Since Star Wars: The Old Republic adopted a free-to-play business model in November, over 2 million new accounts have been created and thousands of new players join every day. BioWare executive producer Jeff Hickman revealed the news in a "State of the Game" blog post today.
Recalling the past year, Hickman acknowledged that there was "uncertainty" surrounding The Old Republic as it began to lose subscribers, while some players grew frustrated over the state of the game.
"In fairness, many of the complaints and worries were justified," Hickman wrote.
He explained that BioWare addressed these issues by making it easier to find friends to play with through Group Find, regularly releasing new content updates, and "bringing back vitality to the game" through the introduction of a free-to-play option and new purchasable items.
"So how did it go? Well, you can see for yourself when you log in to the game. Our new, high capacity servers are teeming with people," Hickman said. "Since launch of the free-to-play option we have had over 2 million new accounts created and have thousands of new players jumping in every single day. This means more people to play with, more growth for your guilds, more Warzone matches, and more ways for players to continue to advance their characters."
Hickman said some "dissent" from gamers still exists, but noted this is true for any massively multiplayer online game. And in fact, he said player feedback regarding The Old Republic's new business model and offerings has been "very positive."
In addition to this spring's Rise of the Hutt Cartel digital expansion, Hickman today revealed that The Old Republic will add a new customization feature this summer. This will allow players to change a character's hair style, eye color, body type, or species using Cartel Coins, the title's in-game currency.
Hickman concluded his blog post by noting BioWare still has much to do to make The Old Republic "the best experience it can be." He said the developer is aware players want a hood toggle option, improvements to the Cartel Market pricing a content, and to see various improvements and bug fixes.
"In fact, our major focus after Rise of the Hutt Cartel launches is going to be on 'quality of life' improvements. We will keep at it, I promise," Hickman said. "We’ll keep listening to your feedback and continue to dedicate ourselves to making the game the best it can be. Nothing is more important to us than getting it right."