Star Wars: The Old Republic sees revenue double after converting to Free-to-Play

Michael Dunaway
By Michael Dunaway, News Editor

Star Wars: The Old Republic, Bioware's iconic sci-fi MMORPG has seen steady growth since going Free-to-Play late last year. SWTOR had been in a free fall after the game's subscribers peaked at 1.7 million in February 2012, falling below 1 million subs by July and prompting EA to convert the game to a F2P model.

Now in a recent earning call between EA and its investors, EA's president of labels Frank Gibeau announced the game had added more than 1.7 million new players since the conversion with subscribers stabilizing at just under half a million. He went on to mention that the game's revenue had "more than doubled" since going Free-to-Play and the company would "continually invest in new content for the service and for players every six weeks or so".

While it's no surprise SWTOR gained a hefty chunk of new players after making the switch, it is a tad bit intriguing to see the game's revenue more than doubled. A large portion of this could perhaps be attributed to the fact that EA has implemented an extremely restrictive F2P model on the MMO, prompting many players to purchase small "convenience" upgrades such as the ability to send mail, hold more credits, unlock a secondary crew skill, access raids, or even have more than just two skill bars.

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In this article: star wars the old republic.

About the Author

Michael Dunaway
Michael Dunaway, News Editor
Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009.

Discussion (32)

caboose077 9 years ago
I honestly forgot this went F2P

Endii 9 years ago
Go find another job man... seriously

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golgo28 9 years ago
Turbine does the same thing.over half the content is behind a pay wall.DDO you spend most of the time replaying quest over and over unless you buy the quest packs.And before some fanboy opens their mouth saying,"but you can earn turbine points."After spending months playing the same content over and over for reputation to earn a couple points for every 100 rep.the diferance in swtor is you have to grind credits and buy the cash shop crap from other players.granted you have to spend 5 bucks on cash shop items to trade,but that no difference then making a purchase in ddo or lotro to gain premium status.personaly one of the best f2p models ive seen is Aion.

As for the idiot posting under several names to be a troll and hate on mmobomb,dude go back to whatever crap site you work for that can't get the same traffic as this site.MMObomb is the best mmo site i have ever came across.Even if it only focuses on the f2p mmos.But seeing how the pay to play mmo model is slowly dwindling towards the inevitable death.Can't blame them for focusing on what is gonna be the industry standard for mmos.Hell even WoW will probaly go f2p one day,especially since there subscriber numbers have been dropping steadily.And before one of the WoW fanboys says,"no it's not!"Look at the numbers activison/blizzard are reporting,They lost another 1.7 million subs in the first quater this year.Unfortunately for anyone that likes WoW expect it to end up like swtor and ddo with huge content restrictions behind pay walls.

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fogo31 9 years ago
What is this I don't even...

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Nuno 9 years ago
They would make even more money if they changed the restrictions that suck. ppl now want f2p games with cash shops not content restricted games

Uteliukas 9 years ago
Alright, "Late last year"? Bullshit! I wanted to play this so bad a looonog time ago and now this... I love MMOBomb lol. Still, is the game active now? *Intant register*

Shouya 9 years ago
Hahah well just to be honest wit myself the site isnt bad in fact its really good !!
every game i seen here and tried out is good well some sucks like SWTOR :( but the rest is awesome~ well keep up the good work spunky, and seriously man just ignore the trolls they're just trying to get attentions ._.

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chefmadness 9 years ago
They first need to give f2p players combat bars & as many as you like, maybe then i will play it again.

noomega 9 years ago
i think spunkify doin g great man i still watch ftp cast an i like onisnake .The first looks to are cool so idk man i think he doing good.

Bic Boi 9 years ago
While I'm sure they've seen a large increase in revenue, as far as I'm concerned it's all ill-gotten gains. Their model is absolutely horrid and is, by and far, the worst model for any F2P I've ever seen bar none. I realize there's a difference between games that were developed as F2P and a P2P that had to convert but even still I can name a few that did it better than this; Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan and even DCUO did it far better. Those three all give you more and don't demand that you pay for things that should be there in the first place. I'm sorry, I'll never get over the "pay us to give you a hotbar". I don't want to get over it and I won't move on from it because it is bad business practice.

Obviously it is a business and they aim to make money but this KIND of business is the equivalent of dangling the proverbial carrot on the stick in your face except it's a baby carrot; you're starving and you know you want it, but you know it won't fill your stomach. You can't just remove core elements from a game and expect people not to be offend when you put a real-world price on it.

I'm not sure if Bioware spearheaded this idea of removing basic every-day elements or if it was EA's idea but I know for sure that misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. Like it or not, EA and Bioware are more or less a single entity now, the crooked bastards. As for myself, like many a discerning customer I will speak with my wallet. SWTOR will not see a penny from me and I won't waste my precious bandwidth downloading a product that makes me a second class citizen regardless of how much I pay unless I subscribe.

ExHuman 9 years ago
FTP tag is joke in this case.
From all prospective Bioware did it wrong. This is not how ftp model suppose to work. There's very little reason to invest your time in title like this unless u re hardcore fan of series. The game itself may have a flaws here and there but certainly has sort of charm. But its not the point , since even the best game ever would look like garbage with model like this. Sure someone who had learned to copy-paste, may come with this universal answer : `U don't go to the shop and take staff free`. Well, true, but u never want to buy in shop that makes u to pay for entrance and takes fee just for watching, especially in time when near by shops with same, possibly better, content start fire sales.

Nezarn 9 years ago
Of course they make more money, when you need to pay for some basic stuff too. (for more action bars, and to hide your helmet etc.)

Stronglion 9 years ago
i hope this will be in the new f2p podcast

SWTORSUCKS 9 years ago
They may make more money, but the game still sucks.

Arrow 9 years ago
Your here, You'll be here tomorrow and the next day...and the day after that im sure. MMO Bomb isnt failing. infact it thriving, It draws even the people that obviously are bored with the site to it.

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Bored Bomber 9 years ago
Why MMOBomb is failing. Their Free to Play Weekly Show is not every week. In fact, most of their shows don't follow their 'schedule'. They still have Jess on their homepage representing their YouTube Channel. Their top 10 articles along the sidebar haven't been updated in months, and in some cases years. Their giveaways are not unique, i see them on every site. Their site looks like any other wordpress MMO site you can create over the weekend. They post like 1 new thing a day. They don't cover major gaming events. I can post under any name I want, including right now. Need I go on?

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