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Far, far away: SWTOR is free-to-play this weekend

Tuesday, 13th March 2012 15:15 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Starting Thursday, March 15, players around the world will be able play Star Wars: The Old Republic in the first Weekend Pass Free Trial. For a limited time, individuals who don’t already have a previously-active SWTOR account can experience the MMO for up to four days for free, with no payment method required.

Individuals who take part in the Weekend Pass will be able to experience “the opening adventures of each of the eight character classes in the game,” exploring both the Origin World and their faction’s Capital World.

Additionally, Weekend Pass players will have access to PvP Warzones and early faction-specific Flashpoints The Esseles and The Black Talon.

The Weekend Pass Free Trial ends on Monday, March 19.

More information is available through here.

Breaking news

23 Comments

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  1. Se_7_eN

    This doesn’t look good…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. GrimRita

    Well EA have to pull out all the stops prior to their investors call at the end of this month to attempt to hide the mass decline in the player base.

    It’s evident on every server(if you read the forums) and on my friends server, who is quitting next week.

    It’s a shame as this game could and should have given WoW a run for its money, but instead played it too safe, is VERY limited in what you can/cant do and has a pvp system that is broken – they are even ‘going back to the drawing board’ with their ‘open’ pvp planet as its so messed up.

    I dont know why EA released this before Xmas(probably for money) and yet again have blown their only chance of making this game a success. They did the same with WAR(although that lacked SO much polish).

    Update 1.2 is the big deal for Bioware and will probably end up making or breaking the game if it cant sustain and grow its user base.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @1 and 2

    Again all MMOs have done this type of marketing. Why is it that when it comes to EA that it is Doom and Gloom for the MMO.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Mineral4r7s

    If SWTOR dies I go to Tera.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. GrimRita

    @3 Of course they have. But not when their game hasnt even been released for 3 full months.

    The big difference with EA and many other MMO publisher/developers, is that EA MUST publish the numbers and looking back at the history of cost for SWTOR(whoever is right, is anyones guest) but hiring all those voice actors couldnt have been cheap – EA need to ensure that the investment made by their share holders has/is paying off.

    But EA havent learnt from WAR. You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression and unfortunately, for a lot of people, SWTOR just doesnt cut the mustard.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight

    @5

    Rift, AOC, Warhammer, Champions, City of Heroes/villains have all done this in the first few months of release. SO point made invalid.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. GrimRita

    @6 – PB take your face for a shit – it needs to…..

    First ‘few’ months – sure……Rift waited 6, WAR waited 4(oh look EA), AoC(6) – SWTOR(3)

    And none of these cost the dizzy numbers of SWTOR.

    Point INVALID. You just cant admit the game is failing. I would say go and play it, but you cant – the servers are down LOL. Anyway, no point even trying to communicate with you, because you cant read

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    @7

    Nor can you? You are on this EA hate bandwagon that the meer mention of EA and you have to continue to do your hate mongering because apparently EA or SWTOR had came over your house and raped your Mom.

    I don’t need you for info I have Bioware employees as teachers and I actually do my own research. Why in the hell do you think I need to listen to a hater to give “facts” that is like listening to FOX news about the political climate.

    “I would say go and play it, but you cant – the servers are down LOL. ”

    Oh real slick, its maintenance which happens every Tuesday since release. Just proves you are grasping at straws.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Talkar

    @2
    Unless you can show specific numbers, backed up by sources, you are just talking out of your ass regarding server population.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    Leave Rift out of it boys – that game kicks ass. ;)

    Fact is that no game can match wow. Period. Not in terms of quality, Rift kills wow in quality. But in shear quanity and polish. It is a beast. Also it will run on almost any laptop off of the shelf of Walmart. Making it acesable.

    I play wow, I would rather play Rift. I have two maxed toons of Rift already. But my brother inlaw can’t run RIFT, he just started playing wow. So i joined him. We duel account wow, the game can play on all three of our PCs in the house. Rift can only run on one.

