Lots of things are super easy to do. Picking up a puppy is one, converting the subscription based MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic to a free to play model is not one. That’s according to the game’s director James Ohlen, whose assertions further confound the issue of whether or not The Old Republic is about to axe its subscription plan.
“I think it can work for different games,” Ohlen told PC Gamerin an E3 interview. “It really depends on how you go with your game. Games that have been built to be free-to-play from the start definitely work out. Now, there have been games that weren’t free to play from the start and transferred over to becoming free to play that have worked as well. But it’s definitely not something that’s super easy to do.”
Last week, the game’s lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi told GamesTM that BioWare were “looking at free to play” as an option in The Old Republic’s future. Tellingly, that news story was quickly pulled from the GamesTM website.
“The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well,” claimed Lusinchi. “Unless people are happy with what they have they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.”
Will they? Won’t they? The Old Republic saw a drop in players from 1.7 million to 1.3 million between March and May, we’d be surprised if the free to play option isn’t already bouncing around EA’s boardroom.