business model

EA Is Now Ironically Stuck With $60 ‘Battlefront 2’ And No Good Way To Re-Monetize It

forbes.com had an interesting article the other day, regarding how EA now is “stuck” with a game they can’t monetize as they want to. Here’s a summary of some of the points: Battlefront got backlash for having a $50 season pass and launching with barebones content. In Star Wars Battlefront 2 they changed the system and promised free DLC while using microtransactions and loot-boxes to monetize the game. Thanks to the backlash, they have removed microtransactions . . . but they’ve stated that they’re planning on reinstating them. If they do bring back microtransactions tied to progression then they will still face backlash. If they bring back lootboxes with only cosmetic items they’ll still draw ire. They’ve already enticed responses from multiple governments on the issues of lootboxes. That leaves them with really only one path forwards that won’t bring back a ton of backlash: Implementing an online store with microtransactions…

Read More

Thinking about investing in the gaming industry? Here is an idea…

As the gaming industry races towards the $100 billion mark, more and more investors are considering a thematic investment in this booming sector. With practices such as casual gaming, online tournaments and eSports becoming increasingly popular, this sector could continue to grow at an exponential rate. Our InTheGame CopyFund gives you the opportunity to invest in this sector as a whole. Get a sneak peek on how the gaming industry has evolved from niche to mainstream, and how you can enjoy its combined growth with one click: Over the past few decades, the gaming industry went from being a $400 million market, occupied mainly by hardcore gamers, to a $99 billion beast that has everyone playing. Revenue sources for the industry have not only increased, but they have also become a lot more diverse, including in-game advertising, downloadable content purchasing and eSports sponsorship to name a few.Thematic investment in the…

Read More

SWTOR Follow Up Analysis from EA’s FY16 Report

EA’s Annual Report in the form of its Form 10-K filed with the SEC this week talks a bit about SWTOR. Where does it stand now? Is it gaining more attention? swtoreconomics had some opinions to share on the matter and we think you’ll find it interesting too: “Star Wars: The Old Republic has received a lot of attention for its episodic story content cycle that began in October 2015 with the release of Knights of the Fallen Empire and opinions vary widely.  There is little doubt that the financial success or failure of this content cycle will be the largest factor in determining the future path of the game.  There is one paragraph that provides essentially all of the information in the entire 97 page report regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic specifically: For fiscal year 2016, service and other revenue was $1,899 million, primarily driven by FIFA Ultimate Team and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Service and other revenue for fiscal year 2016…

Read More

Battlefront a “Unique” Beast of a Game Set to Sell 9-10 Million Copies

The upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront is one of the most hotly anticipated games of the last few years, and while the developer has apparently spared no resources in its creation, EA are expecting to cash in big time come November 17, when Battlefront is scheduled to be launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. According to CFO Blake Jorgensen, the sales estimate on the title is some 9-10 million copies, in EA’s 2016 fiscal year alone (which wraps up in March 2016). Obviously, the long-term potential for the title is much greater. Jorgensen also sought to allay potential fears tied to the actual launch of the product, fears which have been somewhat justified since the problem-ridden, botched launch of Battlefield 4. According to Jorgensen, EA have learned their lessons then, and there aren’t any such unpleasant surprises to be expected with Battlefront. In other Battlefront news: DICE have made…

Read More

ROTHC is Download Only : EA Says Digital is 50% of Sales by 2015

Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore said digitally delivered video games may account for 50 percent of sales by 2015 as more players migrate to tablets and smartphones from consoles. (via Bloomberg). As more players are migrating to tablets and smartphones from PC and tablets, mobile seems to be the way to go which means digital downloads of games. While this might be the future for EA, some hardcore PC fans are not as excited about it. ROTHC is download only but some gamers really like getting a boxed set. Our current home office is surrounded by shelves of boxed Collector’s Editions of various games that my husband and I have purchased and played over the past 10 years or so. We love getting boxed sets, expansions and collector’s editions of the games we loved because they usually contain extras such as music, figurines, posters and more. Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)…

Read More

EA Believes “Freemium” is the Future

Are free to play games with paid upgrades the way of the future? What happened to the days when you go to the store, buy a game and then own it outright- all of it, the full versions of it to play as you choose? Some said that SWTOR would be the last pay to play MMORPG and even it has now gone F2P. Of course, many question how “free” it actually is when there are so many restrictions that you need to pay to unlock. This is what many call “freemium” gameplay models. And if you ask Electronic Arts, freemium is where it’s at. Gamespot tells us: The freemium business model is “where things are going,” according to Electronic Arts vice president of mobile and social studios Nick Earl. Speaking to GameSpot sister site CNET about the recent launch of Real Racing 3, the executive explained that the mobile…

