Star Wars: The Old Republic Interview

Computer and Videogames has interviewed the new General Manager at BioWare Austin, Matthew Bromberg, about Star Wars: The Old Republic. As expected, though, the transition to a hybridized free-to-play/subscription model is the actual subject of this interview, rather than the game in general:
Certainly it's a straightforward decision on how to make a game more popular, but is it so straightforward in terms of monetisation? Is there not a risk that your existing paid subscribers will lurch to the free edition?

Yes there is that risk, but we feel our existing subscribers see the value in the premium experience we are offering. We want to keep that full experience for them.

One thing we're doing is rewarding subscribers with in-game currency for all the time that they've been subscribers, and lapsed subscribers will have currency for the time they were there, which offers them a reward for coming back.

So our subscribers are going to be advantaged in this world, and from the feedback we've got from our subscribers they seem to be happy with it.

But it's not just about how we are charging people for the experience; we are also looking at creating very frequent content updates as well.


Do you think you'll make more money converting to this model?

I don't know.

Well, what is the objective?

Obviously we are a business and we have to grow that business, but my primary intention is to make as many people play this beautiful game that we've made. It just so happens that the business will naturally grow as more people come to play the game, but we're not trying to squeeze every single penny out of it.