As subscriptions for BioWare's major MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic
begin to dip, the studio has admitted that it is considering making the game free-to-play.
The Old Republic
launched last December, and quickly amassed 1 million subscribers
after just three days, eventually settling on 1.7 million
after a couple of months.
However, just months later subscriptions for the game had fallen to 1.3 million
, as publisher EA said that it was down to the numerous non-paying subscribers who stopped playing after using up the game's 30-days of free game time.
Talking to video game magazine GamesTM, BioWare lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi has now said
that the company is exploring the free-to-play model for the game.
"The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well," he explained. "Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations."
He continued, "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."
However, Lusinchi believes that the success of major free-to-play games is far more than the game simply being free, but rather, the game needs to have competitive in-game prices compared to other titles.
"If it was just free-to-play games and they weren't very good it wouldn't even be a question but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do," he noted.
BioWare has run a number of free weekends
for The Old Republic
, in an attempt to ensnare more players into signing up for subscriptions.