Original story:

Star Wars: The Old Republic will have a free-to-play option implemented this November, BioWare Austin has announced.

The game launched less than a year ago, but in recent times has seen dwindling subscriber numbers.

The free-to-play option will sit atop the existing subscription service, and will allow play up until level 50, with a few content and feature restrictions.

Facilitating free-to-play will be Cartel Coins, a new virtual currency that players purchase with real money and use to unlock features and in-game items.

Subscribing players, meanwhile, will continue to enjoy unrestricted access to the game, and will receive a monthly Cartel Coin allowance.

In June, BioWare lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi said the studio was looking at the free to play model as a means to boost player engagement, and the following month a free-to-play experiment allowed players to play without a subscription up to level 15.

Update:

In an earnings call today, EA stated that Star Wars: The Old Republic has slipped to under one million subscribers, down from 1.3 million last quarter.

The company stated that 500,000 subscribers were needed to see The Old Republic as "substantially profitable".