To some, the announcement that Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free-to-play was a sudden one. However, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau says that free-to-play was planned for Star Wars: The Old Republic before the game even launched.

“We actually thought through how it would work for a very long time,” says Gibeau . “We just felt that we wanted to bring [the transition] forward. All the headwinds that we’re experiencing on the premium subscription model right now go away when you pivot to free-to-play. If you’ve played LOTRO, I think that gives a sense of where we’re going with the design. But it’s rock solid, and when we roll it out in November it’ll become clear. And it won’t be done in November; it’ll be in continuous development, much like every MMO.”

“From my perspective, I don’t see free-to-play slowing down because it works on so many levels,” he added. “Developers can go as wide or as deep as they want, and reach out to new audiences. They can build more of what people are actually consuming, as opposed to having unpopular features and modes that we spent development time on. I actually think that free-to-play is going to be the dominant business model in this industry before the end of the decade. It will be the model that most people are used to.”

Source: GamesIndustry International

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