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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 $80 million 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. 

Source: BBC

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RE: Not Just Casual
By TSS on 5/11/2012 6:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, Everquest had 1 million subscribers, which was the biggest MMO by far before WoW came along. Enough MMO's of yore could persist on 50,000 subscribers or less (don't know if SWTOR's server architecture is efficient enough for that though). So it aint so bad. Even as a WoW clone.

I don't like GW2 either. I'm sorry but it looks and feels like WoW to me, with "manual" aiming as a gimmick (i say gimmick because the AoE's will nuffify the effect). Levels on gear just means gear will be more important then the character (= stats, not skill), which means people will still focus on gearscore instead of getting better.

The characters are far too hard to kill (punching bags), and the fallen down mechanic's ridicolous. Know how we used to save teammates? By not letting them get killed in the first place. All you're doing is denying fair kills. Which mind you is indicative of the casual player mindset, or, having a correcting mechanic for the inevitable death casual players will incur, since those have no desire to get better and avoid death what so ever (one of the few things WoW taught me). This gives the experienced player a chance to save their asses, or they can save their own ass by, guess what, button mashing (derp).

Aside from planetside 2, just talking RPG wise, i'd pay for a baldurs gate type RPG in MMO form. Something that takes some damn adaptability instead of just pushing buttons. Even if you ignore AoE and go with the manual aiming arguement for GW2, So far i've seen no footage that has anybody doing anything else then whacking away and using abilities on cooldown, after an initial rotation. Atleast in neverwinter nights, when all else failed, i could transform into a huge dragon.

Oh, and the upcomming "Neverwinter" by cryptic doesn't count. They've been flagshipping games ever since champions online and even allow gambling (in STO, cardassian lockboxes, drop from mobs, key costs 100 cryptic points, officer duty pack which costs 220 cryptic points can drop from those lockboxes, as well as a rare ship to incentivise the gambling) so i'm NEVER buying games from them again. I have full faith they will screw up the neverwinter legacy as well.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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