Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 01, 2009
SWTOR beta signup and microtransactions

Two short bits of news about Star Wars: The Old Republic: You can now sign up for the beta. And if you read the fine print of the Terms of Service of the beta application, it appears as if SWTOR will have microtransactions as part of its business model. Which I find somewhat curious, as I'm pretty certain that SWTOR will also have a monthly fee. Instead of monthly fee games on one side and Free2Play with microtransactions on the other side, we get double dipping. Now that should be profitable for EA!
Profitable for EA indeed! Unless the game is as glorious as SWG was in the beginning that will make sure that I never play their game. 170$ a year is already a ton of money to play a single game, and even if they bump it down to 10$ a month 120$ is still WAY too much to warrant additional expenses for me.
How do you beta test micro transactions?
I get: ACCESS DENIED. You are not authorized to access this page.

Maybe it's Europe-only for now?
Try again, changed, I fixed the link.
Im betting EA is going towards game cards just like all the consoles have gone to. This way you have to buy $20 of points to buy that $5 gender change, then you quit the game a month later and they have a free $15.

Ive had the same 300 wii points for over a year now because nothing I want costs 300 points.
I get to the correct signup site now, but the process doesn't seem to work well for my WinXP / Firefox 3.5.3 browser. Specifically, it doesn't let me login after I complete the entire registration process (up through the system scan).
Oh well, I sent them a message through their website, so we'll see if it resolves anything.
I love how WoW has gotten away with no one thinking they have microtransactions when they have plenty of features that you can access as long as you pay for them. Sure most of them are switching/cosmetically related, but they are essentially microtransactions.
How are faction-change / gender-change / server-change fees different than microtransaction? WoW also charges for these.
That's interesting. There's also a rumor that Turbine is testing the waters for microtransactions in LotRO with its new "Adventure Packs." If so, this is a disturbing trend.
changed: Try setting up the account and signup from the account pages. I was sent in a never ending loop during the regular signup process. I guess it's bugged a bit. From the regular account pages it worked though.
So far it has been a choice. Go with a monthly abbo or have micropayments. I'm not willing to spend both the money on an abbo and on micropayments.
Interesting about the Microtransactions. I wonder if having a low monthly fee with optional extras will entice more subscribers to stay longer.
sid67, I was in the DDO Unlimited beta, and they just gave you some of their microtransaction "Turbine Points" to play with in the game store. It's easy enough to test the microtransaction system that way; it's like playing Monopoly.

Well, inasmuch as everyone gets some free funny money to start with, and they can track how people use it.
MagrothJ: Thanks for the advice -- it worked as you said. I never heard back from SWTOR customer service.
As always with the discussions that revolve around microtransactions, it seems as if everyone thinks that if they play a game that offers them, then they must use the microtransactions. I fail to see why this is the case. They are simply offering you the oppertunity to get some item/feature/whatever, that you may or may not have the ability to get otherwise, for an extra fee. It is an offer, not a demand, and certainly not a requirement. It may mean that you play the game quite differently than other people who are willing to pay the extra, but so what?
Why do you guys think this is EA when Bioware is doing the game and Bioware and EA are 2 different companies. EA has NOTHING to do with SWTOR.
EA bought Bioware some time ago dude.
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