business model

SWTOR “fastest in history” MMO to 1 million subscribers

Star Wars: The Old Republic “fastest in history” MMO to 1 million subscribers – or so says Geek.com. I am not surprised in the slightest to hear of these statistics. Even if I wasn’t a personal fan of the game, it’s easy to follow the history of the game to date and see the great popularity of it thus far. It has the makings of an incredible, stat-breaking game or a failure of epic proportions if it lets the gamers down. So far, it’s leaning towards the former. Sure there are gamers who just aren’t that impressed with SWTOR and that’s ok. To each his own, right? But still, there are millions who are into the game and appreciate it for what it is and what it might be. Can you believe that SWTOR has 1 million subscribers already? This makes it the fastest MMO to reach this feat. Geek.com…

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Star Wars: the Old Republic Initial Statistics

Since the launch of SWTOR just a few days ago, the world has seen new standards being set in the MMO industry. It’s the fastest-growing subscription MMO in history, with more than one million registered players since launch and growing. Darren Centinello brings us a feature that discusses just how well SWTOR is doing post-launch based on a few stats and early numbers. It’s too early to say exactly what this will mean for the future of SWTOR and BioWare but it’s definitely a strong start to a popular game. Quick stats on SWTOR from VGRevolution: Logged 28 million in-game hours – roughly equivalent to watching all six Star Wars movies, two million times. Averaged well over five hours a day playing the game. Created more than 3.8 million characters; 510,000 Jedi Knights and 550,000 Sith Warriors. Killed more than 2 billion non-player characters in the eight days since Early…

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National Post Explores: Will SWTOR Dent WoW?

Ah, the classic debate continues as National Post writer. Daniel Kaszor explores the topic of SWTOR’s affect on WoW in Tuesday’s Download Code. As they as “Can EA’s Star Wars MMO make a dent in World of Warcraft?”, we see more evidence of just how serious the business of video games really is. Kaszor says: In an interview with Reuters last week, Activision-Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick had this to say about the upcoming Electronic Arts Inc. release of Star Wars: The Old Republic (a game similar to Blizzard’s blockbuster World of Warcraft, but obviously set inside the Star Wars universe). He then goes on to quote and discuss Kotick’s comments on whether or not EA could steal users from WoW and also questions whether or not rival EA would make any money off of the game at all since they have to share revenue with Lucas Arts. We recently…

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SWTOR Will Have Time Cards

It’s getting closer to launch day and if you’re part of the many getting prepared, you might be ready for stocking up on game cards now. For those who were concerned about whether or not they will have a credit card to use for SWTOR subscriptions, Stephen Reid had some useful info to pass along via Twitter: @streamingpirate We’ll have time cards. As we said in the pre-order FAQ… from July. 😉 That pre-order FAQ he’s referring to states this: “I don’t want to pay my subscription using a credit card. Is there any other way to purchase subscription time? You can use your PayPal account to pay for your monthly subscription. You can also purchase 60-day pre-paid subscription cards through your preferred video game retailer.” And can be found right here. This is great news for anyone who doesn’t have or doesn’t want to use a credit card for…

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LucasArts to Take “around 35%” of SWTOR Revenue- EA Still to Have Profit

We know that EA will not be pocketing all of the profit from SWTOR, which looks to be a very successful game but has also been quite a large investment. They will have to share with Lucas Arts, who owns rights to the Star Wars name. some have said that EA may not have much to gain in the way of profit from the deal but one analyst said there is plenty to go around. (Isn’t this what I just said yesterday?) According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, LucasArts will take “around 35 per cent” of the revenue from forthcoming SWTOR MMO after EA earns back its investment in the game. “I think [EA] will make a profit,” said Pachter, who has proven to be right on these types of things in the past. He adds: “The revenue split is around 35 per cent to LucasArts after EA earns…

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Activision Questions Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Chances at Profitability

The days are counting down to the December 20th launch of SWTOR and as many are getting excited about the upcoming MMO, there are others who don’t quite fall into all the hype. Some are predicting SWTOR might not do as well as predicted and that even if it does, there won’t be much room for profit for EA with such an expensive game that they also have to share licensing rights with to Lucas Arts. Will there be any room left for profit from SWTOR? Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick says EA Will Lose Out with The Old Republic but could he be right? There’s no surprise that there are skeptics when it comes to SWTOR. In fact, with any big thing, there are going to be those who oppose it but how much truth might there be to the questioning? Kotick made his remarks about SWTOR at the Reuters…

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Analyst Downgrades Blizzard Stock in Anticipation of SWTOR Launch

Could Blizzard lose more fans as the SWTOR launch date approaches? It’s been called a WoW-killer before but one analyst believes Blizzard stock might take a hit as SWTOR launches.  Earlier this month, Activision Blizzard revealed that WOW subscriptions had fallen by 10 percent since March, dropping to 10.3 million worldwide. Now Gamespot reports that age and increased competition for the MMOG market can cause Blizzard to lose more stock. This article explains:   In an investor note today, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Atul Bagga expressed pessimism over WOW‘s ability to reverse its negative trend. In the process, Bagga downgraded Activision Blizzard’s stock from “buy” to “neutral.”    Bagga’s move was primarily motivated by a Lazard Capital Markets survey of online players, which was conducted in conjunction with Peanut Labs earlier this month and polled 381 online gamers. The study found that WOW’s age, as well as increased competition, could…

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SWTOR Release 5 Days before Christmas- a Genius Idea?

