Star Wars: The Old Republic goes free to play up to level 15

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star wars old republic top.jpgStar Wars: The Old Republic is set to be free to play until players hit level 15, EA have announced.

The massively multiplayer online role playing game set in George Lucas’s sci-fi universe has already had free trial runs in the past, but have always been limited to restricted periods of time or as rewards for hardcore players. This new free trial last indefinitely up until the aforementioned level cap.

Across the 8 character classes, there’s plenty of lightsabre-wielding fun to be had with SW:TOR up till level 15, giving a good taster of both the PvE and PvP components of the game.

However, it’s a somewhat worrying development for the “new hope” of Star Wars games. Rumoured to be one of the most expensive games ever developed, the MMO has experienced a steep drop off in user figures since launching just before Christmas last year, with 400,000 paid-for subscribers cancelling their subscriptions between February and may of this year.

Free to play extended trials are always a sign of a an MMO under-performing. The suggestion of a free-to-play, microtransaction-funded future for the game is looking more possible than ever.

Gerald Lynch