Friday, March 19, 2010

SW:TOR - One Million Needed to Break Even

I caught this article over at Joystiq where EA management has reported that earnings are somewhat depressed due to development costs of SW:TOR. But they are hopeful to recover expenses when the title brings in over two million subscribers and will need at least one million to break even.

While it's not as lofty as the three million that Warhammer was expecting, that seems to be an awfully high expectation. But then again maybe they are just referring to the initial box sales rather than continued subscribers. There is a high interest and a lot of sci fi mmo refugees looking for a new home. And it's made by BioWare, which is enough reason for many. It looks great from what I've seen, but so great that it probably won't run well on my system, so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Still no word on the official pricing model aside from the statement that the plan will "be more of the traditional business model with maybe some twists as well."


Yeebo said...

If they are talking about box sales, it's a pretty reasonable expectation. Hell, AoC sold nearly a million boxes and it had a horrific launch from a relatively unknown company [their largest claim to fame at that point being the Anarchy Online launch, widely regarded as one of the worst in MMO history]. I'd be shocked if SW: TOR can't do a million in box sales.

If on the other hand, they are talking about a million players hanging about past the first free month (much less a few months), SW: TOR may very well sound the deathknell for big budget sub based MMOs.

If they really need a million subs, EA will end up taking a bath on it. After such a colossal and visible failure, no developer in their right mind will ever budget for an audience larger than 100-200K in the future. Which is arguably how it should be now, truth be known.

Aspendawn said...

It's as if WoW's 11 million completely changed what is considered acceptable subscription numbers. 200k was always admirable before and still should be.