Electronic Arts and LucasArts have announced the launch of Free-to-Play for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The option gives gamers access to the complete storylines for all eight classes up to level 50, as well as a host of other features. Free-to-play complements the already-available subscription option, "providing players with maximum flexibility in how they choose to experience" the game.
With the release of Game Update 1.5: HK-51 Activated comes a new Companion character and additional areas for gamers to explore. Players can explore Section X in the Belsavis prison world and take on a mission to get the Assassin Droid HK-51. In addition, players can undertake Operation: Explosive Conflict with Nightmare Mode to earn a new mount and Dread Guard gear set pieces.
We reported back in October about the free-to-play limitations, which only grants free players full access to story content. You will have to either subscribe or shell out Cartel Coins to gain access to Operations and remove the limitation of only being able to participate in three Warzones, Flashpoints, and Space Missions per week, for example. Free players will have limited inventory slots and character creation, among other things.
BioWare Austin's General Manager Matthew Bromberg offered this statement: "We want to give our players the freedom to enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic when and how they want. There has never been a better time to start playing with us." SWTOR is the most expensive game ever developed, with development costs being estimated at $150 million to $200 million.