John Smedley

Bioware: "There will always be a place for premium content at a premium price"

Owen Hill at

We've already reported on John Smedley's take on subscription-based MMOs. The Sony Online Entertainment president told that they're on the way out: "In my opinion [Star Wars: The Old Republic] is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model. Why do I think that? Simply put, the world is moving on from this model and over time people aren't going to accept this method."

Now the Bioware doctors have had a chance to respond. Their upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will require subscription costs identical to the already-established World of Warcraft. That's $14.99/£8.99/€12.99 per month.

SOE's Smedley: subscription MMOs a vanishing breed

Rob Zacny at

After revealing that DC Universe Online is transitioning to a free-to-play model, and that Sony Online Entertainment wanted it that way "from day one," SOE President John Smedley now predicts that the future is free. In an editorial for, Smedley expands a bit more on his thinking, and explains why Star Wars: The Old Republicwill be the last of the big subscription-based MMOs.

"In our cancellation surveys for EverQuest II," Smedley writes, "fully 40 percent of the people that fill them out list subscription fees as one of the primary reasons they quit. Economic times are hard out there and a recurring subscription is something that glares at you from a credit card bill every month."

As big as TOR promises to be, Smedley doesn't think it will reverse the overall trend away from subscriptions toward F2P.