Bioware Announce: Star Wars The Old Republic Going Free To Play

Bioware have just announced that their critically acclaimed MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will be changing to a free to play model this fall. Its not really come as any big surprise as the game has struggled to maintain a large playerbase since the release last Christmas. Rumored to cost between $150 million and $200 million during development, Star Wars: The Old Republic was one of the biggest projects under the Bioware label to date, and to see it fall so quickly, is a little disheartening.

Based on the hugely popular Old Republic franchise, a franchise that has sold well over 2 million copies, many were expecting Star Wars: The Old Republic to be the defining MMORPG of this generation. Whether it was due to the constant decline in the pay to play market, or oversights by the developers, the game definitely fell short of a lot of expectations.

It’s not all doom and gloom though as Wedbush analyst, Michael Pachter, has predicated that the game could generate an annual profit of over $150 million. Currently, EA would need to net 600,000 – 800,000 regular subscribers to come close to a profit of that amount but Michael Pachter reckons that the transition could easily attract over 30 million new players, quite a feat for an MMO title approaching its first years anniversary in a couple of months.

Players will be able to explore the story-drive universe of Star Wars: The Old Republic, for free, in November of this year.

Don’t miss out on the latest gaming news, competitions and more! Sign up to the GrubSquad to get all the latest gaming news delivered straight to your inbox, alongside competitions, events and even discounts for the hottest Gamer Grub flavors.

Update: We’ve just launched our Sticker Slap Sweepstakes competition. Head on over to the competition page for a free Gamer Grub sticker and the possibility to win a ASTRO A30 Headset, $50 GameStop Gift Card and more.