EA Considering "Different Models" for The Old Republic

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EA Considering "Different Models" for The Old Republic

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EA's CEO calls pushing a subscription model in a largely free-to-play market "challenging."

Talking to CNBC at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, CEO John Riccitiello confirmed that EA is looking into "different models to bring more users into [The Old Republic]," but he stopped short of substantiating rumors that the game may be going entirely free-to-play.

"Our conclusion was we had a great product in Star Wars, but that the subscription model in the world of free-to-play was challenging," he said.

The Old Republic has already partially embraced the free-to-play model. The game recently started offering extended free trials which let aspiring Sith lords play up to level 15, a move many critics have been quick to label a grim portent of the game's impending implosion.

News that the The Old Republic has been shedding subscribers by the thousands, developer, BioWare, has been laying off staff and numerous key figures have walked away from the studio have done little to allay rumors that the game may have to go free-to-play.

Riccitiello also claimed that investors are relying too heavily on monthly NPD reports to gauge EA's performance. He pointed out that NPD's reports only track retail sales in the US and don't take into account EA's blossoming digital business.

Source: CNBC

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So much for the "Wow killer" that was "for realz" this time. I'll try it when it goes F2P.

Ratatouille would never admit that his ship is sinking.

Grey Carter:
EA's CEO calls pushing a subscription model in a largely free-to-play market "challenging."

It would help if the people pushing it weren't challenged themselves.

It's a decent enough game in the same vein of gear treadmill/raid as WoW. It doesn't do it nearly as well, but it'd be worth playing as a f2p.

The world pvp can be fun, too bad they segmented the factions away from each other so that you hardly ever run across the other faction.

Well thats the last time I deem anything a WoW killer. I give up. WoW will burn itself out and the mmo market will never attain the peaks wow did. Swtor is also likely the last mmo im buying. Guild wars 2 doesn't have a chance

I love the way they describe it as a free to play market when the market leader is pay to play (ok yes it has free accounts, but they are more of a demo than the actual game from what I've read of them.)

EA, time to admit that you threw an awful lot of money at a game - and it didn't work. Worse, you threw an awful lot of money at a BIOWARE game and it blew up in your face.

That takes skill.

They'll come up with some BS on how their F2P system is better than current F2P systems. Just like SimCity Social is not Cityville.

Make it for the 360 and you can have all my money.

Hilarious that they just won't admit they blew it. Can't wait to see how long they decide to stretch things out before they announce an F2P model.

Vie:
EA, time to admit that you threw an awful lot of money at a game - and it didn't work. Worse, you threw an awful lot of money at a BIOWARE game and it blew up in your face.

That takes skill.

And what's more, they're already setting up to do it again.

Either make it Free-2-Play, or better yet Buy-2-Play.

Considering who we are talking about, it'll be F2P with the Sith and Jedi classes locked behind a $10 pay-wall, the new HK companion behind a $15 wall, and locking the normally freely attained player ships behind a $20 wall.

There is zero saving the game at this point, their biggest mistake being allowing Bioware make an MMO, and even worse an MMO with one of the possibly harshest and jaded fanbase behind the IP. It obviously took its toll on the games the studio was working on alongside it, and with nothing really updating the "endgame" its killing long-term player interest and thus subs.

Not to mention all the bad PR they've managed to drum up on repeat.

I'm not banking on it going free to play as soon as you guys think. Rift came out two years ago and that's still a pay to play game. Even more server mergers and pay-to-win stores on top of the monthly fee sure for SWTOR sure, but don't hold your breath for f2p any time soon.

ccdohl:
It's a decent enough game in the same vein of gear treadmill/raid as WoW. It doesn't do it nearly as well, but it'd be worth playing as a f2p.

The world pvp can be fun, too bad they segmented the factions away from each other so that you hardly ever run across the other faction.

cept when they do an you get ganked for minding your own business (never let a friend talk you into an open world PvP if you hate PvP)

i liked the moddable gear, let me keep a style i like for a LONG time

EA has a habbit of taking good things and really screwing them up. Take Ultima for instance, anyone a fan of Spoony (though after the recent drama some might not be) has shown EA's influence practically killed the series once it attached itself to it. It screwed up Ultima 8 into something incomprehensible, and butchered 9 to hell and back by first drawing away people to the MMO, then giving the team a deadline far too quickly then they should have.

