Star Wars: The Old Republic rumoured to be going free-to-play

Star Wars: The Old Republic

It isn’t a secret that Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t exactly done as well as BioWare had hoped it would. There have been reports of the game losing as many as 400,000 subscribers months after the game launched, servers appear empty and barren and BioWare Austin has been laying off employees. Industry veteran Rich Vogel -the Executive Producer for Star Wars: The Old Republic – has even left the company. There is no denying that things aren’t going as planned. But now we are hearing from a anonymous BioWare Austin employee that claims the game is about to radically change.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is a traditional subscription supported MMO. Much like World of Warcraft, users purchase the game and then pay a monthly fee to play it. The monthly fee ensures that the developer has a constant stream of income so that new content and patches can be added to the game. Well according to the latest rumor, SWTOR is currently in the process of converting to the free-to-play model. The free-to-play model allows gamers to play the game without a monthly subscription fee. Instead of having the monthly fees, developers offer perks, special items and in game currency to earn a revenue stream to support the game.

The rumor comes from reports that an anonymous BioWare Austin employee went postal on some Star Wars fans on-line. Even going as far as to blame them for the games failure. The employee also claimed that the process of converting the game to the free-to-play model had been started, but due to the recent layoffs, the team was shorthanded and having problems with the transition.

Nothing official has been said by either BioWare or EA, so this guy could be completely full of it. After all, it isn’t exactly hard to get on the internet and pretend to be an employee of a certain company. So take all of this with a grain of salt for now. I have to admit, I think it would be kinda nice to see Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play. We will let know if we hear anything official.