Star Wars: The Old Republic Now Has Fewer Than One Million Subscribers

Subscribers of The Old Republic have dropped from 1.3 million to under a million, publisher Electronic Arts said in an investors call today.

BioWare's massively multiplayer online roleplaying game has been haemorrhaging subscribers since it launched last December. Earlier this year, the subscriber total dropped from 1.7 million to 1.3 million.

EA did not give the number of current The Old Republic subscribers, though the company said it's "well over" 500,000.

Earlier today, EA said the MMORPG would be going free-to-play later this year.


Comments

    Wow. as one of the people who left it, i chalk it up to them taking way too long with legacy content. What was the point off unlocking XP boosts if you needed to play for dozens of hours at Max level to do so? That and the fact that it was such a safe wow clone in terms of combat. Companions ruled though!

      I agree. The constant promise of legacy updates and not have them deiivered turned me off, end game content was lacking a bit too.

      After playing Guild Wars 2 beta and seeing gameplay of the Secret World, I can easily say one of my biggest problems with ToR was that it was literally, LITERALLY WoW in space. It's as you said, the combat system, talent trees, the way you learned skills, was literally just a mirror of WoW. Which isn't an innately bad thing of itself, but if WoW has tonnes more players and tonnes more content, then which game are people going to choose?

        It also doesn't help that these games are so enormous. It takes an army of artists and designers working for years and years to create enough content. SWTOR was what, five hundred people at the peak, with a five year development cycle? So expensive & risky, they basically have to 'reduce the risk' somehow, and that means copying what was a successful model when they started developing it half a decade before, which is WoW.

        This is basically the problem. It seems like there was a thought process along the lines of 'people who are sick of playing WoW will be interested if we change the setting' and maybe that was true in 2007. But the fact of the matter right now is that people are sick of WoW's gameplay, not its setting. If it was just the setting that was the problem, then SWTOR couldn't have failed so quickly - it's Star Wars after all.

        Even WoW itself is losing subscribers. It feels like they've gone to the limit of what the design is capable of. Everything is shifting to free to play not because free to play is the best model, but because people are no longer comfortable paying for the same old experience. I suspect that if any new MMO comes along and hits the same sort of numbers as WoW did, it'll be something radically different. And I also suspect that if/when that game arrives, people will probably be quite happy to pay a subscription for it again.

    Not surprising. It's highly unlikely the game ever actually had 1.7 million subscribers. EA themselves admitted this.

      If memory serves, I think we needed to sign up for a sub when we made an account, even with the free month that comes in the box. I dare say they had a lot more than 1.7 subs.. in the first few weeks. Now, paying subs..

        From Riccitellio's own words in March, you are likely correct.

        "Star Wars, this is an area that I think has got a lot of people anxious. I've heard from investors today saying that we must have 800,000 subscribers. I heard 600,000 yesterday. So what I think a lot of people have misunderstood is we said we had 1.7 million subscribers on the last call, which was about a month ago. What that was about was the fact that only about – just about half that number had triggered through their 30-day point and become active subscribers, our definition of recurring subscribers.

        We had about half that total still in the 30-day trial period, but they're subscribers because that first month is including with a package good. What I said a month ago was, just over half. I can now confirm for you today that the vast majority of the 1.7 is now triggered through that point and they're recurring subscribers."

        http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ERTS/1675578999x0x551670/86a5c9a0-1ee8-480f-887b-04bf50c8d268/ERTS_Wedbush_03082012_Transcript.pdf

        So if I'm reading this correctly, the 1.7 mil number came from the total sales and signups at release. But after the free month, not all of that number became paying subscribers....and since then they've been hemorrhaging players.

    It just wasn't fun, it was my first go at an MMO, the star wars theme dragged me in but it was just baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

    I played it for about 2 hours. Kind've enjoyed it, but I haven't felt the need to go back.

    Should probably cancel that subscription.

    how many of that 1m are active players? Probably 5-10%

    I enjoyed it, but was playing it as more of a single player game than MMO, and it just started to drag out after a bit.

    What really had me leave though was the space combat. So much potential, but it was terribly done from the beginning. I mean, it's an on rail shooter, that should have meant the cinematic feel of it should have been grand, not bland. Capital ships felt small, and replying pointless.

    Ah well. I really had hoped this would be a success, if only to prompt developers to put more effort into the genre... Maybe I'm just over MMO's in general

    Over 500k subscribers and they're still going f2p. Granted, it's no where near WoW levels but still, 500k isn't bad.

    I played for a few months. Got two characters to 50. In the end though the content patches felt too far apart and they just weren't adding content I wanted and the few things that did have potential they screwed up (legacy system). It's a shame that they're jumping on f2p rather than trying to fix the problems with the game.

    What I'm worried about now is that this will deter other developers from trying to add story into their MMOs. It would be easy for people to look at TOR and blame it failing on the story, rather than its lack of core MMO features and poor handling of content.

      they're going F2P because they spent a crap ton of money on it. Over 500k would be good for any other MMO, but not for SWTOR who spent like 4 times what other MMO studios spent on their game and then there's the marketing budget

    I'm sorry, how can anyone make a KOTOR based MMO and still manage to fuck it up?

      By making it an MMO...

      Seriously could have made KOTOR3 and they'd be rolling in Dough...

    Not unexpected. It looks as though they are following the LotRO f2p scheme, which I think works really well for them. It would be enough for me to return if that is the case.

    Personally, I think that the subscription model is outdated - it creates a barrier to re-entering the game after a period away. It's also pretty galling to have to pay full price for your game AND also be required to pay to keep playing.

      Personally I have no problems paying $10-15/mo for a good game. I object to having to drop $60 for the privilege of paying that subscription fee though, especially nowadays when digital distribution is such a big thing.

    I left because of the glaring performance issues.

    Ridiculously bad CS and bug fixing as well, don't forget that part of the TOR experience.

    I literally re-subscribed last night - maybe 12 hours before this story broke. I'm not surprised, and I hope this makes the game available to more players. I'm happy subscribing, at least for the next month or two - and I hope that the creators now will have the resources to create more content.

      doubt it when they've already laid off so many people

    Going F2P is probably enough to bring me back. It's a great game just not worth paying $15 a month.

    is going drop when GW 2 coming end of the month

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