Star Wars: The Old Republic Has Lost 400,000 Subscribers

old republic drop off

In the months since February, it seems that Star Wars: The Old Republic, EA’s BioWare-made MMO, has dropped 400,000 subscribers, going from 1.7 million to 1.3 million active subscribers, say numbers reported by EA this week in their annual financial report.

During the company’s investor conference call from yesterday, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau explained that the drop was the result of casual gamers jumping ship after a billing cycle:

“When we launched the product back in December, it was an event launch. We brought in a lot of users, and with a brand like Star Wars, it reaches out much past the hardcore MMO fan base into the broader market. And as the service evolves from here, what we’re seeing is that some of those  initial casual customers have gone through a billing cycle and decided not to subscribe to the game.

“But for the most part we’re seeing very good retention amongst core MMO users, which has given us a solid base of around 1.3 million subscribers. The percentage of paying subscribers from our peak until now has actually gone up, and the folks that we have are as engaged as they were when they first bought the product. And in fact, if you look at how we’re going to be releasing content going forward, we have a lot of elder gameplay, a lot of expansion content, that will keep them engaged and continue to grow on sub[scriptions].

“Make no mistake, BioWare intends to grow subscribers.”

Gibeau mentioned the recent content expansions that were released, as well as the successes derived from free-to-play weekends in the game.

All of this sounds reasonable, and 1.3 million users is nothing to sneeze at. Still, as every other company builds yet another MMO for gamers to waste hours upon hours of their lives, it’s probably pretty tough to keep eyeballs glued to the screens. Don’t be surprised if we hear about another drop off sooner or later…just my guess, of course.

Source Electronic Arts

  1. What the fuck why are they not worried that 4/17ths of their customers just got lost. I just know that they are panicking behind their corporate masks.

  2. I bought the game and I didn’t continue my subscription past the first free month. The game was fun but not enough to warrant a $15 a month fee. I can see ToR and WoW both losing a lot of people when Guild Wars 2 comes out. Can’t wait!

    • yea guildwars business model of not charging definitely is more appealing also their games play a lot better to. Too bad the original GW’s can’t run on windows 7

      • GW can run on windows 7, I’ve done it and it played fine. Also ToR was pretty nasty looking and its gameplay really wasn’t worth a subscription. ToR will probably just continue to lose more people until it is on the brink of death and has to go free2play to survive. Guild Wars 2 will also definitely cause a drop in players. Companies should look into the whole “buy to play” thing like GW. No one want’s to pay for ToR, WoW, Rift, and other MMOs at the same time. Not trying to say WoW has a monopoly, but it sort of does.

      • how did you get the original GW to run on windows seven, when I tried I kept getting error messages and it wouldn’t load.

      • Ran fine here too, just installing fresh out of the box, updating and playing, nothing special.


    this is what happened when EA’s dollar for ammo practices become more prevalant, Also for the most part wouldn’t be surprised if most of thos 400k subscribers are Jilted ME3 fans

  4. SWTOR sold over 2 million copies. That means they’ve lost almost half of their subscribers in 5 MONTHS. Even for an MMO, that’s terrible. Then again, SWTOR is just a WoW reskin with broken PvP and a voice actibg gimmick that most people skip anyway.

  5. I should clairify; they sold 2 million copies at launch, so the sales figures now are likely closer to 3 million. Which only makes their playerbase count more embarressing. Add this to the rumored $200 million that it cost to develop and market the game, and you can see that the ship is sinking fast. F2p in 6 months, mark my words.

    • I agree, I loved playing it around when in beta and the first free days I had it but it isn’t something I would throw money at to play that badly. Heck, it isn’t even the best MMO out there, but that is just me because I am growing to hate MMO’s all together for good reasons. Much like how I felt the previous decade was all about FPS and now this decade being for MMO games. However, I just feel that this game will sink to F2P fast as well, maybe sooner or at 6 months at that. SWTOR had the somewhat Star Wars feel to it but was really to me limited. Some of the combat to me was quite off, the certain places where I need allies to fight in were annoying because I wanted to fight alone with my NPC allies instead of just other people. Their is also the whole thing with the glitches in the game that seem funny as to why they missed it. I want the old KOTOR back instead of this to be honest, least then I had my favorite kid memories continuing in what I thought the best RPG game out there, and so forth.

      • It won’t go to free2play, if it does there will be microtransactions up the wazzu, point I made earlier is this is the result of EA’s practices for the most part, including the glitches the missed QA testing(highly doubt there was actual QA testing) EA is good for grinding developers to the ground while also destroying their IP’s. Command and Conquer anyone? Spore and Sim City anyone?

      • wish there was an Edit button because hate double posting.

        Wanted to add on thing
        2 million x 60 dollars a pop equals 120 million in revenue just from launch
        Also decemder to May thats almost 6 months, lets be generous and round down to 5 months, that is 5×15 dollars a month, thats 75 dollars per person, 1.3 millions people are still subscribed
        so in that 5 month period EA has raked in an additional 97.25 million from people who pay monthly

        So since we’re counting
        120 million since launch plus 97.25 million for the 5 month period, equals 217.25 million

        Basically as of May EA has started making a profit, even if people are getting paid to help maintain the game, they are not being paid anywhere near half of that money, Even of the listed subscribers drops to 1million the game will never be free to play because EA likes money other wise the mass effect microtransaction multiplayer would have never been included in the game, EA is still making a nice profit from there MMO.

        Point being Don’t expect anything for free from EA even things that used to be in games of Past.

      • You’re forgetting the massive cost of renting a bajillion servers to accommodate 2 million users (more or less) 24/7, electricity, and paying for, at minimum, 20 people to moderate forums, answer tickets in game, monitor server status and so forth.

      • @Mark

        I don’t see why everyone always brings up the “massive cost” of servers and maintenance when it comes to MMO profitability. Have you ever researched what they cost? It’s really nott as expensive as you’d think. Especially when a company rents a “bajillion” of them, they tend to get damn good prices.

      • Don’t forget the cost of royalty. LucasArts gets a large cut of their profit.

        There’s also the two free-months people have been given. Also, they keep using the word “active” when they use the term “subscribers” so that people don’t actually know how many people are paying. The free months they gave out were both included in the 1.7 and 1.3 million numbers. They may have even counted trial subscriptions into their subscription numbers if you take their term of “active subscribers” literally, but I’ll just assume they didn’t. They are trying their best to hide their actual paying subscriber numbers, which is why they never say anything like “paying subscribers.” It is safe to assume that they were always under those two subscription amounts with their paying subscribers.

        It is just too hard to estimate if they made an actually profit on this game so far. To me it looks like it is a liability up to now, but if it keeps subscriptions for the rest of the year and doesn’t have a high development cost for future content it should be in the clear.

  6. I did the beta tests and enjoyed the game. Though I didn’t buy the game cause of the $15 subscription fee. So I probably won’t touch it until they make a free restricted version to be played on. At least that would be a smart decision to be made, of course this is EA we are talking about so it might take them awhile to let it sink in though.

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