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.

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  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 2 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 2 years ago
  3. DSB

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

    #3 2 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 2 years ago
  5. viralshag

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

    #5 2 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 2 years ago
  7. blackdreamhunk

    guild wars 2 will sell over 7 million copies easy

    #7 2 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 2 years ago