Updated 7/23 with some Twitter feedback
Internet rumors can be strange, sometimes. At first glance, the following rumor seemed absurd and ridiculous to me, yet after it traveled around the world wide web for a few days and people still had things to say about it, well, you got me– I caved in and decided it was worth covering. Now, that’s not to say I believe any part of it, but it’s an interesting course of events to follow, at any rate.
Here’s the scoop– Massively covered the BioWare layoff rumors and Rich Vogel’s departure news a few days ago. In one of the comments, an anonymous poster left an interesting, uh, story, if you will. Read on to find out more.
Here’s the full comment:
I know many won’t believe me. but, I work at Bioware. best part for me is coming here to read fans replies. I won’t tell you much and I don’t care if you believe me. So here is “what’s” going on were I work.
If you havent noticed the interviews we had given sometime back had been removed. mainly, the interviews that gave it “away” that we are looking at adding F2P model. we are indeed adding free to play to the game. now the best part for me is anonymity I have that allows me to be open.
We will have mainly have a “fluff” shop for the new direction with F2P. but much of the legacy system will have the option to purchase those “perk’s” (the main reason credit cost are high to slow progression until we patch F2P) as well many parts of the game will have new content that requires you purchase are type of “coinage” from the cash shop so you can buy the access to “special” content/quest. now new companions will also be in the shop. but due to us getting down sized and the staff changes a small team is working on these F2P changes.
I don’t want anyone to be upset by this. but many of these changes had been in the “planning stages” for many months since the sharp drop in subscribers. many parts of the game will cost money to access. for example you can unlock the new “cathar” race in your legacy. but buying the unlock, it will cost 10$ US
So we are all pretty upset here. we know Daniel and Jimmy many more are next round of layoffs. EA blames us and to some extent they’re right to. but it was fan feedback from the day we opened the forums that encouraged us to design it for the fans the way it is and that included making it more like Kotor then an MMO like Wow. Also from what I have heard in the halls, Starwars Galaxies was shut down due to the fact are talks with LA,EA suits ecouraged the new guy at LA to increase the licensing fee at renewal time. it was a move to remove any direct competiton to TOR.
Sorry guys gotta go but be good to each other.
Sounds bogus, right? The lack of proper grammar and spelling as well as the anonymous placement of the comment lends itself to its falsity, if you ask me. A large amount of SWTOR fans thought so, too, until other sites covered the rumor (here’s an example), and SWTOR players on the official forums began debating about whether or not the rumor had any merit over and over again.
If so many people agree it’s a mere rumor, then why is the community still talking about it? The answer to that partially lies in the fact that, yes, rumors about SWTOR going 100% free-to-play are running rampant currently. Free-to-play is the game’s next “common sense” step in many players’ eyes, and thus, despite the anonymous poster’s poor typing skills, it was kind of a smart move to touch on the issue. That move got attention. BioWare has also been fairly quiet on the forum forefront since the layoff news, but that’s reasonably understandable given the fact that we don’t know the true extent of these layoffs.
Still, when MMO gamers are given an interesting rumor, and some free time due to their favorite game not getting many current updates… well, you can see where I’m going with this. Unhappy customers are willing to believe more doomsday rumors than pleased customers.
Beyond that… I leave the rumor in your good hands, folks.
Stephen Reid, former SWTOR Senior Community Manager, gave us his thoughts on Twitter this afternoon about the matter:
Sounds like those of us on the “bogus” train have the right idea.