    That counts for alot.

    Also every one compares every MMO to wow. And they should Blizzard set the standard and rewrite the rules. But wow has 85 levels with 3 expansions. Add in refined PVP that can stand shoulder to shoulder with omp experiences like BF or CoD. No new game can match that.

    Thts just a lot of polish and game content. So new players like my brother inlaw are drawn to wow. And it is a good fit.

    All of that aside, anyone that thought Star Wars could attract enough steady fan base is delusional. Generic Fantasy settings > Generic Space settings. Simple as. Add in the SW liscence and your sunk. It is just too limiting.

    With wow or rift or guild wars or whatever the lore is what you want it. In SW your constantly paying homage to the SW books/movies/comics/past. You just don’t have the freedom. Fans come to the table with too many preconcieved expectations. Your sunk.

    Wanna know tha greatest SW game possibilty of all time? Battlefront. It lends itself to fans, to SW lore, to gameplay, and isn’t going to be expected to do too much. If EA publishes Star Wars Battlefront 3, they make millions. Trying to publish SW wow they will lose millions.

    I saw it coming all along. This game will be free 2 play in another 18months or less. Depends on how determined some of the people behind the game are to save face.

    You have to keep in mind that the sucsess of a MMO is not down to dedicated hardcore foaming at the mouth rabid fans….it comes down to how many average joes they can convince to spend money on the game(beit monthly subs, or f2p style market place iteams).

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    ” Trying to publish SW wow they will lose millions.”

    Thats funny because it has already made up for it development cost and as of last investor call had 1.7 million paid subscribers not even Rift has those numbers even now.

    “In SW your constantly paying homage to the SW books/movies/comics/past. ”

    Not really since it happens in a time way before all things have happened. The only homage bioware has to listen to is the force, conflict between Sith and Jedi, planets and the races which is what most SW fans really want.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    Grims right, PB, your in denial.

    Rift has been out for a year. Of course a MMO will ballon and then reced numberswise. SW has been out 3 months.

    “Not really since it happens in a time way before all things have happened. The only homage bioware has to listen to is the force, conflict between Sith and Jedi, planets and the races which is what most SW fans really want.”

    But you really aren’t listening, or seeing, or maybe just don’t want to. I don’t know. SW fans will not sustain the game. Just like Warcraft fans don’t sustain WoW. My bro inlaw doesn’t know squat about Warcraft games or their lore. He plays because he enjoys the gameplay. He isn’t a fan of Warcraft.

    Your thinking is that SWTO is a game for SW fans. And that is one of the reasons to fail. And that is my point. A game like this has to go way way way behind SW fans. I don’t think it is going to. Casual and average MMO players will be drawn to wow over SWTO.

    Its also worth bringing up the question how much longer before the MMO bubble pops? Right now everyone wants what Blizzard has. But is it attanable? Realistic and sustainable? I honestly don’t think it is. SW or otherwise.

    I think the future of MMOs is f2p. I think wow can dowhat it does because it is wow. If Blizzard were launching wow for the first time right now, I doubt it would be a smash sub based hit.

    Things change, trends come and go.

    SWTO isn’t going to change that, or really, even have an impact, imo.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    “Grims right, PB, your in denial.”

    Oh right because I bring a thing called facts to the table I am in denial. Where you are just bringing your own opinions and claiming them as facts as is Grim. SWTOR has already made up its development cost so now its all profit so even if it were to go to F2P they would still be banging on a profit unlike DCUO, Champions, STO and AOC who had invested millions upon million and it didn’t deliver so they had to make it f2p to bring in some money because that is better than no money.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    If people don’t play your game as long as you intened = your losing millions in lost revenue.

    Facts have a funny way of being slanted. It certianly wasn’t EAs plan to simply break even. They want the cash cow that is wow. Kindy funny if ya think about it, EA is chasing two Acti Cash Cows. Moo Moo. Wow and Cod.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. GrimRita

    And PB – for the RECORD – the 1.7 million is NOT paid. Its ‘active’ – get your facts straight. And Talkar, the numbers will be out soon enough. But EA are trying their best to boost its flagging game.

