Star Wars: The Old Republic Lost 25% of Its Subscribers
May 11, 2012 9:25 AM
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Subscriber loss surprised some
There a lot of people in the gaming and Star Wars communities, and they were really excited when EA announced about a year ago that it was investing
into a Star Wars themed MMORPG. That game launched as Star Wars: The Old Republic and racked up a large number of users very quickly. It appears that the popularity of the game may be cooling.
According to EA, the game had 1.3 million subscribers at the end of April. At the end of February, the game had 1.7 million subscribers. The reduction coincides with the game's launch in the Asia-Pacific region. Star Wars: TOR comes with a free month subscription so some subscriber fall off was expected shortly after the launch, but the number of losses has surprised many.
EA maintains that the subscriber drop-off is consistent with its projections. Subscriber losses being consistent still didn't prevent EA's shares from dropping as much as 10% in after-hours trading. According to EA interim CFO Peter Moore, "a substantial portion of the decrease [was] due to casual and trial players cycling out of the subscriber base, driving up the overall percentage of paying subscribers."
Casual gamers tend to drop out and stop playing when their free month subscription is over. EA is talking about plans to keep paying customers paying with character expansions and more. EA CEO John Riccitiello counters that the MMORPG is one of the company's top 10 profitable titles.
"It's a business contributor, while important, is not as important as Medal of Honour or Battlefield or FIFA or Madden or The Sims or SimCity," he said.
Many think competition in the MMORPG sector will only get more intense with the announcement that The Elder Scrolls Online is coming next year.
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... And I still want KOTOR 3
5/11/2012 9:53:16 AM
SW:TOR was a fine MMO, but in the end I couldn't find it to be better than WoW.
I suppose my experience with the game after 2~3 months is summed up just like that.
Its a fine game, just doesn't really distinguish itself uniquely. Other than the fact its a "Star Wars" and a new player in a heavily crowded market.
Frankly, I think SWTOR will need some Free to Play elements if they wish to expand the player base. Probably up to level 25~30 and allow newcomers finish Act 1 of a character.
... But if you guys go back to making great single player games, I'll still buy KOTOR 3.
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