Star Wars: The Old Republic paid subs estimated at 1.3m

Analysts turn their attention to Bioware and EA's big MMO

America's most influential analysts are putting paying subscribers for EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic at 1.3 million, and a conversion rate of 75 to 80 per cent.

Doug Creutz from Cowen estimated estimated the figure of paying players to be between 1.3 million and 1.5 million, with 200,000 to 400,000 still enjoying their first month's free trial.

Baird Equity Research concurred with the 1.3 million estimate, despite originally predicting the number to be 1 million.

"More important from this point will be the trend in paid subscription levels, which will depend on user engagement and the pace of new content deployment," said analyst Sebastian Colin.

But Wedbush's Michael Pachter was more conservative, putting the figure at between 900,000 and 1.2 million.

"The worst case is that 900,000 out of 1.2 million purchasers through December 31 converted to paying subs (75%); the best case is that 1.2 million out of 1.5 million purchasers through December 31 converted (80%)."

He too points out that any January purchasers will still be playing for free.

Subscription prices for the game are currently set at £8.99 or $14.99 a month, $42 or £25 for three months or 6 months for $78 or £46. The standard games costs £44.99 and all new players get 30 days of gaming free.

Yesterday EA revealedthat the game has over 1.7 million players and that the game has sold 2 million units.

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Latest comments (8)

Jose Martin Entrepreneur & Financing - Media / Tech / Interactive Entertainment 8 years ago
The true test will be in a couple of months when a good portion of hardcore players reach the level cap and endgame content (many already have)...How quickly can Bioware churn out more content?

Apparently the end game content has been disappointing for many MMO veterans and the idea that each class has their own unique story to play through is a bit of a falsehood, each side - either Republic or Empire has a significantly diverging storyline to experience but once you play through the Empire or Republic side, any of the classes on that side will have almost identical missions and interactions with only minor dialogue changes.

The other element that usually traps players longterm in classics such as World of Warcraft is the PvP (Player vs. Player) content, in this aspect - The Old Republic has a lot of work to do - Hutt Ball and other PvP distractions are fraught with defeciencies and many players aren't happy with the setup. So basically, the big draw right now, is the questing campaign, which can be played single-player style like a traditional Bioware RPG.

If new end game content doesn't come out often enough or PvP doesn't receive some needed revamping soon, I can see large numbers of cancellations in the near future - we shall see.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jose Martin on 2nd February 2012 5:57pm

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Tim Hesse Product Development Executive 8 years ago
I find these numbers so be pretty low, especially sell-through.
New MMOs never have enough content for end-game because they are pushed out too early because they take too long to make (and too much money); promised features that are not in at release ( that everyone expected…

The hardcore will hit level caps and chew through content in a matter of weeks, if not days and if PvP combat and rewards don’t hold up, they’ll head back to their old MMO of choice. Knee-jerk class nerfs will also see the hardcore drop like flies.

That being said, maybe that’s good for SWTOR, it isn’t a very hardcore game – the PvE is easy-mode and the PvP is a mess…the hardest part of the game is managing the overabundance of skills more than half the classes have at their disposal: Let’s build a casual-core game! Make the game super easy except for controlling your character! Casuals know how to handle 25+ keybinds right? It’s not like they click skills with a mouse, do they?
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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada8 years ago
Endgame content is disappointing for -every- MMO. Nobody can produce content at a rate faster than it'll be consumed, so you're really needing to focus on repeatable content that stays interesting.

It's a misnomer to say "any of the classes on that side will have almost identical missions and interactions with only minor dialogue changes." - the class quests are frequently very divergent from other classes. What -is- true is that the core quests on each planet stay the same. However, one aspect that doesn't get touted about much is that each planet has more quests than any one player is likely to play through on their first time through. For example, on the Imperial side, I barely touched Tattooine on my first character through it, and will have a lot of 'fresh' content there when I level through on a future character.

It'll be interesting to see where SWTOR is at in 3 months. So far, it's had a larger launch than WoW in terms of numbers - Star Wars + Bioware is a pretty strong draw. Hopefully they can keep content coming fast enough to satiate the majority, and bring lagging systems up to industry-standard expectations (movable UI, LFG method that doesn't suck, etc).
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Show all comments (8)
Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises8 years ago
These numbers seem accurate, at least for my server. When I'm on the space station doing my auctions I noticed the average numbers of players there has dropped from around 250 last month, to 220 this week.

The endgame content might be lacking, but a lot of those players just make new characters. On the auction I can't even give mid to high level items away, but the lower level items sell for a fortune.
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Tim Swan Founder, Evryway8 years ago
This may be a first month spike, given that you had to set up some form of repeating subscription before you could even start playing your first free month. Many people (myself included) may have simply missed the first cancellation date.
I've enjoyed playing it, but Jose is correct about many people playing it like a single player RPG. I found no real motivation to group up, even less to join a guild - and that left me with a fairly laggy, not terribly pretty (on my old PC) single player experience.
I'm sure they've covered their development costs, though, and it's the best Star Wars MMO so far!
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Sander De Visser Developer 8 years ago
I always find it so strange that MMOs do not get an extensive beta test programme. I guess the risk there is that people will find out quickly how bad the game is, and thus not buy it on launch despite marketing, but if you have a genuinely good game, with a lot of content, how can you not do this? Put in some restrictions, a level cap, whatever, but at least test things like a LFG system, quest lines, PVP, etc. and fix them before launch. How can a game launch with "basic" things like that messed up?

$60 x 2 mil + $15 x 1 mil = 135 mil..? My guess is that that might just cover the marketing budget.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sander De Visser on 4th February 2012 4:36am

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Samuel Verner Game Designer 8 years ago
@james endgame content is only disappointing, if the studio tries to copycat the wow concept. this specific endgamespiral (designed by soe for eq1 in the beginning of the genre when the content was extremely hardcore so it took ages to play trough) leads to this kind of dissapointing gameexperience. there are infinite posibilites to break out of that, but that would require to take a risk by trying something new. instead the people think that blizzard makes money with this system, so why shouldn't it work for them, if they pump enough money into the development... thats the real problem in this genre since years.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 8 years ago
@ Samuel

Indeed... A lot of criticism I've read of TOR is that it's just WoW in the Star Wars universe, with all the short-comings that entails. So many people were hoping for something that was more political, and more in-depth, than what arrived. It's strange that after all these years, the only real "adult" MMORPG is Eve. It's also a shame that Eve is just so arcane that it appears to put-off new-comers. People are pinning their hopes in Guild Wars 2 and the Warhammer MMORPG, but they, too, look to be going after the WoW market, and it's fairly poor business to constantly be chasing after one segment of the market, when it's obvious that there are other avenues out there.
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