As BioWare transitions Star Wars: The Old Republic into a free-to-play model the developer promises it will deliver a major update every six weeks to the MMORPG.
It’s easy to criticize Star Wars: The Old Republic for being nothing more than a World of Warcraft clone, but we need to give BioWare credit for committing to improving content
BioWare announced earlier in the year that its MMOG Star Wars: The Old Republic would offer free-to-play access up to level 15. Later in the year BioWare announced it will offer complete F2P access with limitations on character creation, among other changes. It’s a move admitting defeat, effectively, that BioWare didn’t build a competitive paid-for MMORPG. However, the developer admitted in an interview with AusGamers it is to provide large updates for the title every six weeks.
BioWare Austin’s General Manager Matt Bromberg revealed updates will arrive in the six-week periods. Specifically Bromberg said updates will cover a new Operation, Flaspoint, and/or Event. He seemed very confident the team will stick to the goal. We’re seeing with ArenaNet how constant updates for Guild Wars 2 provides the long-term content the genre needs; it has 120 employees, half of the development team, working on in-game content. That includes stealth dynamic event updates — updates you won’t hear about, but rather discover.
Bromberg also confirmed subscribers who have not played the game for an amount of time will get Cartel Coins if they return when the F2P update arrives this fall. Cartel Coins will be earnt depending on amount of time is subscriber, Bromberg added. BioWare seemingly is trying to get people to subscribe to use its free-to-play in-game currency, effectively two forms of income for the company. Whether consumers return, and play, the game depends on the quality of content. World of Warcraft sees Mists of Pandaria launch this month and players are expected to return in droves.
I’ve said consistently it’s amazing how BioWare failed to retain users when using an massively multiplayer online game with the Star Wars franchise. It should have sold itself.
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