Now that we finally have a release date for SWTOR, people are talking about the choice of that date. With December 20th, 5 days before Christmas set for launch, could BioWare be onto something special here? Why did BioWare choose this date anyway? We know the launch date was of super importance when it comes to SWTOR but we almost never see blockbuster titles out so close to Christmas, or even in December at all. So what was EA thinking with this decision? The guys over at Mad Tang have a theory on this topic. A snippet: “It doesn’t matter when the game is released there will be a line out the door to pick up every copy. People are going to do whatever they have to to get a copy of this game. Nerds will fight other nerds during the last minute Christmas rush in epic battles to get…

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WoW Number One Due to Lack of Competition

For the past seven years, World of Warcraft has ruled the MMORPG scene. I know as I have played off and on since beta. I took “WoW breaks” and it seemed I would return again and again when I grew bored of whatever MMO I was playing at the time. It’s a great game despite what some haters will say but even I, a longtime fan, grew bored of it. I wanted something new, something different, something more… but I still loved many of the things that made WoW so great.  Some people believe that WoW has survived for so long because it has not had any real competition. Although I love many things about the game, I have to agree on this. I’ve tried many other MMOs, including nearly every free-to-play MMORPG I could find to download to my computer and none of them had the total package that…

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Sales Predicted To Hit 3 Million In Year 1

Now that we know a release date for SWTOR, we see more and more people talking about just how popular this game will be. Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz predicts that the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic will sell 3 million units in its first year. The numbers expected in the first year are at an incredible million with the following year bringing in about million. These numbers are astounding as before the release date the projected sales were considerably lower. The new numbers are based off of the projected pricing plan for the game. Star Wars: the Old Republic will be released in the US on Dec 20, 2011 and in the UK on Dec 22, 2011. The announcement of the release date brought many unseen Star Wars fans rushing to the stores to quickly preorder their copy of the game. This is what increased the number…

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Investing In EA Could Be a Great Choice Right Now

There is good news for those who hold stock in EA and also for anyone considering investing in the company now. Many experts believe the benefits outweigh the risks to investing in Electronic Arts with big titles like SWTOR on the way.  Seeking Alpha reports: Electronic Arts (ERTS) is on the verge of releasing potentially one of the best selling games of the year and possibly the decade. While there is no official release date set, Electronic Arts through its BioWare division has stated during their Q1 2012 Conference Call that it’s targeting the 2011 holiday season to release its upcoming massively multiplayer online role playing game [MMORPG] Star Wars: The Old Republic. You don’t even have to like video games to realize that this is a big move and that the stakes and the payouts could be high for getting in with the company now. The reasons this article…

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The Force is with EA: Analyst Predicts Over 3 Million SWTOR Units sold

Yes… 3 MILLION! $ERTS stock has risen due to SWTOR pre-orders. EA is doubling projected sales from 1.5 million copies to 3 million copies. This is big news for EA, BioWare and anyone who is a fan of SWTOR or has an invested interest in the game. An article today on Forbes, an analyst discusses the rising predictions in sales and the potential success of SWTOR, which may be larger than anyone anticipated. ERTS this morning is up 24 cents, or 1.4%, to $17.86. Cowen analyst Doug Creutz says: “Since ‘Star Wars‘ became available for pre-orders three weeks ago, it has tracked very strongly on the Amazon.com top-selling video games list,” he writes in a research note. “We believe it is trending as well or better than two of the top-selling PC titles last year, Blizzard’s ‘Starcraft 2‘ and ‘World of Warcraft: Cataclysm‘, both of which went on to sell…

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Star Wars n00bs Be Warned: There Be Pirates!

