Star Wars: The Old Republic Down 400,000 Subscribers

    May 10, 2012
    Sean Patterson
    Comments are off for this post.

Electronic Arts’ (EA) fourth quarter fiscal year results were released yesterday, and they contained some disappointing news for EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. The massively multiplayer online (MMO) game now has 1.3 million subscribers, a significant drop. During EA’s last investor conference call, it was stated that the game had 1.7 million subscribers, meaning a loss of 400,000 subscribers over the past three months.

During EA’s fiscal results conference presentation EA Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello tried to put the best spin possible on the declining subscription numbers. Riccitiello stated that the loss was due to EA counting players who had not yet used their 30-day free trial, which comes with the purchase of the game. He framed the drop as an opportunity to build subscriptions in the future. From the transcript of Riccitiello’s conference address:

So where we are right now with Star Wars: The Old Republic is this. We’ve captured a great business. It’s the most successful MMO through this period in the history of our industry. But we are nowhere relative to sort of what the opportunity in front of us is. What happens from here are content releases every quarter, systems, and tutorials, and feature upgrades quarter to quarter and a future of expansion of content. What we tailored the game for was the core user. We tailored the game for people that have played more than one MMO and were existing MMO players.

Riccitiello mentioned some features coming to the game that he feels will help build subscriptions. In the future, downloads of the game will be “a lot” smaller, meaning it will be easier for new players to obtain the game. Also, “buddy keys” will allow subscribers to invite friends into the game for a short trial period. This is in addition to planned quarterly content releases.

1.3 million subscribers means The Old Republic, as Riccitiello emphasized in his address, has the second highest subscriber number for a western MMO. Also, that number of subscribers works out to around 19.5 million dollars per month that EA and Bioware, the game’s developer, are receiving from subscription payments. That amount might not be what EA investors were hoping for when news came that the had game sold over 2.4 million copies , but it should be enough to continue development of the game, whether or not subscription numbers can be increased in the future as Riccitiello hopes.

What do you think? Was the Old Republic subscriber dip simply casuals dropping the game after their trials, or is the impending competition from Guild Wars 2 and Diablo III beginning to hit the game? Leave a comment below and let us know.

(via Eurogamer)

  • EBB

    i think it will be around for a while i heard a lot of folks griping and leaving because things weren’t exactly the way they wanted them. I found it ironic that some of the folks i knew who left did so just before patch 1.2 which fixed many (not all) of the problems the game has goten rid of the dilettantes and now has IMO made good progress and will keep improving i know i’m not going to leave

  • sinsan

    The problem is they didn’t live up to the hype of pvp. 1.2 did fix some problems but most that left were hoping for the world pvp. They scrapped the project and basically made Ilum a wasteland with nothing to do. Server imbalances also ruined the pvp as you would play huttball over and over against your own friends and factions.

    From a pve standpoint the game is solid. This game is geared towards pve and its a shame as it had so much potential. StarWars Galaxies had better pvp battles than this one.

    • chad

      Couldn’t disagree more. PVP is great, especially because of the general balance in the game. I have 2 level 50’s and Bioware has done a better job balancing Swtor than Blizz ever even attempted in Wow. Blizzard’s idea of balance is just to elevate a different class to earth crushing power every 3-4 months.

      • Eric

        Lolwut? Vanilla non-resil gear was better balanced than ToR, just because every class sucks=/=balance, and don’t get me started on the inconsistencies Huttball has. Are you trolling, or are you actually a Biodrone instead of pretending? You see, their tactic is called bait and switch, they SAY they’re going to come out with warzones, and then hours before patch the developer makes a post saying NOPE JUST KIDDING, GLAD YOU SUBBED, and the problem here is, biodrones, such as yourself, eat it up and defend that horribly obvious cashgrab sentiment. Lots of people come back to the game thinking it will be good and the pvpers return(yes the pvpers, the ones who quit because of imbalance as you so hopelessly try to relate to Blizzard’s balance)and then hours before they get told that they wasted 15 bucks because the thing they came back for is not in game. Don’t kid yourself, this game is utterly trash, and the 1.3 mill subs are biodrones that wouldn’t know a good game from a bad one(durr mass effect 3 ending gr8). And Wow’s 10 million subscriber base, arena system, and Arena TOURNAMENT system disagrees with your balancing.

