Posted November 8, 2012 by Peter in News

Star Wars: The Old Republic free-to-play date announced

Star Wars: The Old Republic free-to-play date announced
Star Wars: The Old Republic free-to-play date announced

Several months after announcing that Star Wars: The Old Republic (SW:TOR) would go free to play in “the fall”, publisher Electronic Arts today announced the exact date will be November 15th.

Only running for 11 months as a subscription-based title, despite receiving good reviews SW:TOR saw it’s initial player base of 1.7million decline quickly, reportedly dropping under a million by the end of July this year. 500,000 subscriptions had been declared the minimum amount needed to have the game break even on costs, but with development estimated at around $200million far more players would have been needed to start approaching any profit.

It was perhaps brave to release it as a subscription based title. In the year of SW:TOR‘s release, numerous other titles were already changing or had changed to the free-to-play model, including DC: Universe Online, Age of Conan, Star Trek Online and Champions Online.

Whether the change in finance model will save the game is uncertain – the same model saved Dungeons & Dragons Online in 2009, and proved so successful that DDO‘s developers Turbine switched their successful Lord of the Rings Online to free-to-play in 2010. However, it failed to save City of Heroes, which is now scheduled to close on November 30th.

With only a week to go, it remains to be seen how any changes will affect both player numbers and overall gameplay. In the meantime, if you cannot wait for the change, SW:TOR currently allows limited play for free until level 15.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.