Thursday, July 9, 2015

What is BioWare's Plan?

SWTOR is embarking on a new business strategy with the release of Fallen Empire this fall.  It is essentially the same, subs and cartel market, but they are going about it in a different way.  They are making a much greater push for subscriptions.  All of the new story content is obtained through subscribing.  No buying of chapters in the market.

On the surface, I like it.  It is very simple.  When you sub, you get all of the story content that has been released up to that point.  Season One will contain 16 chapters, starting with the release of 9 in October.  There will be a break, then one chapter a month.  That puts the finale in July.  So, if you spend $15 in July (2016) you get all 16 Chapters.

They are also not charging extra for the expansion.  That means that Blur trailer, and all the work they did to change the game for Fallen Empire, has to be made up by subscriptions.  It seems like quite a risk to me.  That's months of work and a lot of money.

12xp is likely a good source of subscriptions.  When Fallen Empire hits, that will go away.  Instead, some form of it is going to be built in to the free portion of the game.  Players just wanting to do the original class stories won't have to subscribe.  Also, with the lack of attention to Operations and PvP, other subscriptions may also drop.

Will SWTOR gain enough subscriptions to justify the expense of this work?  How many people will subscribe on a monthly basis versus just once per season?