Star Wars: The Old Republic Loses 400,000 Subscribers

Star Wars: The Old Republic Loses 400,000 Subscribers

Star Wars: The Old Republic has dropped from 1.7 million active subscribers to 1.3 million, publisher Electronic Arts said today in an earnings statement.

That’s a loss of nearly 25 per cent for the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game, or 400,000 subscribers.

In its Q3 earnings statement earlier this year, EA reported 1.7 million The Old Republic subscribers. Today, that number is down to 1.3 million.

One explanation for the drop could be simple: Launch-day subscribers stopped playing once their free 30-day trials were up. However, EA has not made any mention of that possibility.

Electronic Arts Reports Q4 FY12 and FY12 Financial Results [EA]


  • Or the loss of players is because it’s shite.. Tried it, even paid for a month and gave up .. But then, what can you expect when the studio behind it is really Mythic (which EA just rebranded as Bioware) who created that highly successfull MMO Warhammer Online.

  • I played the crap out of it for about a month – got one character to 32, and another to 25. Suddenly, without warning I was struck with a massive case of CBF. It’s weird, I was thoroughly enjoying it, and I haven’t enjoyed an MMO like that since quitting WoW a couple of years back.

    But since then, I havent touched it for around a month or so, and really have no urge to pick it back up again – even since 1.2 came out. It’s a strange one – it’s not like I wasn’t enjoying the game.

    Just, meh.

    • Yeah i got the same feeling just after 1.2 release, not sure why its a great game, extremely enjoyable, i rekon my brain is just making me take a break in preperation for diablo 3.

    • Had the same thing happen.

      Picked it up on US launch. Played it solid for a month (highest character to 40) and then it was like I hit with that case of CBF.

      According to Ratpr I sunk 189hrs into the game in that period. I was tempted to get back into it with 1.2 but it just never happened.

    • Had the exact same thing happen to me also, even right down to 2 characters with roughly those levels. No desire to play it ever again really.

    • I feel exactly the same, got to lvl32.. new planet but it was the same all over again, skipping conversations killing stuff and handing in… just not… fun.. waiting for D3.

    • I played the free trial for a while and didn’t see anything overly interesting or anything that’s different enough from WoW.
      I stopped playing WoW a few months ago but I would need a really good reason to take up a different MMO (read: time sink). And ToR didn’t provide that really good reason.

    • so strange you said that Ynefel! Level 32 is exactly where i stopped i think.

      Had the exact same thing happen to me. Played it for a solid month/ or 2 straight. Beers on friday night slaying guys with my light sabra. Then all of a sudden, i had to go from tattoine to another planet and just couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t like i wasn’t enjoying myself i was having a blast. Just couldn’t be ass’ed starting a new planet.

      I think there just want enough variation, go here kill that, walk here collect that. and repeat. Also no teleport to dungeon was horrible. Oh and i was a tank jedi, (guardian i think) my armour just didn’t change enough. Hmm i think a lot of things are to blame, i think im to blame that i lost interest actually. Good game, alot of hard work but didnt grab me.

    • Yep, was actually enjoying the story, but the grind got to me. I am not the biggest fan of running about for no real reason to begin with, but it really is one of the things that MMOs really need to fix. MMOs lack purpose in motivations, especially when you don’t have that drive to get meaningless loot.
      What I am doing at the moment is dropping in every so often, do a quest then leave. I honestly think that TOR could be better than it is now… story work is great, samey, samey grind not so much. Space aspects and personal Starship uses could be better too

    • I did that also, got it b4 it was released in Aus, got a 50 and a 32m got bored coz of n really entertaining or fun end game content… after doing it all all there is is PVP… havent played since 1.2 came out either but un subbed until i see its better…. fun and all but im w8ing for GW2

  • just quit last week. enjoyed the stories and the voice acting, but I didn’t really want to grind hard modes at 50. and raiding just reminds me of wow.. need to rush home after work and stuff some dinner into face to rush to t raid… no thanks.

    whelk us someone going to make an mmo with an ending?

    • Technically WoW has had “endings” since Burning Crusade. With each expansion, that particular “adventure” comes to an “end” when you defeat the main threat (Illidan, Arthas & Deathwing)

      • And by burning crusade you mean like 10 months after burning crusade.

