We've now seen a number of subscription MMOs make the transition to free-to-play, some successfully, others not, the key is keeping those players locked in and paying a tuppence here and a tuppence there. Bioware hope that they can keep gamers' attention through regular, large updates - akin to The Secret World's issues - releasing an update "every six weeks".
Expanded quotes, comments, and a video of a bear being cute, after the break.
These words came from the mouth of Matt Bromberg and they were directed at the ears of Ausgamers:
"We’re committed to: about every six weeks, doing a major update for the game -- which would be a new Warzone, a new Operation, a new Flashpoint, a new event -- and to doing that on a really frequent cadence, every six weeks. So we’re going to stick to that."
Bioware aren't just aiming at new players, they want to get a hook on those leaving the servers: "As well as the free-to-play launch -- which is coming in the fall -- we announced that subscribers who have lapsed are already qualified to get Cartel Coins, which will be the in-game currency in the game once free-to-play launches. So you get credit, not just for becoming a subscriber now, going forward, but also for all the time that you were a subscriber, you get more credits and more coin. So we’re hoping that that will encourage people to come back to the game and try it now."
This all comes at an interesting point, John Smedley, SOE's CEO, said just last week to The_Mittani that "
At some point as an industry we need to realize that we have already lost the race to outpace players in making content. I personally thought SWTOR was a great game. I loved Diablo III. The problem is you get to the endgame and as game makers it's not just expensive. it's impossible to stay ahead of the curve."
We'll see how it pans out at some point after SWTOR makes the shift to free-to-play later this year.