The Old Republic – One Micro Transaction at a Time

Star Wars the Old Republic has not announced their pricing plan officially. I think most people are expecting a monthly fee, but occasionally the topic of “micro-transactions” comes up on the message boards. Once the official boards are up and running again, I expect to see some threads dedicated to portions of the Beta tester terms of service because they indicate the existence of a micro-transaction system.

As noted on the Galactic Holofeed website, the terms of service (TOS) for the SWTOR Beta sign-up mention some curious things that sound an awful lot like micro-transactions. Including:

(I) You acknowledge and agree that all items acquired for points during the Game Program are non-refundable and non-tradable.

(K) You acknowledge and agree that BWA reserves the right to change/add/remove points rewarded in the Game store at any time and without warning.

(M) You acknowledge and agree that points acquired during the Game Program cannot be saved up for or used in the commercial version of the Game.

What are these points that can be traded for items? Earlier in the Terms of Service, they explain that BWA is BioWare Austin, and that “Game Program” refers to the beta test, but the “points” were never explained. Perhaps you get some kind of point-based reward for submitting bugs? I don’t know, but it does sound an awful lot like beta testers will be testing out micro-transactions.

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Suzina

Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband. Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

14 thoughts on “The Old Republic – One Micro Transaction at a Time”

  1. Awesome…. a mainstream game coming out of the gates with microtransactions would be fantastic.

    What would be even better is if SW:TOR implemented a hybrid system like DDO and Wizard101 where you can choose to subscribe, or else do the RMT thing…. all depending on your circumstances and playstyle.

  2. I strongly suspect it will be both sub-based and micro transactional.

    Ie you pay your $15 per month AND get little price tags on things in game saying “click here to pay to do this awesome content!”

    In a sense this is how many people already play WoW – sub and server transfers, name changes etc. In EQ2 it’s sub plus some store items. In Eve it’s sub plus however many plexes you want to buy.

    Most games have already subtly gone beyond $15 per month, think it’s inevitable someone will do it blatantly.

    For all that I’m so hyped about the game that if that is the case I’ll pay my sub and buy points to spend in game on top. Sad but true.

  3. I’ll be curious to see if, when SW: The RMT Republic fails to meet expectations and starts to crumble around it’s 4th pillar, if it will bring down the sub+RMT scheme with it. Would be kind of nice.

  4. it feels fairly obvious to me that content might be what’s on sale.

    Instead of big expansions, they can pop out small ones that people can purchase. The system is no different, it’s the delivery that can change.

  5. Eh, $15/month to play the game is cheap anyways (it’s cheap at $20 IMO). The good thing about micro-transactions is that they’re entirely optional. I’m excited about this game, I’ll definitely give it a shot, I’ll probably buy some micro-transactional stuff too.

    In the end, the game has to be worth the cost. Knowing Bioware, it will be for me… but many people have an aversion to micro-transactions (for one reason or another) so it adds an extra level that it has to be good enough for them.

    I concur with Andrew too, it would be nice to see a mainstream game come out with micro-transactions out of the box.

  6. I love pay per use. $15 a month is cheap for one game yes, but it gets expensive if you want to play more than one. Right now I can call my friends and say “let’s log into WoW / DDO / LOTRO / W101” etc and choose since I only pay monthly for WoW, but in other games I pay by zone or have a lifetime account so I can play whenever I feel like, and not feel like I’m wasting money, and only pay for how much I use it.

    I couldn’t have more than one game going if I had to pay subs. Well I could, but that would be a big tradeoff. If I’m not online as often on a particular game, then I’m not costing the company too much money.

    The more I think about it the more I think it’s silly for anyone to expect me to play only one game. When did we ever play only one game growing up? Companies that have a price plan that acknowledges you will try other games will probably do better, since there are so many who do. With a pay per use model SWTOR won’t need to steal players from WoW or any other game, just borrow them from time to time.

  7. MT’s are a waste of time and should never be put into any MMORPG unless it’s a F2P game. Personally I can’t stand it when the guy standing next to me bought his gear because he doesn’t have the time to farm for it or run PvE content to EARN it.

    It’s all about earning what you have, buying gear from an online store is no different than buying gold from gold farmers.

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