While flattered by the suggestion, BioWare doesn’t believe Star Wars: The Old Republic will be the last major MMORPG to succeed with a subscription business model.
“Those are very kind words in a way,” BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk told IndustryGamers when asked about Sony Online Eentertainment president John Smedley’s claim that The Old Republic will be the last big subscription MMORPG.
“I think there will always be a place for premium content at a premium price and that’s one of the differences. Free to play is very much about trial, about ‘Hey, I don’t know what this is, I don’t have confidence that it’s any good, but I’m willing to take a look at it,’ versus ‘I know this is good, from a trusted source, and it’s the biggest license in the world.’ So it’s a different value proposition.”
Fellow brand lead Ray Muzyka voiced his agreement, adding that premium titles need to “merit” the price tag.
“They have to earn that from a consumer trust perspective and delivering and exceeding expectations,” he said.
“It’s too early to call any business model dead. It’s like the line, ‘Oh single-player games are dead.’ They’ve morphed and they’ve changed into something different, but they’re still there,” Zeschuk continued.
BioWare and EA obviously believe in the premium MMORPG space, or they wouldn’t be launching The Old Republic, but Zeshuk said the companies have research to back it up.
“We think the market is ready for it. There’s a lack of something new and fresh and really powerful; we have research that shows that a lot of people have been waiting for this game,” he said.
“We’re seeing huge demand for it, and we plan to support it long term.”
Star Wars: The Old republic launches for PC in December.