Star Wars Wars: the Old Republic will be shifting to a free-to-play model sometime this Fall, and we theorize what this might mean for the demand,
supply and price of SWTOR Credits.
News of the free-to-play conversion broke over the weekend, and it was executive producer Jeff Hickman who explained why the subscription only model was no longer working
for the sci-fi MMO.
Hickman said monthly subscriptions served as a “major barrier” for fans who want to play the game but cannot afford to. “Many players who have
left the game said they would happily come back if they could play without the commitment of a monthly fee,” Hickman said.
Free-to-Play Model Details
SWTOR has been bleeding
subscribers for quite some time now
(down to a million players by last official count
) and the new
free-to-play model should bring back a portion of those who left.
Under the free-to-play model, there will be two classes of players. Subscribers who continue paying the monthly fee will receive unlimited access to
all game features and future Game Updates at no additional charge. Meanwhile, free players can level all the way up to 50 (free trial before only
limited characters to level 15) without shelling out a single cent although they will receive “game play restrictions that limit game options and
access to certain game content,” said Hickman.
This kind of two-tier player system was also implemented in DC Universe
, which proved massively successful. Millions returned to the superhero MMO after it opened a free-to-play option.
A resurgence of SWTOR players will boost demand for the in-game currency. Assuming that free players will be allowed to raid, PvP and purchase from
the marketplace, then RMT sellers should see orders spike this Fall. Free players – led by so-called big spenders or “whales” -- are known to spend a lot on their favorite free
so it will be up to each shop how to lure the incoming free-to-play crowd.
The supply of SWTOR Credits should skyrocket as well as more farmers – both of the professional and casual kind – flood the game. But this would
take some time. One of the fastest ways to grind SWTOR Credits is through completing daily missions that are only unlocked for the highest- level
Lastly, in terms of prices, SWTOR Credits prices
should hold steady, if the EverQuest
free-to-play example in March is any indication. EverQuest Platinum
prices kept relatively even
over the three months after the long-running MMO turned free-to-play.
If anything, SWTOR Credits prices will be mainly determined by the how much new demand overwhelms new supply, which will be slow to come. There is
also the gambit factor posed by the SWTOR cash shop, whose additional wares might compete for the share of budget players allocate for SWTOR Credits.