Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going free to play this November, publisher EA announced this afternoon.
All eight character storylines up to level 50 will be accessible with restricted access to new content and advanced features. Some of these restrictions can be removed by "purchasing" access with Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency to be introduced in the fall. Unlimited access including higher-level content and new features will be available through subscription options.
"Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe," said GM of BioWare Matthew Bromberg in a press release.
Beginning in the fall, players will have free-to-play and subscription options. Players can purchase on going subscriptions or play advanced content by redeeming Game Time Cards. Subscribers will receive monthly allowances of Cartel Coins, which can be used to purchase in-game items, gear, and convenience features.
"Since launch, we've been listening to feedback from our fans and adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace," said executive producer Jeff Hickman. "We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community."
BioWare will increase the frequency of content updates until the game goes free to play. Current subscribers can look forward to a new update in August as well as Cartel Coin grants and access to special in-game items. A full list of content available for free and with subscription is available at the game's official website.
In preparation for the move, Star Wars: The Old Republic will go on sale in August for $14.99 and will include a one-month free subscription.
BioWare began considering moving the game to a free to play model back in mid-June. The first 15 levels of The Old Republic went free to play in early July.