It has not been a surprise that many devoted Star Wars Galaxies fans are upset over the announcement that the game will be closing its doors in December. So many have decided to stop complaining and do something about it and have started a petition to make SWG free-to-play. The petition has almost 2200 signatures at the time of this write up so it’s clear that many gamers are serious about their SWG.
The petition offers a solution to shutting down the game- making it free to play and supporting it through the sale of virtual goods. It also asks Sony to consolidate players into a fewer number of servers and allow character transfers to help reduce the costs of keeping the game running.
It’s not a completely far-fetched idea as many other games have found success from switching to a free-to-play format. Lord of the Rings Online is a great example of this. They saw an increase in player base by 400% when they switched to F2P. I never played LOTRO past beta but when it went free to play, I went back to check it out myself.
In its 8-year run, SWG has fostered a very devoted fan base and these consider themselves not to be your typical gamers. The petition states:
“We, as paying subscribers to Star Wars Galaxies, some having participated in final beta testing of this game, and having been actively subscribed since it’s release in June 2003, have been ardent supporters of this game since launch. We also recognize the fact that Lucasarts is currently licensing part of it’s intellectual property to Bioware and Electronic Arts for use in an upcoming MMO release. We believe that the two licenses can co-exist, and should be allowed to do so.”
And it goes on to offer the following suggestions:
“1. Making the game free to play. (f2p)
2. Making the game free to play, with premium content available for those wishing to purchase a subscription.
3. Maintain the Trading Card Game as part of Star Wars Galaxies, and continue to charge for purchases made to the TCG.
4. Continue to offer free character transfers from one “Galaxy” (server) to another, while monitoring population levels on each server, to facilitate further server closures in order to reduce operational expenditures.”
So what do you think? Will the petition work? Are they going too far? Can SWG co-exist with SWTOR?