Old Republic Director: There's Still A Place For Subscriber-Based MMOs
In recent years, many MMO's have adopted free-to-play business models instead of asking players for monthly subscriptions. However, Star Wars: The Old Republic director James Ohlen says that this F2P trend had no affect on their game's development and that they always planned to have a subscription for their MMORPG.
"We felt, and we still feel, that there is a place for subscription-based games and if you're going to build a subscription-based game it's got to be huge in scope," Ohlen told IGN. "People have to feel that it's worth paying a subscription fee every month, so the scope of the game has to be much bigger than the free-to-play games. The quality, the polish has to be very, very high, and then you need to have a plan to continue to deliver free content on a regular basis. If you do those things, I think you can succeed as a subscription-based game."
World of Warcraft is the top subscriber-based MMO, with over 10 million players. Ohlen doesn't believe that WoW's success prevents other MMOs from flourishing as well, though.
"Obviously, there can only be a few subscription-based games. There is a limited MMO audience and not a ton of that audience is playing more than one MMO, but I still think there's room for more than just one really successful online game. I think Star Wars: The Old Republic can coexist with World of Warcraft and other successful games like Rift. You can have multiple MMOs with a subscription being successful as long as those games fulfill the requirements of high quality, good polish, lots of content, and continuing to do high value updates on a regular basis."
Old Republic is off to a promising start. In its first week, the game snatched up one million registered players. Still, a successful MMO needs to be a marathon runner instead of a sprinter. The test is whether or not BioWare will be able to retain subscribers in the long term.
BioWare has been patching the game on a near-weekly basis since launch. Last week they released Update 1.1, the first major content patch. The next content update, due in March, will expand the game's Legacy system.
Subscribe To Topics You're Interested In
Back to top