Publisher Electronic Arts believes that subscription-based video games will continue to exist even as more and more MMOs make the move towards the free-to-play model.
Frank Gibeau, who is the president of the EA Labels division
, has told Kotaku that, “I think subscription is just one way delivering content. In the case of Battlefield Premium, we have a million-and-a-half subscribers and that’s moving along nicely. At the same time, other types of products like Star Wars are probably better positioned around having a free-to-play model.”
He added, “With Star Wars, you have a broad-based IP that pulls the widest possible audience, we can bring in a large number of people. I think we’ve been fairly upfront with the fact that we course-corrected on Star Wars because we felt like we were fighting too many headwinds in the marketplace and it needed to be repositioned to fall with what customers were telling us.”
Gibeau made it clear that for Star Wars: The Old Republic
gamers could still pay a monthly subscription as long as they wanted to get access to more options for their account and more Cartel Coins, which they could spend on their characters.
Recently, the executive caused some consternation among players when he revealed that his company was no longer developing titles that focused just on single player.
Star Wars: The Old Republic was launched at the end of 2011 and the game failed to get the audience that developer BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts aimed for, with a sharp decline seen from March on.
The two companies say that they have long-term plans for the MMO and will continue to add both new planets and new options for characters via a variety of content packages.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to make the switch to free-to-play during November of this year.