Over the past 24 hours or so there’s been a lot of interest in some comments made by BioWare’s Emmanuel Lusinchi in an interview with UK magazine games™. Interestingly, the online interview preview appears to have been pulled, but you can still view the cached Google version.
The two comments being dissected so forensically are:
In regard to competition from free-to-play MMOs:
“I think it’s more than the free-to-play model – it’s more that there is a lot of competitive offers,” suggests Lusinchi. “If it was just free-to-play games and they weren’t very good it wouldn’t even be a question but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do.”
On feasibility of making SWTOR free-to-play:
“The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well,” he says. “Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.”
That’s the sum-total of information out there at present. None of it is that explicit, nor that surprising. The challenge BioWare face is that in some quarters going free-to-play is seen as admitting defeat – even though some games have grown going that route. There’s no right or wrong – it’s just how such a model would work that becomes key.
Over to you: do you think F2P is on the near horizon, and if so, what impact do you think it will have on SWTOR?