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The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons

Electronic Arts' Q4 FY12 and FY12 Financial Results are now online, offering balance sheets on the gaming giant along with tidbits of information about their operations. They report all-time high non-GAAP net revenue of $4.2 billion for the fiscal year, and a jump in digital non-GAAP revenue of 47% to $1.2 billion. Included is a note saying Star Wars: The Old Republic has 1.3 million active subscribers, which Ars notes is down from a reported 1.7 million in March, confirming speculation the game has been losing subscribers. They also report n a post-earnings conference call where EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said the drop was consistent with their "original assumptions" about the Star Wars MMORPG's post-launch prospects, though he also stated EA "intends to increase subscribers" with continual upgrades, including new guild features, player vs. player improvements, and "elder gameplay" for high-level players. EA also announces two new content packs, "Legacy" and "Allies," will be coming to the game this quarter.

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70. Re: The Old Republic Losing Subs; Gaining Add-ons May 14, 2012, 18:02 Flatline
ASeven wrote on May 7, 2012, 22:07:
So much for TOR being a WoW beater or even coming close to return the $300M investment.

Well, if they sold 3 million copies at 50 bucks a pop, that's 150 million right there.

If they maintain 1 million subscribers at 15 bucks a month for a year, that's another 180 million. Let's be super generous and tack another 50 million a year onto running the damn game (which is insanity) and you're left with a game that will probably hit profitability in 2 years if they can maintain a million subscribers.

My guess is that EA/Bioware were betting on a 3 year turnover until they hit profitability or broke even. Anything less than that is psycho crazy.

As for F2P, it's *way* too early for that. They'll do a status assessment at year 1 I imagine, and will have a pretty clear idea of if they're going to break even/hit profits according to schedule. If they're tanking, expect to see it go F2P not immediately, but right around when income starts into a death spiral. Then they'll hit F2P and get a surge of money and push *hard* to break even. As soon as that happens, they'll evaluate pulling the plug.
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