BioWare’s Emmanuel Lusinchi, lead designer on the company's MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, says that the company is looking into the possibility of switching the game from its current monthly subscription-based business model to free-to-play. Speaking to GamesTM, lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi said that the MMO space is ever evolving, and acknowledges that BioWare must adapt to the changes.
"The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well," Lusinchi said. "Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes, and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play, but I can't tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on."
Of course, BioWare would be foolish not to consider the free-to-play model. Even though they haven't said it publicly, even Blizzard is considering changes to World of Warcraft at some point. Companies like Sony Online Entertainment and Turbine have moved the majority of their games to a free-to-play model.
Star Wars: The Old Republic launched in December of last year, attracting 1.7 million paying subscribers by February. Last month Electronic Arts acknowledged that the game had lost 400,000 subscribers, falling to 1.3 million paying users.
Update: The interview over at GAMESTM has been yanked and gives a 404 error when you try to visit it.