If I look out of the window right now, I can see a crowd gathering around my house, carrying torches and pitchforks. A large painted sign is spread out in front of them.
It reads, in large clear letters: “We told you so!”
Indeed, as many predicted, Bioware is looking at free-to-play.
Full quote from SWTOR Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi :
“The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well,” he says. “Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.”
I like SWTOR. I like the class quests, the light/dark choices, modifiable gear and even on-rail space combat. I plan to continue to subscribe until I run out of things to do.
However the game isn’t perfect. Launching a themepark without server movement options or group finder tools is criminal. Both of these features are now being delivered, but I fear it may be a case of ‘too little, too late’.
Maybe the F2P model could work for Bioware. But I can’t help but feel that developers are looking at their business model as the ‘silver bullet’ rather than questioning how they produce and deliver new content.