BioWare Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi has dropped a word-bomb on the Star Wars: The Old Republic community, stating that the game may be heading in the direction of free-to-play. Lusinchi said that the studio is investigating possibilities: "We are looking at free-to-play, but I can't tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on."
This comes out of an interview in GamesTM magazine, in which Lusinchi addressed the challenges of being competitive in a largely F2P industry. While SWTOR has a large playerbase, it lost 400,000 subscriptions from its peak earlier this year as well as several members of its dev team.
Lusinchi says that the challenge isn't just that SWTOR is a subscription-based game but that there's a lot of great options in the field. "If it was just free-to-play games and they weren't very good it wouldn't even be a question," he said, "but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do."
Of course, we did hear about the limited free trial at E3, but this interview seems to indicate the possibility of a move to full F2P in SWTOR's future.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]
[Update: It seems the original article at GamesTM was pulled, but you can find images of the interview here and here.]