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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RE: For all the haters
5/11/2012 1:00:32 PM
How great was WoW when it first came out?
Why is that the go to argument for every SWTOR fan? It's not 2005. It's like Windows Phone fans comparing it to the first generation iPhone. It does not matter. It has to compete now.
And in this generation of MMO they have things like Rated PVP, and a Dungeon finder, and fast travel (THE OPPOSITE OF THOSE F$%&KING POINTLESS ORBITAL STATIONS!), responsive combat, mods, custom UI... as so on and so forth which Bioware decided that they either didnt want to do or could not do.
Bioware's story telling setup is great, I loved it in SWTOR as I loved it in Mass Effect, but people don't pay subscription fees to replay the same story content over and over; they pay it for the end game, and SWTOR's is 7 years behind.
Which leads me to believe that EA and Bioware really screwed the pooch on this one by making is a subscription based MMO in the first place. If the story angle is the one you want to promote, then drop the subscription fee, and do paid story dlc every quarter to keep the game community alive and milk more cash out of it.
RE: For all the haters
5/11/2012 3:20:07 PM
Expecting any brand new MMO to have the content of WoW at launch is not only unreasonable, its laughable.
Rated PVP is coming soon. Dungeon finder, meh. That's what guilds are for. And as far as the orbital stations, I agree they're pointless. But an extra 30 seconds to start out on some planets doesn't ruin a game for me.
As far as the combat, how is it not responsive unless you're lagging? I rarely do.
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