        Since not one WoW expansion has had the major threat in the game when it was released. People pay subs for 10 more months to actually get the content that would be classed as Burning Crusade content(Any and all content until an expansions Big Bad Guy is released) as opposed to the additional content provided by the sub fee

        • I didn’t realise Outlands, Northerend, and the new zones in Azeroth were “old content”.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but perhaps besides Illidan not being prevalent at the start of BC, LK and Deathwing were engaged and in your face from the start.

          If you’re referring to Blizzards end-game model having the bad guy at the end, well it wouldn’t make sense for you to have access to the end boss straight off the bat now would it?

  • Really… this game should have been a single player game, with the option to play a little co-op with some buddies…

    I think EA went the route of “but if we take this game franchise people love and charge them MONTHLY to play it, we’ll make more money!”, rather than actually giving most fans what they originally wanted

    • To be fair people have been absolutely begging for a Knights of the Old Republic MMORPG forever. This was meant to satisfy both groups but they went with a tired combat system that has nothing to do with Knights of the Old Republic and sucked the fun out of an otherwise brilliant game.

      • The problem is the universe doesn’t make sense for an MMO. Even KotoR stretched it a bit with the RPG mechanics. But at least then it wasn’t oh look this guy has withstood a bajillion lightsaber attacks without dying.

        And the thing of it is that it doesn’t really satisfy both groups. Because there would be far more people who would prefer KotoR 3 over an MMO. Basically anyone who only games on consoles is never going to play SWTOR.

        What people would have preffered was some form of online or Co-op. Which is what they really want from an Elder Scrolls MMO, they don’t want the MMO part of it they just want the ability to play with or against friends.

        Basically all the things people like about Elder Scrolls can’t translate into a Sustainable MMO.

        • I agree with most of that*, but I still think it was a genuine attempt to satisfy fans rather than a pure cash grab from EA. They could have done a better job of a lot of things but it’d chalk those up as failures and not side effects of trying to make a cash cow. Things like filler content are sort of gray areas in that regard. They exist to drag the game out, but most MMORPG models need to be dragged out or they fail to hold an audience.

          *I do however think the universe can work really well for a MMO. Balancing in the Jedi/Sith make it hard but a story driven MMO in the Star Wars universe has tons of potential if done right. If it’s just the lightsaber and blaster shots not hurting anyone that gets your goat (fair enough) there are ways around that.

          I do like the co-op idea. I’ve always pictured TESO as more of a Secret of Mana or Dungeons & Dragons style micro multiplayer online game (mostly because Morrowind had like the perfect DM toolset). The sort of game where you phone your friend and say ‘hey buddy, come online so we can go punch a dragon in the balls’ and it doesn’t matter that your friend has only been playing for a few hours.
          I think the key to making something like TES, Fallout or Star Wars a MMORPG is not gating content based on level (that and a good combat system). You get to the end of a game like SWTOR or WoW and instantly you’re cut off from 95% of the content and created a massive rift between players. Sure, you can go back and do it but it’s like playing with cheats on and there’s no purpose to it. You can technically adventure with low level friends but their job is pretty much reduced to watching you kill things. Content dries up and the game gets boring because they’ve made almost all of it completely irreverent to the level capped player.
          Make it so that as you level or whatever you gain skill points and advance on the talent tree but don’t gain stats from leveling/gear or massive boosts from the talents. You gain advantages and tools/techniques, but player skill is still a big factor.
          Make it so that where you adventure and what you do is up to you rather than going/doing things that are predetermined for your level. That sort of freedom is a big part of games like The Elder Scrolls and I really believe it can be translated into a sustainable MMO. As long as you’re willing to ignore the MMORPG mainstream.

    • I agree with you Chuloopa, the main reason I hate this game is because I know its the reason we don’t have KOTOR 3. I would have loved 2-4 player coop, especially using the new rolling dialog system they made for TOR. I would have even been overjoyed to have a single player only KOTOR.

  • or it could be that the subs have played guild wars 2 beta on the weekend, and now there totaly unmotivated to go back to playing swtor (like me with wow)

  • Im still playing it and thoroughly enjoying it.
    But i only just got my second character to 50 so i am probably playing it a bit slower than most, so i probably didnt get burned out as quickly as everyone else.

  • I am still playing it. It’s a good game but if you’re burnt out from wow, you’ll probably bore of this… Waiting for GW2.

