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SW:TOR Business Model Still Undecided

According to LucasArts president, Darrell Rodriguez, BioWare still hasn’t decided whether players of the upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will pay for the game by subscription or other methods.While speaking to gamesindustry.biz, Rodriguez confirmed that the decision about the game’s business mode is still very much up in the air,“Yeah, we’re considering it all, absolutely. You start looking at how different communities, territories such as Asia, actually play games, and we start to consider it all – especially if we want it to be a worldwide phenomenon.”The subscription model is used by other successful MMOs such as World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online and EVE, but the micro-transaction method is becoming more popular. Free to play games, such as Runes of Magic, allow users to download the game and play without a fee, but players can buy additional items such as levelling potions and cosmetic upgrades, in some cases additional content, with real money. In Asia, gamers buy game-time cards which are used up as they play.However, despite the fact that there are already several established subscription-based games on the market, possibly tying up many gamers’ budgets, plenty of new subscription-based games are still coming out. The recently-launched Champions Online uses that model, as will the upcoming Aion.Dungeons and Dragons Online has just changed from subscription to F2P, and developers are already claiming the move was a success. Will BioWare go the same way with TOR?



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