SWTOR boss: gamers are wary of subscription “commitment”

Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:57 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Star Wars: The Old Republic is apparently going free-to-play because gamers are scared of commitment – just like your last significant other kept saying.

“The market is clearly becoming a free-to-play market in the MMO space. It appears that’s the direction the whole industry is going,” BioWare Austin general manager Matthew Bromberg said, as reported by IGN.

“Our own research told us that a significant percentage of the folks who have left the game, left because of the commitment to the subscription model. It’s not that surprising if you think about it because the dynamic in an MMO is essentially one in which you subscribe and then you’re waiting for new content, and people don’t feel good about waiting.”

Producing new content is a serious issue for SWTOR because BioWare set the bar so high with its initial offering, but BioWare hopes to remedy this issue by focusing on improved multiplayer aspects.

“It’s hugely expensive. It’s cinematic, it’s lush, there’s voice over, it’s unbelievable. The amount of content available at launch was extraordinary,” Bromberg said.

“You have folks who’ve played through the levels, and what an online service has to provide is grouping. All of our research shows that people who have friends in game and play with people in social content, love the game and stay.

“If you remain a single player, you won’t stay. Our focus, in addition to extending the story which we will continue doing, is giving those players who want to play in groups with other people something fresh and new to do all the time.”

EA announced SWTOR’s free-to-play transition earlier this month.