Star Wars: The Old Republic might not be making as much money as BioWare and Electronic Arts hoped it would. BioWare is shutting down the Asia-Pacific server for the Star Wars-based MMORPG. The company announced on its forums that it would be merging the servers with the more populous North American servers.
BioWare Austin Community Manager Eric Musco explained the decision in a forum post. “Getting to the point of being able to merge the servers is going to be a multistep process,” he said. “First off we need to update our Free Character Transfer System to include the game changes that we have made recently along with the upcoming changes in Game Update 2.0 and the Digital Expansion: Rise of the Hutt Cartel. We will then offer Free Character Transfers to anyone currently playing on an APAC server to a North American server of the same gameplay type.”
Players on the Master Dar'Nala server will be transferred to The Bastion server; Gav Daragon players will be transferred to Begeren Colony; Dalborra players will be going to The Harbinger server. At present, the company hasn't announced when it will be starting the process, but Musco states that “it will take some time.”
The Old Republic's Asia-Pacific servers are going down
BioWare announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic was going free-to-play back in August 2012. “Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe,” said Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin.
During the announcement, Hickman said, “Since launch we have been adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace based on the feedback from our fans. We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community.”
Shortly after the relaunch of the game as a free-to-play title, BioWare started rethinking the restrictions the game imposed on the free players. “Our community team truly has an ear to the ground with community concerns and discussions and we often make changes based on player feedback,” wrote Executive Producer Jeff Hickman on the Old Republic website. “We want you to know that this is an ongoing dialogue.”
Changes have already been made to the restrictions. Preferred Status players—those who were returning to the game or those who have paid a small fee for the status—have had the number of hot-bars they can use increased from two to four. Those who had paid for the service were recompensed. Preferred Status players have also been given four additional character slots in a patch, increasing the total character slots to six.
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