Yesterday, BioWare announced a free weekend trial for their recently released MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. While free trials are nothing new to the MMORPG genre, I may have prematurely jumped to the conclusion that subscription numbers may have been down – leading BioWare to attempt to lure new players with a free period.
According to SWTOR production director Dallas Dickinson, Star Wars: The Old Republic subscriptions are actually growing.
Speaking at GDC, Dickinson revealed, "We're still in a place where we're growing, which is awesome."
Dickinson didn't reveal specific subscription numbers, as EA is a publicly-traded company, but he did hint that an announcement could be coming soon. I can't imagine EA would announce anything that wasn't good for the company or SWTOR.
Star Wars: The Old Republic got off to a record-breaking start, hitting the 1 million player milestone just three days after the game's launch. At the beginning of February, EA reported the game had 1.7 million subscribers.
Of course, the success of any MMO relies on player retention – which for SWTOR is apparently going good, according to Dickinson.
"[Retention] has been very good. The game is retaining really well," he said.
To help retain player's attention, BioWare has continuously released game updates. The studio is currently readying the release of the massive 1.2 update which will include a streamlined Space Port process, a new Flashpoint (Lost Island), new Warzone (Novare Coast), new Operation (Explosive Conflict), and, of course, the highly anticipated Legacy System which was detailed in BioWare's most recent preview of the patch.
The Star Wars: The Old Republic 1.2 Legacy Update is expected to go live in April 2012.