    Ive said it before, and will say it again – this game will be on life support by Xmas and the fact they are already taking drastic measures so soon, only fans the flames of failure.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Phoenixblight

    “EA is chasing two Acti Cash Cows. Moo Moo. Wow and Cod.”

    So? Apple and Microsoft, Sony and Microsoft do exactly the same thing too. Grasping at straws? And Btw WOW has been hemorrhaging subscriptions every quarter and they aren’t small numbers so much so they had to fire 600 employees. I have 6 friends that have lost their jobs.

    “Its ‘active’ – get your facts straight.”

    Yeah and you can’t be active without a sub. Get your facts straight.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    What?

    Ok bud, I think you’v lost it. Ima go play some wow, I have druid that needs leveling.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. TheWulf

    Poor PhoenixBlight. The sole TOR supporter here. It just shows the waning favour. Forums have been losing a lot of TOR favour, lately, and mostly it’s just bitter people who’re just utterly fed up with it.

    I think that 2 has the right of it.

    If TOR was this huge, healthy thing, you’d still have fanboys around here supporting it vehemently like you did at launch. But in replicating WoW they made a terrible, horrible mistake.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DSB

    I think people are reading way too much into basic promotion for the game. These companies are fighting for subscriptions, just like newspapers are, and part of the way you do that is by approaching people. You don’t just sit back and expect to be handed succes on a platter.

    I think SWTOR has a decent shot at snapping up at least some of the forlorn WoW players, and as such it will probably do okay, but obviously it doesn’t help that it’s basically the same game with a bit of cookie cutter story and lightsabers thrown into it.

    The wise move would’ve been to pull out all the stops to push the gameplay forward, not just follow the leader. The fact that people are finally getting fed up with WoW doesn’t exactly bode well for SWTOR. I don’t think it was intended to scoop up WoW’s leftovers, and it’s obviously open to challenge by a game that actually dares to move things forward.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. GrimRita

    @16 – You are right. You cant be active without a sub. So I guess, unlike EA, youre not counting the FREE 30 days that comes with the game? Because they are.

    Those figures were publisher before the subs actually started unless they counted those that were FORCED to enter a payment method prior to starting.(althought it didnt take any money out).

    @19
    I think looking at WoW, free trials didnt work for them. I dont know why but there is some info that something like 13% actually take out a sub once the trial period is up.

    Maybe its because Blizzard did this a couple of years into the life of WoW – or, like me, people found it crap and generic and way too easy.

    But the only way you will attract any kind of numbers away from WoW is to offer something different – and hardly any of the ‘Big’ named MMOs do that.

    Why should someone who has invested the best part of 6-7 years in 1 MMO move to another that misses many key and importantly BASIC features.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DSB

    @20 I don’t know the economics behind the average mainstream MMO, but for websites, if 13% of your visitors buy something on the site, that’s a blockbuster succes. If 3% buy something, you’re doing quite well.

    Granted, in this case we’re talking about a client of some 20 gb’s worth, which is a lot, but some of that is likely using excess infrastructure.

    I don’t know how the numbers when it comes to games, but there’s no way they were expecting anything close to a 50% subscription rate. That’s wishful thinking for any promotional campaign.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. DarkElfa

    PB isn’t the only TOR supporter here. He’s just not buying into all the apocalyptic bullshit you guys are laying out. If it comes to it, the game will go F2P and then they’ll rake in the money just like every other big name F2P MMO.

    You asshats need to stop drinking all that hater-aid on the web and shave your neckbeards.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Kabby

    SWTOR is more likely to grab people than Warcraft did with this type of trial. The Star Warsy vibe and easiness of soloing may tempt a lot of folks to keep going.

    However, when you reach 50 the game becomes a pointless mess.

    #23 2 years ago