SWTOR Layoffs Also Mean End of Subscription-Based MMOs
This seriously sucks, but it's also no surprise: Longtime MMO developer Rich Vogel, who led development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, is reportedly leaving BioWare Austin amid reports that staff layoffs are coming soon. The company and the game's publisher, Electronic Arts, recently said they were seriously thinking about making the MMO free-to-play, an announcement that came after news that the game was losing monthly subscribers way faster than expected. In my view, this points to a single inevitable conclusion: If Vogel, one of the best MMO developers in the business, and Bioware, one of the best developers in the industry, can't sustain a subscription-based MMO associated with the most well-known sci-fi fantasy franchise in the world, no one can. Expect the rest of the traditional game industry to embrace the inevitable and follow Asia's lead, making all future MMOs free-to-play and freemium.