MMO garners 2 million new players in four months since F2P launch, Exec Producer claims servers are now “teeming with people”, promises “continued improvement”.
Writing on the State of the Game developer blog, Star Wars: The Old Republic Executive Producer Jeff Hickman revealed that the flagging Sci-Fi MMO has in fact picked up a tumult of new subscribers in the months since the abandonment of the games compulsory monthly subscription model.
Acknowledging that the game was “starting to lose subscribers” and admitting that players had become “frustrated”, Hickman said that the team might not have been “sufficiently focused on improving the core experience” previously.
He did point out that the future is looking rather rosier since the redoubling of their efforts, though. “Our new, high capacity servers are teeming with people,” he said. “Since launch of the Free-to-Play option we have had over 2 million new accounts created and have thousands of new players jumping in every single day.”
There’s been a mixed reaction to The Old Republic’s new free-to-play model along with its accompanying Cartel Coins – the in-game currency effectively requiring you to outlay real money if you want the game’s most lucrative items. Although the blog post stated that many of the complaints and worries relating to the previous state of the game were “justified”, he promised “continued improvement to the Cartel Market pricing and content”.
Perhaps it’s a model that Star Wars: The Old Republic could have done with from the start. After laboured early progress, at long last it seems as if the MMO that everyone was supposed to be waiting for might finally start picking up momentum. The optional premium content married with a no strings approach for more casual players seems to be paying off – but there’s no definitive right answer. MMO godfather World of Warcraft embraces a straightforward subscription model but finds itself riddled with illegal gold vendors. Guild Wars 2, on the other hand, has no subscription at all but has turned some fans off with frequent loot drops that require a real-world cash outlay to unlock, even as they sit in your inventory.
If one thing’s for sure it’s that crafting an MMO with the qualities to stand up over time is one of the toughest tasks in the business.
Check out BeefJack’s continued coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic here.