Recently EA/Bioware announced on the SWTOR site that the game will receive a new Free-to-Play option in November this year. We all seen this coming from BETA, all of us beside the developer and EA Managers. What is more interesting is that instead of admitting that they made a mediocre game single player game disguised as a MMO and invested huge piles of money in God knows what (over 200 mil $), Jeff Hickman, The Executive Producer, acts like is just a process to wider the player database which dropped below 1 mil according to official releases and unofficial i bet is under 500k easily.
Now since it wont be a competitor on the subscription based market, the free to play market has already better titles out there with better gameplay like Age of Conan, Star Trek Online, World of Tanks and so on, but for Star Wars fans it can be a nice addition to play for in short bursts.
Starting this fall, there will be two different ways to play Star Wars: The Old Republic:
Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, Subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins*, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.
Free-to-Play –The first 50 levels will be free-to-play, with some restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.
Read more: http://www.swtor.com/info/news/blog/20120731