First off, Shacknews.com reports the possibility of The Old Republic being microtransaction based...
"Publisher Electronic Arts today classified BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMO The Old Republic as a "microtransaction-based" title, indicating that the game will include alternative financial models other than a subscription fee.
"We are continuing to stick to the plan relative to building out our direct-to-consumer models which include microtransactions and subscriptions," said EA CEO John Riccitiello in a conference call today. "The recent launch of Warhammer [Online] is a great example of that."
"Other initiatives we've announced, for example [the] Star Wars online MMO, are mid-session games which are microtransaction-based," he continued. "You'll be hearing more about those in the February [conference] call."
Other "mid-session" EA titles include FIFA Online and NBA Street. These games are either provided for free, or for a nominal charge, and are then supported by further microtransactions--small payments in exchange for services or content."
Since the original story was posted, Shacknews.com offered up the following update:
"Electronic Arts has responded to Shacknews, reiterating that "no statements have been made about the Star Wars business model," and attributing Mr. Riccitiello's comments to a misunderstanding."
The excerpts are nice but make sure to click here for the full article.
Also on the TOR front, 1UP.com reports that to speed up the development process, Bioware will be utilizing the HeroEngine. This could hopefully lead to a Fall 2009 release...hopefully. Excerpt below:
"As described by Simutronics, the HeroEngine allows for "real-time" development, allowing teams in different locations to build the world and play the game live on a server simultaneously. The engine allows for updates and changes to take effect instantaneously, which is intended to reduce the long development cycles that massively multiplayer games tend to require."
UPDATE:Massively takes a look a what microtransactions could mean for The Old Republic. Excerpt below:
"Since we don't know the details yet, all we can do is speculate. Based on my own thoughts and the reactions of many message board posters around the Intertubes, here's a short list of my ideal Dos and Don'ts when it comes to microtransactions."