Star Wars fans from all over the world, we have good news for you: Electronic Arts (EA) decided to offer a free version of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Starting this fall, the massively multiplayer online role playing game will have two options available for playing: paid and free.
The free version gives access to the first 50 levels with some restrictions that disappear in the paid version.
“The message from players exiting the game is clear, 40% say they were turned off by the monthly subscription and many indicate they would come back if we offered a free-to-play model,” said the President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau.
“Our plan now is to pivot and provide a two-tiered pricing plan, which will make the game more accessible and grow the audience.”
Given the not so great financial results, this move is one that we could say was necessary. As many internet users expect everything to be free, though everything needs resources to be developed, lowering prices, adapting them to the amounts users would pay is a good move. Also, providing something for free is always a good marketing and sales hook as, if the free version is good, players would want more and be more willing to pay for the full version with access to many more levels and options.
“Given the MMORPG landscape in recent years, where pure subscription is becoming a rarity, EA will have been planning to introduce this since before launch, but the drop in subscribers makes it a timely announcement,” stated Steve Bailey, senior analyst at IHS Games Digest.
So, Star Wars fans may the force be with you! And hopefully the force will help EA too!