Remember when we were all like “Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free-to-play, but with a twist!“? It appears EA and BioWare read our report, and have now gone out of the way to make us look like dolts. Today the two have announced that The Old Republic won’t just continue the free-to-play model, they’re super sizing it to the real free-to-play model.
Yep, later this year The Old Republic will adopt a full free-to-play model, lowering the restrictions of the existing trial business model in favour of microtransactions and all that other stuff. Those registering for free-to-play accounts will be able to pick any of the existing classes and play their class stories, along with an assortment of missions, all the way up to level fifty.\
Naturally, to encourage free loaders to actually buy something, there will be some restrictions. Free-to-play will lock off race selection during the character creation process, will be able to play only a certain number of Warzones, Space missions and Flashpoints per week, and no access to Operation missions at all. Additionally, subscribers will have first priority to sever queue, full use of auctions and in-game fast travel, and immediate access to new content updates.
Free-to-players looking to dabble in subscriber goodies will have two choices: either buy individual content separately, hello microtransactions, or pony up US$14.99 a month for full access to everything. Pretty simple.
The Old Republic will head into free-to-play territory, with microtransaction and subscription options, sometime around the latter quarter of the year. EA and BioWare have provided a simple image summarising the content and features available for subscribers versus free-to-play. Check it out below.