Not too long ago, there was a rumour circulating about the possibility of Star Wars: The Old Republic adopting a free-to-play model, and when EA and BioWare announced that the game would be free up to level 15, we all figured it was only a matter of time before the game took on a more complete F2P model. Well, today, it was announced that, starting this fall, The Old Republic would be adopting a free-to-play model for those who choose to purchase the game after playing to level 15.
Essentially, what BioWare will be doing with SWTOR is establishing a two-tier system for the game. The subscription model will continue to function as it has, giving you full access to the game in its entirety, including all additional content that is brought in. The free model, for those that choose to go that route, basically gives you access to everything SWTOR had to offer up to the introduction of the model. You can play as all eight unique classes up to level 50 and enjoy the content that is currently in the game. All additional content, and some ‘advanced player features’ (no word on exactly what those are) will be restricted for those playing for free.
If any of the higher-level content or restricted features catch your attention, but you don’t want to pay for a subscription, you’ll be able to purchase it separately. Alternatively, some of the restrictions (not all) will be removable via Cartel Coins, which will also be added to the game in the fall. The game’s new currency will be given to players with a paid subscription on a monthly basis, and allow you to purchase reward items from a new Cartel Market. Current and past subscribers will be getting extra Cartel Coins when they are put into the game as a sort of ‘thank you’ for being a part of the game, and if you’re curious, you can head over to the SWTOR website to see what kind of windfall you can expect.
BioWare is aiming to make the move to free-to-play beneficial to both current subscribers and new players. Anyone playing will notice an increase in the frequency of game content updates, “with the first of many new releases coming in August.” Current subscribers will be getting their Cartel Coins, but they’ll also undoubtedly notice an uptick in the number of players running around, which should make finding groups for tougher quests, operations or just interactions significantly easier. New players will be able to access the award-winning MMO without the need to pay a monthly subscription, and, in anticipation of the addition of the free model, The Old Republic will be on sale for $14.99 for the month of August, so jumping in won’t ever be easier on your wallet.