  • It’s just the same old MMO formula, they couldn’t have expected to dominate the MMO market with the only difference being “a story-line”. I played till 50 and even raided / all the pvp gear (till 1.2) then I rolled an alt and did it all over again. After that I just wasn’t interested anymore. I don’t like the gear grind pvp system. I don’t like that no one tries to win WF’s (I get pretty competitive in PvP). I’ll just wait for D3 and once that doesn’t live up to the hype i’ll move over to GW2 lol :S

  • I’m still playing. I sorta stopped a little there because of Trials…
    I’ve been playing a bit slowly though, had the game for 2.5 months and am only at level 28 on my first character.
    I’ve mostly been playing it as a single player game though, not really doing and mp stuff. Mostly because at 6-7 in the morning there aren’t many people on, also because I’m not really a fan of socialising…

  • Im still playing and loving it, though you really need a few friends to make it worthwhile. I had the same thing as other ppl in that 40-50 feels very grindish and I really had to push myself to get to the last story bit but it was totally worth it!

    I’m going to play GW2 as well and I’m really excited about it, but I still think people believe its the next saviour of MMO, when I’m sure there will be a point where it too will feel like a grind…. or am I just too cynical?

  • Still playing since release, enjoying it, (although i did pay for a 6month sub), chances are ill be droping that sub to 3 months next bill cycle, then possible 1 month unless something changes ingame to keep me active.

    • Haha yes, but its funny how close to the truth they were.
      Hopefully this makes Bethesda reconsider making the Elder Scrolls MMO

      • That’s unsurprising, they’re usually either close to the truth or so outlandish as to obviously be a joke.

  • I played for 3 months, got a level 50 and a few level 20’s… but as soon as I hit 50 on my Jedi I absolutely lost interest… it was such a severe case of “What now?”… Within 2 days I was practically fully decked out in Purple PVP gear… in WoW I played for 3 months and didn’t get my first Purple until I returned to the game for the first expansion!

  • I was one of the poor saps that went to the Guild Summit back in march. By the end of it, I had unsubbed.
    They really have no interest in actually attempting to understand their target audiences, instead just throwing together sloppy updates to milk another month out of you.
    They really needed to take a lesson from Star Trek Online; a brand name alone wont keep your subpar MMO afloat.

  • They f-ed up bad. First they’ve spread the population way too thin to the point where they couldnt sustain a healthy ecosystem…second…theres way too many game breaking bugs in the encounters. And just for aus players…they decided to split everyone up and just dangle the possibility of server transfer down the line (which they eventually did but a bit too late imho).

  • The game lacked immersion IMO, the fleet hub destroyed any reason to leave and the engine it ran on is bland and ugly. nuff said.

  • I’ve kinda stopped playing due to uni and a case of the CBF. Oddly enough I’m still paying for it despite not having actually logged in for two or three months now… I moved my character to one of the Australian servers so hopefully I can get back into it (and be able to see a more populated server for that matter…) once this semester’s up.

  • Another for the camp of “Early Booster, Tried It, Played It, Got Bored, Hardly Bother Now”. The lead in looked sweet, loved the KOTOR games and largely enjoy Bioware’s efforts. There’s nice people in the community, too. But it was my first MMO and I guess the particular kind of MMO style just ain’t for me. (I know the genre has a broader array than just the WOW style publishers want to ape, but I’ve never felt the urge to look.Largely a console-based solo player who took a chance.) Leveled several characters to 30ish, and it’s just head against a wall thereafter. It’s not enjoyable. Maybe there needs to be a “narrative mode” for people who don’t enjoy grinding, on separate servers from the hard core types. A free pet and Founder badge just aren’t cutting it. Not fun, not nearly as much as playing Skyrim on my couch with a 50 inch screen. Don’t feel like running errands? Fine, I’ll go explore and drink in the scenery. Making TESO like SWTOR would be mind-bogglingly stupid, I think – but the coverage here sure looks like that’s the plan. Perhaps it’s a premeditated tax dodge? Oh well. Back to my newest game, Morrowind – finding that a hell of a lot more interesting than SWTOR turned out to be, for all the hooey about the (samey sounding) voice acting! 😀

  • I was one if the 400,000… I honestly love the game but i simply dont have the time to pour in hours everyday to get anywhere. That and mmo’s pull you away from every other game and my todo list of last years titles (and the year before 🙁 ) is so long I wanted to try and play through them.
    At this point I honestly dont know what it would take for an mmo to be a more casual experience so i could play sporadicly and still feel like im achieveing something and having fun…

    • At this point I honestly dont know what it would take for an mmo to be a more casual experience so i could play sporadicly and still feel like im achieveing something and having fun…

      Try giving DCUO a shot if you’ve got any interest in the whole super hero thing. The free to play model is distracting and ‘achieving something’ is debatable, but the game works best as a casual game and most importantly it plays like a traditional action game instead of a WoW-like MMORPG. End-game has a fair bit of token grinding but the gameplay/content stands on it’s own well enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re only doing it to get the better gear.
      Plus all it costs is a download which helps. =P

  • I’ve played alot of MMOs in my time and I really think that this was positioned to be a really solid title. Unfortunately the mechanic behind planets makes the game feel quite empty and barren. It feels like a letdown for something that had quite a bit of hype about it.

