The MMO game is tough; even companies like Bioware struggle to maintain an MMO with a subscription model. Companies have to strike that perfect balance between maintaining enough new content to keep current players engaged, but also making the game accessible enough and appealing enough to draw in new players. When you look at the history of MMOs, huge success isn’t easy to come by for anyone.
After less than a year of being live, Bioware is transitioning The Old Republic into a free-to-play model. Beginning this fall, anyone will be able to access the first 50-levels of content and gameplay, all eight races and all eight classes. There will be some limitations on the free version of the game, but you will be able to pay money to gain access.
Similar to most other games enlisting this method, subscription options will still exist in order for players to get the most premium content available, but is no longer necessary to enjoy the large majority of the game.
What do you think? Are you surprised, or was it just a matter of time? With Guild Wars 2 coming soon, do you expect this to help their numbers? Or is it simply because they are currently at less than 1 million subscribers? Let us know in the comments below!