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: Not Just Casual
5/14/2012 7:56:50 PM
"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. "
So they dropped > -400K subscriptions +addition of Asias = -400k
Maybe thats accurate since they don't post how many were added in asia.
Players online was way-WAY down by March to the point that you had less than 10 players per planet and couldn't make a PVP warzone except during prime-time.
The number of on-line players in March was off at least 50% vs early January - tho presumably they didn't all cancel their subscriptions and some of them are still being charged despite not playing any more.
I knew something was wrong the minute the game - which included 30 days in its purchase - wouldn't let me play until I provided a way to charge me for the 31st day.
I played EQ for many years - alts, raiding guilds, pvp guilds and it takes a lot of content to carry users thru a year and most of it is max-level content. This game had been hyped for 4+ years yet was still missing vital systems like voice-comms, guild tools, charachter-look customization and LFG tools. Stuff other games have had for years and years. Its 16-players-at a time engine limit and lack of a combat logfile are very revealing that they never intended to have end-game content or support hard-core players.
These guys put 80% into the first 49 levels and 20% to level 50 stuff - they needed 4x the level50 content - or better repeatability of the 1-49 stuff. More locations to go at level 20? Some way to bypass the grind (repeated questlines) when you level an alt?
There are like 8 main questlines which were the best part of the game. I only saw 2.5 of them because the quests outside the class questlines were so terribly boring. I leveled one Imperial to 50, then one Republican, but subsequent attempts ended up with needing 4 more levels before I could continue the class quest but the available questlines and broken PVP just made me want to logoff instead of grind out the levels.
And of course the first Imperial toon put a lot into his crafting but then couldn't make stuff for the republican 2nd character? The 2 sides can't mail or message each other or belong to the same guild - bad.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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