EA is trying to diversify their gaming experience and increase their earnings potential. This is not really a surprise as they want to keep up with the growing gaming world and give the customers/players what they want.
Since SWTOR launched, many have been saying it just might be the last pay-to-play MMO to come out and it’s hard to disagree when you see the direction that games are going in. While SWTOR is not F2P, they are going to give you a free 15 levels to try to entice new players into the game. I think this is a pretty smart move as it gives you a real good taste of the game and helps you decide whether or not you want to purchase the game for yourself.
It’s also a smart move on the part of EA/BioWare because it cuts off just as the story is getting good for the player. You give them a little teaser for free and then they want to go ahead and pay for the rest. It seems like a good business step for me. But more than that, we might also seem real-money transactions coming to SWTOR in the near future.
As anticipated, EA is opening up its portfolio for free gamers. According to a recent news feed from Reuters, EA is planning to offer at least 15 levels (from July) of its magnum opus, Star Wars: Old Republic for free to play. The company expects that this free offering will boost its dwindling subscriber base going forward. EA lost approximately 400K subscribers in the fiscal fourth quarter. EA expects to earn significant revenue from additional features and through micro-transactions by selling in-game based items . via Yahoo! Finance
Not all gamers are happy about the news. Some believe that the game should stay as it is and that you should earn things in the game the “old fashioned” way. As a long time gamer, I can see their point. Yet at the same time, we are living in a fast-paced society where people (gamers included) want more options to get the things they want. I’m not surprised in the slightest that BioWare would introduce RMT to try to boost the revenue from the game.
My guess is that these will only be vanity items, unique pets or speeders, etc and not items that actually enhance your character or increase your abilities. What do you think?
How do you feel about RMTs in MMORPGs?