Following in the footsteps of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, BioWare have announced recently that there will be a trial version of Star Wars: The Old Republic. The trial will allow players access to all eight character classes, PVP, and PVE gameplay free of charge up to level 15.
Once the level cap is reached, players who sign up for a full subscription to the game will be able to continue with the characters they have created, including all the items they have gained up to that point.
Analysis: Not content by letting the competition get the step ahead, BioWare and EA especially continue their “me too” attitude by offering an almost identical trial as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. It’s a good move, sure, but I find it hard to not see any move EA makes in a negative light due to the way they operate their business. The move is obviously a bid to entice new players to hop in and to keep the subscription numbers up. I’m sure it could pick up a few new players who were curious about the title but weren’t willing to shell out the subscription fee without getting some hands on experience beforehand.
Whether this is a move indicating a future where the title goes free to play entirely is up in the air, but I would think that they might have to make that transition in a few months if the number of paying customers dwindles. The ball is definitely in BioWare and EA’s court.