EA now only makes a few worth while games, while still making billions of dollars because they have the money to market. On top of that, the whole Origin thing only goes to prove they care nothing for the customers and more about their pockets and their shareholders.

Valve has a track record that has been fairly consistant. Good games across the board. And their distribution service is far supirior then Origins is and Origins had 9 years of Steam to study off of to get something right.

You know what I don't get why does every MMO charge 8.99 or 15$ a month?

Why does no one charge less? That might actually work you know, charging less than the leading competitor, but no apprently in the world of MMOs it's 8.99 or free to play. There is no middle ground!

Lunar Templar:

ccdohl:
It's a decent enough game in the same vein of gear treadmill/raid as WoW. It doesn't do it nearly as well, but it'd be worth playing as a f2p.

The world pvp can be fun, too bad they segmented the factions away from each other so that you hardly ever run across the other faction.

cept when they do an you get ganked for minding your own business (never let a friend talk you into an open world PvP if you hate PvP)

i liked the moddable gear, let me keep a style i like for a LONG time

Just personal preference I guess, but I love open world pvp.

The moddable gear was cool. I had my vanguard in a cape, and I would tell the people I killed in world pvp to compliment my cape or face further ganking. Two features come together in strange and wonderful ways!

In any case, I like the game, and I hope that F2P makes it wildly successful. I feel like people will likely continue to pay a sub to wow and play swtor on the side, hopefully buying a piece of purely cosmetic merchandise every now and then.

I'd probably play it if it went F2P by the end of the year. Haven't played an MMO in a while and looking for something to play in my spare time coming off a huge LoL binge.

Hey EA, here's a new model for you: Why don't you make a single player sequel to KoTOR 2 that has quality and care behind it? Maybe make it for the fans of the series and not try to "mass market" it for maximum profits...

Dendio:
Well thats the last time I deem anything a WoW killer. I give up. WoW will burn itself out and the mmo market will never attain the peaks wow did. Swtor is also likely the last mmo im buying. Guild wars 2 doesn't have a chance

I think Gulid Wars 2 will sell pretty well. It sounds like it is shaping up to be a pretty good and fun game.

If The Old Republic does go free to play I don't want it to be pay to win. Most likely that isn't going to happen and it will be pay to win. If Bioware could somehow remove the MMO aspects and redesign it as a single player game that would be cool too.

Dendio:
Well thats the last time I deem anything a WoW killer. I give up. WoW will burn itself out and the mmo market will never attain the peaks wow did. Swtor is also likely the last mmo im buying. Guild wars 2 doesn't have a chance

Huh? How is Guild Wars 2 even competing with WoW? Buy it, play it, never have to pay again. GW2 will do pretty well. It isn't the games that are flawed (well maybe some games are flawed) mostly it is the subscription model that is flawed. Make a good F2P game and an equitable micro transaction system and you WILL make money.

EDIT: The Penny Arcade guys are looking pretty prescient right now.

Not sure about how and when they'll admit they blew it, and go F2P, but I know one thing for certain: when they do it, the chorus of "I told you so"'s are going to blot out the sun.

CriticKitten:
Hilarious that they just won't admit they blew it. Can't wait to see how long they decide to stretch things out before they announce an F2P model.

Vie:
EA, time to admit that you threw an awful lot of money at a game - and it didn't work. Worse, you threw an awful lot of money at a BIOWARE game and it blew up in your face.

That takes skill.

And what's more, they're already setting up to do it again.

i can hear spoony coming down the hall....

Dendio:
Well thats the last time I deem anything a WoW killer. I give up. WoW will burn itself out and the mmo market will never attain the peaks wow did. Swtor is also likely the last mmo im buying. Guild wars 2 doesn't have a chance

Guild Wars 2 doesn't need to stand a chance. That's where games that try to fight WOW fail. They are competing with WOW. Guild Wars has never been competing with anybody. Instead, they looked to a different corner of the market and locked it down. They aren't competing with WOW, they're going after a different userbase.

Booming digital business?
As in Origin?

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ccdohl:

Just personal preference I guess, but I love open world pvp.

The moddable gear was cool. I had my vanguard in a cape, and I would tell the people I killed in world pvp to compliment my cape or face further ganking. Two features come together in strange and wonderful ways!

In any case, I like the game, and I hope that F2P makes it wildly successful. I feel like people will likely continue to pay a sub to wow and play swtor on the side, hopefully buying a piece of purely cosmetic merchandise every now and then.