Read More

Ben Cousins Paying to Win Talks about F2P Game Model

In November 2009, EA hit the headlines when the BATTLEFIELD HEROES team made sweeping changes to their in-game economy and virtual item catalogue that many felt would completely destroy the game, as Ben Cousins explains in his “Paying to Win” talk that covers the free to play gaming model and if and how it works. While consumer press, forum users and players claimed that the new game model ruined BATTLEFIELD HEROES, economic statistics would show EA otherwise. Despite the predictions of destruction, over a year on, BATTLEFIELD HEROES continues to be a powerhouse in the free-to-play space, with nearly 7 million registered users, no declining trend in active users, and it long-term future assured. So, what happened? In this talk, Ben Cousins, General Manager of Easy (the EA studio behind BATTLEFIELD HEROES) takes us through the story of this controversy. Through the development of BATTLEFIELD HEROES and the early performance…

Read More

SWTOR Could Attract 50M Monthly Players with F2P Model says Pachter

We all know that SWTOR going free to play is big news. But what we don’t know yet is just how big it might be for the game itself. I personally know a lot of people who say they will play if it goes free now it is. Star Wars: The Old Republic could attract up to 50m monthly players says Wedbush! This could be very good news for the company which has been suffering a stock loss since November. Investors want to see some results and they expected a lot from this game so the new model may be just what is needed to get numbers back in the positive direction they want to see again. Michael Pachter, industry analyst for Wedbush says: “We remain incorrigibly positive on the EA story. Despite a relatively low number of packaged good releases this year, we expect EA to grow revenue and…

Read More

Pachter: “Subscription MMOs have peaked. If Star Wars couldn’t do it, no-one can do it.”

Industry analyst Michael Pachter says that MMOs have peaked. He says that if Star Wars couldn’t make it happen, no one can. It’s an interesting theory from one of the biggest experts in the field but is it true? PC Games explains more: “”I thought Star Wars: The Old Republic would make it big, but it didn’t. It looks like subscription MMOs are as big as they’re going to get – there are only 6-7 million people willing to spend $15 a month. If Star Wars couldn’t do it, made by Bioware, then no one can do it.”” He continues to explain the reasons he believes EA’s stock is dropping. Supposedly, he candidly tells John Riccitiello why no one is buying their stock. I told him: ‘the reason your stock is in the toilet is because you’re in the fifth year of a three year turn around’ says Pachter. He…

Read More

EU now Allows the Sale and Purchase of SWTOR Accounts

Is it legal to sell your SWTOR account if you are no longer playing it? If you live in Europe, it will be. A European court has now deemed it legal to resale the rights to used software licenses, no matter how or where they were obtained. This includes video games like SWTOR. “A European court has ruled that it’s permissible to resell software licenses even if the package has been downloaded directly from the Internet. It sided with a German firm in its legal battle with US giant Oracle.”  Basically this means that you can buy and sell your SWTOR account as you please in Europe. But what does this mean for items or credits? That we are not sure on yet. The article explains: “The ruling made it clear that trade in used software was permissible even if the software had not been shipped on a physical medium…

Read More

Is EA CFO Eric Brown Jumping the TORtanic?

Electronic Arts chief financial officer Eric Brown has resigned from his position at the company, Gamasutra reports. He’s only been with the company for under three years but Friday, February 17th will be his last day. The following Tuesday he will start his new role as both the CFO and COO of communications company Polycom. Current chief accounting officer and senior vice president Kenneth Barker will serve as CFO for EA until they find a new official replacement. Some are saying that Brown is leaving the sinking ship they have dubbed the “TORtanic” before it is too late but is this departure really evidence that something is wrong at the company? It’s important to look at all the facts when making such an accusation. First, Brown has a history of coming and going- with EA as well as with other companies. He first joined EA in 1998 but left for…

Read More

SWTOR Not Hurting WoW as Much as Some May Think

We just heard from EA’s quarterly earnings call that sales of SWTOR are doing great and that they have 1.7 million active users as of February 1st. This news puts something of a muzzle on the nay-sayers who were accusing SWTOR of being a flop. However, we still return to the comparison of SWTOR vs. WoW and this begs the question: Just how much is Blizzard’s cash cow WoW hurting from the success of SWTOR? A report on Venture Beat says it might not be as much as we think. They tell us that traffic reports from leading independent community websites for both of these online games show that SWTOR has actually affected WoW very little at this time. When EA reported a strong number of 1.7 million active SWTOR users on February 1st, it left many industry observers wondering how much this gain had hurt World of Warcraft. The…

Read More

SWTOR Paid Subscriptions are Up

This news comes late, but according to the EA quarter earnings call last week, subscriptions to SWTOR are up- way up! Industry analysts say SWTOR is seeing some good numbers. They are reporting 1.3 million paid subscribers. If you remember another recent report, however, these numbers are just slightly off of what BioWare reported- 1.7 million. Either way, the numbers are fairly close and it means a positive thing for SWTOR and also for EA. The company has many investors hanging on to every update hoping the company will continue to succeed. A great deal of the success of the company rides on the success of this one game so you can bet that investors are seeking every bit of info they can get on it. So far, so good for BioWare and EA because the subscription numbers are high and it’s still a very new game. We can expect…