A story broke last week at the New York Times concerning a fiendish plot by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to raise badly needed cash, by unleashing young hackers on South Korea’s immensely popular online gaming sites, and it got me thinking about the potential perils facing SWTOR new-comers. Since MMORPGs became big business, it was somewhat inevitable that Virtual Crime would become part and parcel of the communities. Unfortunately it is likely that that rogue element will also find its way into the SWTOR gaming world as soon as the game gets a release (in 2030 probably), with rackets set up to bully players into paying protection or illegally trading commodities. They are a fetid boil on the backside of MMORPGs and they must be stopped, or at least resisted with all of our power. The most likely crime SWTOR will face is farming, and thanks to innovations suggested…

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Breaks EA Pre-order Record

As we reported with yesterday’s EA Q1 Earnings Conference Call, Electronic Arts is doing pretty good with SWTOR. But just how good is that? Well, apparently they have broken their record for pre-order sales for a game. According to EA’s Q1 FY12 Financial Results they have the fastest pre-ordered title in the history of EA in just the first five days. EA’s previous pre-order record was set by Battlefield 3, while SWTOR far exceed BF3‘s pre-order sales, beating their expectations. “We’re well over 200,000 pre-orders in the first five or six days. From an EA perspective, that is significantly greater than any other EA title we’ve ever had in the first week,” said the company’s finance chief, Eric Brown. President Frank Gibeau said, “In September, we will be in a position to call the ball and give you a hard ship date””. That means the rest of us will have…

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Electronic Arts Q1 2012 Earnings Conference Call Live Blog

Today was the EA Q1 2012 Earnings Conference Call and we were interested in one thing- what they had to say about SWTOR. With this game being the pinnacle of the company at this time, you can guarantee they had a few things to say about it on the call. Here is an overview of the highlights of the call: John Riccitiello says that there were strong preorders for The Old Republic. He goes on to say, “Origin will scale quickly with Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic later this year.” Frank Gibeau says, “SWTOR targeted to launch in Holiday 2011, is able to ship with a variety of launch dates.” He adds to expect higher revenue from subscriptions for The Old Republic. John Riccitiello says, “We will launch SWTOR and battle to take a slice of the MMO market.” The conference calls move into the question and…

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TOR to Sell 2 Million Units at Launch According to Analyst

Everyone seems to be highly concerned with how much TOR is going to sell on launch. We keep hearing predictions, guesstimates and more. One analyst familiar with the industry says the magic number will be 2 million units at launch. Michael Pachter with Wedbush Securities issued an investor note yesterday that says he predicts the launch sale of 2 million units with 1.5 million staying after the initial free month that is traditionally offered by games. Pachter is the host of Pach Attack on GameTrailers, and he tweets from @michaelpachter. I think he’s on to something here and I tend to agree with the numbers. I mean, it makes sense when you add all the factors. This game has something for so many different people- MMORPG fans, Star Wars fans, ex-WoW players, those who want to be ex-WoW players and more. There’s not a lot of question about BioWare bringing…

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Scary stuff right here

I’m a firm believer that BioWare can pull the weight of this game. Electronic Arts is “just” the publisher, The quality of  SWTOR comes down to BioWare assuming EA let’s them have enough time to finish it up, however the quality of the on-going service with the servers is EA, content patches BioWare again. It really comes down to hopefully enough people buy it that they won’t have an excuse of not having enough money or something for decent server/bandwith. The point of the image is to illustrate that EA has a track record of being incapable of building, maintaining and supporting their MMORPG projects and every time close them down or throw them into stasis within a year or two. Join the forum discussion on this post

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E3 2011 – EA Analyst Event

Today during E3, EA had an analyst event at Los Angeles. This event covered a large range of questions related to EA’s profile but as is no surprise, SWTOR had a large portion of the revenue stream for the company going forward. A lot of people have a lot of interest in the popularity and success of SWTOR, aside from just those of us who want to play. While there wasn’t really any new information released here that we don’t already know, it’s always great to know the plan is the same, and that they are on track for releasing SWTOR before the end of this year, as projected. In the analyst call, EA’s CFO, Eric Brown talked about how the financial performance of the company is expected to be higher at the end of 2012 when TOR has had a chance to peak in performance. He also confirmed that…

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The Old Republic Downloads to be Exclusive to EA’s “Origin” Service

Will Origin Top Steam? I have been a Steam gal since 2005. I love the majority of the games released on Steam and I love access to old-school favorites and new releases all from one platform. When rumors first started that EA was building their own similar platform services, I thought it was a great idea, although I was still skeptical about whether or not they would truly compete with Steam when Steam has such a big head start. Launching with Star Wars: The Old Republic is as good a way as any to ensure they have the best possible chance of catching Steam in terms of users. The news was released today that TOR downloads will be exclusive to EA’s Origin Service which should be explained in more detail officially at E3. As of 11:24ET, Origin is officially online if you want to check it out for yourself. And…

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Chinese Prisoners Forced to Farm Gold in Online Games

“There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.” Says a prisoner at the Jixi labor camp, Liu Dali who shares his story of being imprisoned and forced to work hard labor by day and farm for in-game currency by night. Chinese gold farmers have become something of a joke in online gaming. Anyone who spends time collecting in-game currency is commonly referred to as a “gold farmer”. While many gamers have mixed feelings about the subject, most will admit they don’t actually know where the gold comes from. Most gamers don’t understand how many of these companies get their gold and make a profit. Some gold-selling companies have been known to steal or hack accounts and use these characters…

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