  • chad

    As a former Wow player of 4 years I cannot understand how more of the Wow community hasn’t immigrated to Swtor. The game has better graphics, it has 8 distinct story lines with 40 distinct companion characters for you to interact with. The pvp play is more fun than any of the Wow BGs. The game is fully voiced, and includes space combat mini games.

    Is the only reason people are sticking with Wow is there are many more below “minimum spec” computers out there than any of us realized?

    • http://yahoo.com Tyler

      obvious noob is obvious. It is beyond apparent that you have experienced very little of the content that WoW had to offer if this is what you truly believe. SWTOR was trash. It was a baby MMO that tried to bring down a God. BioWare should have made a different MMO, not tried to steal WoW players.

  • sinsan


    Have you seen Guild Wars 2? This is what real pvp should be like. Arena combat is not real pvp to a pvp player. Not a huge amount of strategies needed same old maps over and over. There is no world objective pvp in SWTOR. That’s what players are missing. Now maybe on your server the balance was good but not the pvp server I was on. Wow to me was terrible. The only game that I feel did pvp correctly up until gw2 was daoc. There will be no real imbalances because gw2 is server vs server vs server. No main healer classes, no main dps class no main tank class. This creates an environment where you don’t lose because a certain class is not in your war zone. Swtor does not capture that plus group sizes are too small.

  • Chuck

    Sinsan, WHAT? “Arena combat is not real pvp to a pvp player.” Arena is the only thing in wow that has strategy. It is a far cry from perfect, but world pvp and Bgs are simple and boring. Any “Real” pvper would call you an idiot.

    The truth is, Swtor is losing players for many reasons. Content was easy, only reason my group wiped was because of invisible mobs or boss decided to randomly attack someone other then the tank. Ability lag, who likes to have a spell cast when you press it. Well Bioware didn’t think it mattered enough on release. Also there were many people complaining about FPS issues. I will say they did a good job on Questing(Leveling)/Huttball/Class & Zone Design/AOE looting.

  • Eric

    Also, for a good laugh check the Bioware forums sometimes, and their monthly “Are you going to be resubbing” poll, at the beginning when the game came out, it was maybe 2 no, to 8 yes, with the 8 yes berating the 2 that said they didn’t like the game, like hopeless sheep, everytime someone made a comment about what’s wrong with the game there was a flurry of downright insults to the person as if HOW DARE YOU INSULT BIOWARE, with literally zero…ZERO repercussions from Bioware moderators, now the sub question after 1.2 is down to like 7 no, 3 yes, and anytime someone says something out of line as they did in the beginning they just delete the comment, gotta love censorship. The biodrone comebacks are also almost insultingly stupid. I got 50, the pve was terrible RNG, and the ones that wasn’t terribly designed was horribly bugged(luulzSoA), Biodrone response? “Well it’s your fault for leveling too fast and doing content before it works.” …..This is a release game not a beta, and when Soa is still bugged this far after release, you might as well turn your game into free to play because your devs are hopelessly incompetent. Or my favorite “I bet you couldn’t do better”, ummm after KoToR 2 was released they had announced they had been working on this…so….let’s get this right(even though they refuse to admit actual budget) 200 million dollar budget, 6 year+development cycle(WoW had less than 4)I’m damn sure I could do better, as will ANY publisher, they horribly misappropriated the funds. So, in response to the most used Biodrone response, yes I don’t like it, yes I will be going back to WoW the better MMO.

  • Jon Tranfum

    I’m pretty sure everyone is forgetting SWTOR customer service. It is one of the worst companies to ever handle in-game issues I have ever dealt with. No matter what the problem, the response from the CSR is always the same: This is droid c7-w4q6qer4ydfgadsfg, i hear your transmission. Unfort. we don’t know wtf is going on and cant fix these issues, but please check future updates. Meanwhile, my character is stuck dead in pvp respawn box, or some other random mishab that happens along the way. Retarded.