Read More

Incoming Ads for SWTOR

I know a thing or two about marketing- it’s part of my job in many ways. I often write advertising copy, help with social media marketing and article marketing and run online advertising campaigns for clients. This experience in marketing allows me to understand one common problem with many MMORPGs today- they lack the proper marketing to get noticed by the masses. Blizzard has the resources and the funds for a huge marketing campaign. They have ads everywhere you look, often right under our noses when we don’t even realize it. The problem is that most developers just don’t have the resources to compete, especially with a giant like Blizzard in the MMORPG world. But EA is preparing to carpet bomb you with SWTOR ads, as Dual Shockers explains: Thanks to a transcript of the Q&A Session held during the conference we can get a little more insight on what…

Read More

One Analyst Says SWTOR Sales Concerns are Being Overdone

Some are saying that SWTOR is not selling as well as it was first expected. There has been a bit of an outcry over this in the industry but one analyst group doesn’t think the concerns are that big of a deal. According to Gamasutra: Analyst group Macquarie Securities has released a new report which states that, while there are clearly concerns in the industry that Electronic Arts and BioWare’s recently released Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t selling as well as first hoped, these outcries are “overdone.” The story goes on to explain that while SWTOR releases last month and passed 1 million paid subs in three days (a record for MMOs), EA has still seen a drop in stock price of 3%. This analyst group thinks that many of the issues that are being brought up about SWTOR are actually based on conjecture and says that just because…

Read More

Brokers Concerned about EA Stock Due to SWTOR

SWTOR is a big earner for BioWare and Electronic Arts. The extreme popularity of the game pre-launch and at launch led to great success for EA- at least from the start. All around, the company was recognized and this included with rising stock prices. However, with that fame comes great responsibility. EA has a lot to live up to with SWTOR. There are expectations not only from the gamers but also from those who have invested into the company, based on the proposed success from the game. Any sign of failure on this part will effect more than just the gamers who are playing. Recent reports of bugs and performance issues could be responsible for some investors to question their stock in EA. Could they be jumping too soon? Performance issues cause EA stocks to drop with concerns over SWTOR. This report on Market Watch explains: SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) —…

Read More

EA Has Invested Half a BILLION Dollars in Star Wars

In a story at MarketWatch.com, we learn a bit of interesting news about SWTOR. It’s an article/interview about Electronic Arts’ CEO Riccitiello, 52, but contains a fun tidbit about the BioWare hit of the year- SWTOR. According to the source: In a Dec. 23 statement, EA boasted that “The Old Republic” had attracted more than 1 million registered subscribers in just three days on the market. Doug Creutz of Cowen & Co. says that Riccitiello’s tenure as CEO has featured misfires along with its successes but that “Star Wars” may represent his biggest bet of all, considering both the purchase price of BioWare/Pandemic and the development costs poured into the game since then. “I think it’s safe to say that the total all-in investment in ‘Star Wars’ is probably approaching half a billion dollars,” Creutz says. “EA has minimized its risks as much as it can on this bet, but…

Read More

BioWare Developing SWTOR for the Longterm Future

We all know that for SWTOR to continue to be as successful as it has been on launch, they will need to do a lot more work on developing future content. Of course, BioWare knows this, too and they are already working on it. In an article on PC Gamer, they reveal that they are working on content right now that we won’t see for at least a year or more. “Our writers are working on content you won’t see for over a year,” game director James Ohlen told PC Gamer. “We have a lot of plans. Because of the voice overs, cinematics and moving parts, we have to look way into the future.” This makes sense considering the game took so many years to fully develop in the first place and that it has so many different elements that must go into it. “We want to show our fans…

Read More

Research firm: SWTOR has 350,000 peak concurrent users

Just how many people are actually playing SWTOR? It’s obvious that the game is very popular but how do you put numbers on just how popular it is? GamesIndustry.biz has a story that tells us a little more about just how many users SWTOR boasts today, just weeks after the official launch. One research firm says that SWTOR has 350,000 concurrent users. “”We view the early success of Star Wars as an indication of a healthy MMO market,” said Baird spokesman Colin Sebastian. These users are said to be spread across 215 servers in America and Europe. This is nearly half the 491 servers in WoW. However, these numbers from the firm are different from what the BioWare doctors are reporting. They had different numbers according to their blog post on the official forums. Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk say: “Yesterday was quite a day here in Austin. We likely…

Read More

SWTOR Shows MMO Market is Healthy, According to Analyst

If there was any doubt that the MMO market is at an all-time high, SWTOR just took measures to highlight this for all of the industry to see. Kris Graft from Gamasutra gives us the lowdown on how SWTOR points to a healthy MMO market right now. Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian said: “”We view the early success of Star Wars as an indication of a healthy MMO market. While there is likely some shifting of usage from Activision’s World of Warcraft, we see a viable market for multiple million-user MMOs in the U.S. and Europe.” The Gamasutra article goes on to explain why the analyst says this about SWTOR and what it might mean for the MMO industry/genre as a whole. While the MMO market does have a wild history of bug launches that failed miserably, it’s safe to say that gamers in general are willing to try…

Read More