to predict how fans will react to such a move, according to Bromberg, who mentions that targets have been set for paying subscribers once the game is free-to-play, but anything can happen at that point.
"There are lots of Star Wars fans out there, but really I don't know what to expect. A lot of other games that have moved from subscription to hybrid haven't lost as many customers as you might think, in fact a lot of them have gained subscribers. You have to plan for this but you can never be sure. We do think the numbers will grow steadily but we're not looking for some enormous surge on day one."
As of yet, neither EA nor Bioware Austin has revealed when exactly Star Wars: The Old Republic will become a free-to-play experience.