EA held its Q1 2013 earnings call today and Ten Ton Hammer had the chance to sit in and find out the latest on Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), and we sensed a disturbance in the Force when EA CEO John Ritticello in his opening comments said The disappointing results of Star Wars: The Old Republic were largely offset by a powerful performance from Battlefield 3 Premium service.
Prior to the earnings call, EA and BioWare announced that SWTOR would be making the move to free-to-play this fall. The earnings call narrowed the date down a bit more stating that the free-to-play jump will happen this November. As expected given the server migrations, SWTORs subscription numbers continued to decline as EA President of Labels Frank Gibeau stated that subscriptions have now dropped below the one million mark, indicating that SWTOR has shed at least 300k more subscribers since May when the MMORPG lost 400k following a successful launch in December 2011 that saw more than 1.7 million players join the game.
"Although it launched well, subscriptions have been on a declining trajectory and have now slipped below one million. Last year we announced that the breakeven point was roughly 500,000 subscribers. And while we are well above that today, thats not good enough, said Frank Gibeau.
The message from players exiting the game is clear 40 percent say they were turned off by the monthly subscription. And many indicated they would come back if we offered a free-to-play model."
Despite the decline, EA reported a 69% growth in subscription, advertising and digital revenue over the year spearheaded by SWTOR.
Source: EA Q1 2013 Earnings Call
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