Gamescom 2012 : SWTOR - Interview Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer VOSTFR

Uploaded by OrigineTV on 27.08.2012

Hi I'm Jeff Hickman I'm the Executive Producer on Star Wars: the Old Republic
So we have a few questions regarding the F2P option that will be coming this fall.
will be coming this fall.
First of all the announcement was kinda unexpected,
why did BioWare choose to change the economic model so quickly?
It's a great question. So if you look at what the last 6 or 7 months since launch have been for us,
It's been a lot of analyzing how players are playing, what they're interested in, what they want to do and what they don't want to do.
And it came very obvious to us very quickly that players nowadays really want to try out the game before they commit to paying for it.
And as people left the game, one of the biggest thing they said, and they didn't say things like
"I don't like the game", in general they love the game, but they would definitely say that subscription is a big step for them.
And a lot of today's gamers didn't feel comfortable with applying with a credit card
and commiting themselves to that recurring subscription.
And so we've been looking really hard at it actually and it was like
"You know what? We should do this. It's time, it's the right thing to do".
And we think it's the way for the future for MMOs like this.
Thank you. When the game will be with the free to play option,
the advantages for the subscribing players, the players who pay a monthly fee,
will be a limitless access to operations, flash points and war zones.
Are there any other advantages to go to the subscription fee.
We haven't fully announced all the restrictions to the free to play players or all of the advantages to the subscription players,
but there are quite a few restrictions to the free to play players.
Where we want you to play to the level 50 and really enjoy the primary content,
the story content, that we think is so great in the game,
but there will be a lot of restrictions around how you can do that,
whether it's war zones or flash points or bank slots or the legacy system.
There's a lot of things that we're looking at to restrict.
And we'll have more information about that as we move forward.
As a subscription player, not only are you not restricted on any of those things
but we also will be giving you I think a pretty generous allowance of cartel market coins
that you'll have every month that you can go and buy some of the great things that are on the micro transaction marketplace
in the game and so it's an opportunity for you to buy consumables or vanity items and get some of the cool stuff we're gonna offer.
Since the announcement for the free to play option a lot of players are stopping there subscription
or want to to stop them until the free to play option is available.
What are your arguments to convince them to stay on the game until the option?
Well, first of all, actually not a lot of people are stopping there subscriptions.
We're actually seeing that problem at all.
As a matter of fact, I'd say it's as stable or more stable as it has ever been.
But, to your question about why people should remain subscribing,
I think the biggest reason right now is you continue to get to enjoy the game,
you continue to get to enjoy all of the content updates that we are now accelerating on,
so we started with the Chevin event this month,
and after this we will have new content updates at least every 6 weeks moving forward.
And so you're gonna see much more frequent content updates as a player,
plus as a player right now, you're actually earning cartel market coins
right now so that when we go to our free to play model you'll have quite a bit of these things to spend immediately upon launch on free to play
and you're earning those as a subscriber at this very moment.
You were speaking of the updates,
there are a lot of updates that have been announced at E3.
Noticeably the planet Makeb, the new planet.
Will those major updates be free or will have the players that subscribe or not to pay to access it?
It's a great question so if you look at most of our updates,
so. I'm thinking about the right way to answer this, I don't want to confuse the issue.
So our free to play players, there are restrictions that are in place, if we put an update in the game:
for instance we announced a new war zone.
There is a restriction around freeze to play players and war zones.
So that restriction will apply to any content that we put out.
Our subscription players get access to any of that content.
Just like they do to the full game right now.
We're still talking about what the future looks like as far as larger updates to the game.
As we get closer to things like that we'll talk about it some more.
But in the near term as we look at things like ancient hyper gates and the HK-51 companion character all of those,
those are free to our subscribers.
Those are good news ! What can we expect to find in the future in game store, in addition to pets or social gears :
will we have experience potions, new races, vehicles,... ?
I don't know if i'm able to talk about all of those things right know,
like everything you've talked about is definitely kinda categories we're gonna have, whether they be experience boosters,
vanity items, in some cases there might be vehicles or pets.
But we're still kinda determining exactly what each phase of our MTX (Micro Transactions) Store looks like.
And as we get closer to release of free to play and MTX we will talk about this some more.
When the free to play option is out, when you will subscribe, will you gain cartel points as it is before the option ?
Yes absolutely.
Will it be the same amount, another ?
We're still talking about what the exact amounts as a subscriber you will receive.
I don't know if I can answer right now.
It will be a good allowance of cartel coins every month.
What will be approximately the cost of one cartel points in dollars ?
I don't know yet.
We're literally still working on all of the economics around what each point is worth per dollar, so I'm not sure yet.
I guess that's the same for the price of the objects in the in game store ?
The last question is : how do you respond to players saying that BioWare should have fix the game issues
that made the players leave before allowing a whole new pool to come in?
Before allowing... Say that again?
Before allowing a whole new pool of players to come in with the free to play.
So before going free to play?
I think, so I've had this question for years and years and years about MMOs,
and I think that MMOs are never truly finished,
and it's a labor of love that we will keep working on for years and years.
My first MMO DAOC still opened today, we're still working on that game.
If you look at TOR, it's got a big bright future ahead of it.
And the game team is committed to improving,
"fixing", adding new content, you know doing all the things that our players want us to do.
And if you look at the last 6-7 months,
the amount of updates, of things we've put in the game they're staggering.
It takes the patch notes from 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, it's a massive amount of fixes,
content you know everything.
And so we really are trying very hard to meet the desires and expectations of our players.
And we'll continue to do that.
I think it's a little unfair to say that we haven't done as much as we could,
or anything like that, because we've done so much.
And we will continue to do a lot.
And it's like don't we want more players?
Won't free to play bring a lot of new players to our game? Absolutely!
Don't we all want more players to play with? Absolutely!
It makes the game fun, makes the game interesting,
It brings a lot of players to the war zone so that we can murder them there.
And we think it's the right time to do it,
waiting juste doesn't make sense to us.
That's a good sentence to end this interview.
Thanks a lot Jeff, and maybe see you another time ?
Absolutely thank you very much.