Star Wars: The Old Republic's subscription-based business model. I didn't actually bother asking them about their thoughts on subscription vs free-to-play gaming during an interview early last week, but Zeschuk launched into a spirited defense nonetheless, perhaps conditioned by being asked over and over in the run up to SW: TOR's launch last Monday.
"You look at the online space in general and it's fragmenting into all these different areas, but the core still works. The subscription model still works," Zeschuk said. "We know a lot of people say, 'Oh, everything's just going free-to-play.' But that's just one slice. There's one slice that's free-to-play, there's one slice that's social, there's traditional subscription still going." He was also quick to point out that, "it's obviously been the free-to-play guys trumpeting this," though his own company certainly isn't above working in the free-to-play space, as evidenced by Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes.
"I'm not saying it's better or worse. It just doesn't supplant the other things. 'Cause we can do some things no one else can," Zeschuk added. In his eyes, a free-to-play dev isn't able to throw the same amount of resources and time at an MMO project, and that marks a big differentiation between the two business models. "The free-to-play people can't invest to the level we can invest, and can't create something of the size and scale of something we can create," he said. The idea that free-to-play will take over all other MMO business models, he said is, "from a business perspective, ridiculous."