SWTOR director highlights difficulties of free-to-play conversions

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 19 June 2012 03:56 GMT

BioWare’s James Ohlen admits that free-to-play is as valid a business model as subscription, but seems cautious about whether it could work for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Speaking to PC Gamer, the SWTOR director suggested free-to-play isn’t right for every MMORPG.

“I think it can work for different games. It really depends on how you go with your game,” he said.

“Games that have been built to be free-to-play from the start definitely work out. Now, there have been games that weren’t free to play from the start and transferred over to becoming free to play that have worked as well. But it’s definitely not something that’s super easy to do.”

Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and ragons Online, Age of Conan Online and Champions Online all transitioned from subscription-based to free-to-play models and noted increased returns as a result.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will shortly go free-to-play to level 15, and the team actively scopes out free-to-play competitors. EA maintains that the MMORPG is performing to expectations.

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