Some days ago, Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley said he believes EA’s upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic to be “the last large-scale subscription MMO.” While flattered, developer BioWare doesn’t agree.
“Those are very kind words in a way,” BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk has said in response.
“I think there will always be a place for premium content at a premium price and that’s one of the differences. Free to play is very much about trial, about ‘Hey, I don’t know what this is, I don’t have confidence that it’s any good, but I’m willing to take a look at it,’ versus ‘I know this is good, from a trusted source, and it’s the biggest license in the world.’ So it’s a different value proposition.”
Fellow co-founder Ray Muzyka is in agreement, saying “there’s a space for a certain number of premium products that are subscription based or whatever the premium pricing model is.
“But they have to merit it, they have to earn that from a consumer trust perspective and delivering and exceeding expectations.”
BioWare certainly has confidence they have that trust, and that they’ve timed the release just right: “It’s exciting to be launching this now. It’s not that far away now and we see it as a huge opportunity – we think the market is ready for it.
“There’s a lack of something new and fresh and really powerful; we have research that shows that a lot of people have been waiting for this game. We’re seeing huge demand for it, and we plan to support it long term.”
The game’s out this December; 20th in NA, 22nd in EU.