SWTOR to be final subscription MMO?

Sony Online boss believes so.

EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic will be the last ever major subscription-only MMO, according to Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley.

Writing in a GamesIndustry.biz column, Smedley argued that the free-to-play model will soon be the industry standard.

"Economic times are hard out there and a recurring subscription is something that glares at you from a credit card bill every month," he explained.

"For some people, saving money starts with getting rid of subscriptions that hit the credit card every month. But it's fair to say that subscriptions are likely going to be a strong component of revenue for the foreseeable future, although I don't believe they will be remotely as dominant over time.

"There's another large juggernaut coming out soon in Star Wars: The Old Republic from EA/Bioware. That's a game that I think has a legitimate shot at a two million subscription user base and I believe they will stick with the subscription method.

"In my opinion, this is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model. Why do I think that? Simply put, the world is moving on from this model and over time people aren't going to accept this method.

"I'm sure I'm going to hear a lot about this statement. But I am positive I'm right."

Smedley noted that 40 per cent of all SOE customers canceling their EverQuest 2 accounts cited subscription fees as the biggest contributing factor.

SOE currently has two major projects in development - EverQuest Next and PlanetSide 2, the latter of which has already been confirmed as an F2P title.

EA's The Old Republic is due out in either late 2011 or early 2012.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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