Quick Quotes: Ohlen on the F2P vs Subscription business model for MMOs

Wednesday, 25th January 2012 20:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

“There is a place for subscription-based games and if you’re going to build a subscription-based game it’s got to be huge in scope. People have to feel that it’s worth paying a subscription fee every month, so the scope of the game has to be much bigger than the free-to-play games. The quality, the polish has to be very, very high, and then you need to have a plan to continue to deliver free content on a regular basis. If you do those things, I think you can succeed as a subscription-based game. Obviously, there can only be a few subscription-based games. There is a limited MMO audience and not a ton of that audience is playing more than one MMO, but I still think there’s room for more than just one really successful online game. I think Star Wars: The Old Republic can coexist with World of Warcraft and other successful games like Rift. You can have multiple MMOs with a subscription being successful as long as those games fulfill the requirements of high quality, good polish, lots of content, and continuing to do high value updates on a regular basis.” – SWTOR director James Ohlen to IGN.



  1. Kabby

    “as long as those games fulfill the requirements of high quality, good polish, lots of content, and continuing to do high value updates on a regular basis”

    You should apply those rigorous standards to your own game.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. GrimRita

    I guess we will be seeing more and more of these ‘stories’ from Bioware as they try hard to increase their falling user base.

    And he is right – people need to see some value. With just 1 extremely tiny patch a week yielding anything up to 8 hours of down time vs Rift with daily fixes,patches and almost monthly updates with no downtime from a much smaller team, I guess its clear to see where the value is.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    How is it free when you’re paying for a subscription?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. endgame

    aaaand after month 1 I’m out. f**k this s**t. I’m not going to pay to play a single player game because this is what swtor is for me. I’ll go back to bf3, deus ex, hard reset, me2, swkotor and others. and if I will feel the need to play an mmo, well, good news, gw2 is coming out soon. :))

    #4 3 years ago
  5. viralshag

    Of all the stuff he said about sub-based games… none of them made me think of TOR.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    I have to admit, I did chuckle when he said about ‘good polish, quality etc etc’ – clearly he hasnt played SWTOR! Update 1.1 anyone?!

    #6 3 years ago
  7. blackdreamhunk

    guild wars 2 will sell over 7 million copies easy

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Butcher8

    @DSB I’m so glad someone else noticed that, “free content” indeed…

    I havn’t played TOR myself but I’ve seen loads of vids and watched my bro play it (he quit after a week) and I can honestly say it’s not worth a sub, GW2 as a buy once and then ftp game looks far higher quality to me which should have Bioware very worried, and Blizz too, now that I mention it.

    Seriously, Project Titan better be seriously amazing (and a sci-fi mmo) if it has any chance of repeating wow’s success.

    #8 3 years ago

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