X3
nice, the random gankings where really not ok with me, made more annoying by the fact i was play a light side pure blooded Sith (enjoy the irony, i did)

anyway, i doubt it'll be 'wildly successful', but it will save it

CriticKitten:
Hilarious that they just won't admit they blew it. Can't wait to see how long they decide to stretch things out before they announce an F2P model.

Vie:
EA, time to admit that you threw an awful lot of money at a game - and it didn't work. Worse, you threw an awful lot of money at a BIOWARE game and it blew up in your face.

That takes skill.

And what's more, they're already setting up to do it again.

NOOOO! GOD PLEASE NO!

Sneezeguard:
You know what I don't get why does every MMO charge 8.99 or 15$ a month?

Why does no one charge less? That might actually work you know, charging less than the leading competitor, but no apprently in the world of MMOs it's 8.99 or free to play. There is no middle ground!

There are a couple that charge $10/month, but the only one that comes to my head right now is EA's Ultima Online(Which is 14 years old).

I was looking forward to Guild Wars 2, then the fanboys ruined it. I'm not going to even touch it now with those type of people playing.

I hope it doesn't go free to play, I'm fine paying 15 a month for this, I don't want to have to spend 50 bucks just so I can get some arbitrary number of points so that I can buy a hat

Baldr:

Sneezeguard:
You know what I don't get why does every MMO charge 8.99 or 15$ a month?

Why does no one charge less? That might actually work you know, charging less than the leading competitor, but no apprently in the world of MMOs it's 8.99 or free to play. There is no middle ground!

There are a couple that charge $10/month, but the only one that comes to my head right now is EA's Ultima Online(Which is 14 years old).

I was looking forward to Guild Wars 2, then the fanboys ruined it. I'm not going to even touch it now with those type of people playing.

You aren't going to touch a game, because of a vocal minority that exists for any and all games? Okay!

Honestly I have seen a few loony-bins, but no more than any other game would garner before release. Maybe that is colored by my excitement for the game, but so far at least in that department nothing has changed.

Besides, if you refuse to touch GW2 because of those few, I'd love to see what happens when you are introduced to the (literally) rabid young fanbase that inhabits Call of Duty!

CriticKitten:
Hilarious that they just won't admit they blew it. Can't wait to see how long they decide to stretch things out before they announce an F2P model.

Vie:
EA, time to admit that you threw an awful lot of money at a game - and it didn't work. Worse, you threw an awful lot of money at a BIOWARE game and it blew up in your face.

That takes skill.

And what's more, they're already setting up to do it again.

I love how the blurb for that says "lovingly restored" the only thing they will be taking care of with any amount of love in that is whatever money they make on it

Dendio:
Well thats the last time I deem anything a WoW killer. I give up. WoW will burn itself out and the mmo market will never attain the peaks wow did. Swtor is also likely the last mmo im buying. Guild wars 2 doesn't have a chance

GW2 isnt directly competing with wow, since its got no monthly subscription people can play it and wow at the same time, the big reason these all fail is that its hard to play and pay for 2 mmos at the same time, but if you eliminate the need to pay for one than people can play the free one whenever the payed one runs out of content and vice versa.

Why does that screenshot get so much mileage? It's a shoulder. This must be at least the 10th time I've seen it used.

*sigh* I wish they had just made KotOR III like everyone wanted.....

I only unsubscribed from the game because I wasn't in the mood for it anymore. I fully intend to go back to it once I am again, as there's still plenty for me to do and I very much love TOR. However, I'm thinking I should hold off until EA stops being vague about the free-to-play notion (that and my income has slowed recently, freelancing isn't that great).

Also, for the love of bog, stop using that screenshot for TOR articles. It was funny BEFORE that bug was fixed. That bug was fixed months ago.

draythefingerless:

CriticKitten:
Hilarious that they just won't admit they blew it. Can't wait to see how long they decide to stretch things out before they announce an F2P model.

Vie:
EA, time to admit that you threw an awful lot of money at a game - and it didn't work. Worse, you threw an awful lot of money at a BIOWARE game and it blew up in your face.

That takes skill.

And what's more, they're already setting up to do it again.

i can hear spoony coming down the hall....

Oh, don't you worry.

He already knows. And he is not very happy.

@TheSpoonyOne:
Well, that about does it. I'm off to go start slamming my head in a car door, and I may never stop.

No IP is sacred when it comes to EA. Even one they killed themselves. :P

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