Scum and Villainy? The Old Republic Unsubscribe Issues

Tomorrow marks the end of the one-month free trial for Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers. For those that don’t want to be billed, today would be the day to click that unsubscribe button. Except, according to some reports, that button has mysteriously vanished. For some. BioWare claims it’s an issue with “certain browsers”, and recommends people call their support line if they want to unsubscribe. Others claim more shady intentions on behalf of EA/BioWare.

When the story initially broke, people were quick to call shenanigans in light of the timing of the thing. According to certain industry analysts, The Old Republic hasn’t done as well as expected, and the company’s stock fell by 3% overnight. “Specifically, initial sales appear to be below expectations, and casual observation of early play is causing us to rethink our churn assumption.” – MarketWatch

For a game with rumored to have cost anywhere from $80 million to $300 million to produce, the expectation to perform is extremely high.

However, it’s very likely that the “issue” with the vanishing unsubscribe button is a technical one, where the website isn’t displayed properly on certain browsers.

The snarky BioWare/EA schadenfreude fiends would say the unsubscribe button broke because of so many people trying to click it before the trial month expires.

The tinfoil hat theorists would argue that, in business, everything goes. And BioWare/EA removing the button right before the trial ends, thus forcing people to use the call-in option, which most likely would have people on hold for hours and hours, thus forcing a few to just say screw it and be billed for another month, is exactly the kind of powerplay seen all too often in the industry. That is, if you’re wearing a tinfoil hat.

But we all know companies are honest sociopaths, run by honest individuals. These are not the droids you are looking for.