  • I played the Beta and really enjoyed it, but I just haven’t had time since then to play. I told myself I was going to start when the Australian servers were established, but I still don’t have the time. It’s really frustrating, as this would be my first MMO and I’m sure I wouldn’t experience some of the “CBF” problems WoW fans are having.

  • Another thought that occurs to me about this. I wonder if in five years Bioware will look back on the Lucas license the same way they may well do now about the D&D one. Lucrative, helpful at first, then a problem-making millstone around the neck – but one which ultimately saw them make their own kinds of related IP. (Provided EA don’t give them grief if SWTOR loses more and more subscribers.) For all the love I have of KOTOR, if Bioware had made their own space fantasy game maybe it’d have done just as well on its own merits? I’m still waiting to see more of Jade Empire, whenever they get the urge to make a sequel. OTOH, no matter whether they own the IP or not, I really am not convinced that SWTOR plays differently enough as it should do, whether you like WOW mechanics or not. Perhaps they could overhaul the whole works but given the trouble ad additional risk that might bring, maybe it’ll get concreted like the lowest levels of Apeture’s facility… 😉

  • Can someone tell developers its 2012 and subpar MMO combat just aint cutting it anymore! The amazing cut scenes, well done story elements, and Star Wars license just isn’t enough if the gameplay is shite. As evident here, there are an alarming number of players not even getting to level cap before giving it away. It’s simply because SWTOR plays exactly the same as the other dozen MMO’s gamers have already sunk hundreds if not thousands of hours into over the past 15 years.

  • I dunno what you’re all whinging about. I played it during beta, I played it on launch day, and I’m still playing it. I just got my first set of purple (Raid level) gear last night because I play at my own pace. Sure the game changes at level 50 but the fact that it changes I quite like. I have a guild I enjoy playing with and I’m sure I’ll enjoy learning the actual deep mechanics of the game. I haven’t touched PvP yet so there’s that to learn as well.

  • I was just annoyed that my Consular looked like a cross dresser in most armour….yes, that’s seriously why I quit. I invested so much time into him only to find out that the end game armour for the Consular looked like crap. Being the loot jockey that I am, I rage quitted.

  • I quit due to game breaking bugs and the fact that despite the developers saying they were listening to their customers they really didn’t have a clue what we wanted and just kept destroying the game.
    They fucked up every content release and each new patch to fix things only broke the game further. They cut back on the original features of the legacy patch to rush it out the door and who knows when they are actually going to release a finished patch.
    I’m playing Tera now and enjoying a new type of combat system. Yeah the levels are a little grindy and there are very little voice overs but the gameplay

  • I quit due to game breaking bugs and the fact that despite the developers saying they were listening to their customers they really didn’t have a clue what we wanted and just kept destroying the game.
    They fucked up every content release and each new patch to fix things only broke the game further. They cut back on the original features of the legacy patch to rush it out the door and who knows when they are actually going to release a finished patch.
    I’m playing Tera now and enjoying a new type of combat system. Yeah the levels are a little grindy ( it’s a Korean mmo what can you expect ) and there are very little voice overs but the gameplay and combat are good enough to make you forget that. Props to a game company breaking the traditional mmo formula with new combat.

  • I am currently still playing SWTOR. I also hit the wall at level 32ish. I left the game for a few months and then came back. I ended up bailing on my Juggernaut and start up a Vanguard. Hit the wall again at 30 but decided to push on because I wanted to see the end game content. One thing that has been absent from this game to this point is the feeling of defeating something epic in nature. In other mmo’s you have the opportunity to fight massive creatures and monsters that dwarf you. Destroying them feels like a real accomplishment. In SWTOR your boss fights are against Armored and Force Wielding humans. While the fights are fun and challenging they just don’t feel as epic as taking down a giant dragon. I will push on to lvl 50 with the hope that the bosses start to get a little grander in scale and feel but will leave the game very disappointed if I get to the end and am fighting human scale bosses.

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