Star Wars: The Old Republic annual profit to hit $80 million - Analyst

Wedbush's Pachter believes EA will pay LucasArts 35% in licensing fees; EEDAR's Divnich sees "little risk of failure."

As the noise surrounding Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts' latest military shooters fades, the battleground is shifting to the massively multiplayer online role-playing market. Earlier this week, Activision Blizzard president Bobby Kotick projected EA won't get much benefit from Star Wars: The Old Republic due to LucasArts' licensing agreement. However, a handful of analysts feel that Kotick missed the mark with that assessment.

Analysts agree: EA's Star Wars MMOG will be massively profitable.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Wedbush's Michael Pachter said that he expects EA to pay out 35 percent of SW:TOR's earnings to LucasArts, after the publisher has recouped its own costs.

"My best guess is that they will attract 1.5 million subscribers paying around $15 a month, so they should generate around $270 million in revenue," he said. "If LucasArts gets 35 percent and if EA incurs around 35 percent operating expense, they make 30 percent, or around $80 million per year, in profit. That's not bad."

Electronic Entertainment Design and Research's Jesse Divnich also believes EA stands to turn a hefty profit on its upcoming MMOG, telling Eurogamer that he expects the game to draw 3 million subscribers by next June.

"We see little risk of failure for The Old Republic," he said. "Kotick's comments are valid in the sense that licensors do take a piece of the pie and is an economical hurdle that entertainment has been struggling with for years. In the same respect, how successful would EA's MMO be without the Star Wars brand?"

"It's a give and take scenario, but given EA's historical ability to negotiate favorable license terms, I don't believe Lucas's share is a detriment to the game's profitability," he continued. "Taking into account multiple years in service and expansion packs, $500 million in total revenue is not a far stretch. If an MMO can't be profitable at $500m in revenue, then we are all doomed."

Star Wars: The Old Republic is expected to launch on the PC December 20. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

141 comments
jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

@tes4eva Sorry, my defenses always go up when I post on this website cuz it's full of DB's around every corner. Therefore I always filter it as sarcasm. Thanks for clarifying for me. Nice to see an actual good guy around every now and then.

tes4eva
tes4eva

@jasonlc3221 wow dont get so butthurt over nothing. i wasnt putting you down in any way, i was just stating how rediculous of an amount that mmo brings in to blizzard. i dont play wow i just did the math out of curiosity. just think with that and cod activision are really raking it in

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

@tes4eva and @AtheosisAtheosis Dang, you two really seem to take it offense that I didn't mention WoW in my post. Jesus, my apologies. I'm also sorry to the Uncharted fans I didn't mention your game that makes more money than SW:TOR. I'm also sorry to the Halo fans I didn't mention your game that makes more money than SW:TOR. I'm also sorry to the Gears of War fans that I didn't mention your game that makes more money than SW:TOR. I'm also sorry...............(catching my drift?) BTW: I'm not an MMORPG player, so I wouldn't have the slightest clue about the money WoW makes. But why should I have to know? It's not like my first statement was false. So you're saying that just because WoW makes the most money out of any game, I should always reference it first and foremost when comparing to other game profits? Sorry, but you can go try to apply your rules to someone else of a lesser mind. Maybe you should turn off WoW and go outside for bit.

DarthPlush
DarthPlush

@inaka_rob I have just finished downloading the client, yes, and I will have early access on the 13th. You must input your code from Amazon into the website, not Origin - https://account.swtor.com/user/games (you must create a SWTOR account). Amazon will give you a code to redeem there, and you can have early access. You'll still need to wait for the physical disks to arrive to play after the 20th. Please try not to use so many exclamation marks.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@DarthPlush I am looking at amazon now... in your overly rude comment you didnt explain if they ship to you in AU? or you download the game with the early access? have you gotten the early access. I am sorrry you were so rude. you didnt explain. I think I will defintly look into this. too bad you had to be so effing rude about it. thanks... sort of. if they DO indeed IP block on EA.com and lucasarts webstite. how do you download the game. sepreate website?

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@DarthPlush "you keep your close-minded ways." wow... have many friends? cause you are a major $$$$. I had no idea. you could have told me in a friendly and informative way instead of being a tottal $$$ hole about it!!! I went to lucas arts to pre-order and they wouldn't even let me go to the screen. they knew immediately that my IP was outside of the EU or NA. I figured that if I could get a copy of the game, since it was an online MMORPG they would not allow me access! have you played yet? do you have access? I am asking honest question not being a cynical $$$ hole like you. in my post I even said I have never played an MMORPG so how am I supposed to know they dont do IP blocking. They are VERY strict about their Xbox Live titles being downloaded out side of regian. and I can not access an english version of Origin at all! so how next time you simply offer your advice instead being so rude?

DarthPlush
DarthPlush

@inaka_rob Well it seems like you've already made up your mind. They don't do IP blocking, Amazon gives you pre-order codes so you can get early access, before they even charge you for the game, and you will receive it within two-three weeks. I'm in Australia - I have gone through this process. But whatever, you keep your close-minded ways.

htehtrhrtjrgjyj
htehtrhrtjrgjyj

i am very excited for this, my only concern is dungeons. wow ran into the endgame annoying stand in a capital city and spam LFG. while this will work for the beginning of the game near the end i fear there will be long days of standing there spamming it for hours. i think bioware straight from the beginning should of added an instance queue. it didnt have to be cross realm but just added the queue to avoid this from ever even happening. but they probably will add it in time but i do think it should of been added alrdy. anyways enough with the rant i am very excited for this! :D

tsiper
tsiper

Tor is a freaking magic money tree EA and Bioware and Lucas arts are gonna cash in BIG!

keech
keech

@DashRender619 In all fairness DCU and AoC weren't made by a developer that's known for making top tier titles pretty much across the board. Not to mention those games didn't have EA and Lucas Arts throwing money at it. Long before ToR was announced I always said there are only two companies that would even stand a chance at giving Blizzard and WoW any real competition, and that's Bioware and Bethesda. I won't say ToR is going to kill WoW because it won't. But I do think it will take a sizable chunk out of it's subscription base, and as long as ToR can keep consistent content updates rolling out they will keep those players.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

I am looking for a guild that thinks raiding 2 times per week is more than enough. I also will be playing from 10 am EST til 3 pm EST weekdays and can also do one raid on weekends (Sat. 9 am til 11 am and Sun. 9 am til 11 am). Email me at seans_life@hotmail.com

GamerNerdTalk
GamerNerdTalk

Well Skyrim wasn't overhyped at all.... I dont know what your talking about

Kayweg
Kayweg

most overhyped game since....errr, shall we say Skyrim ?

supergp17
supergp17

I want a job as an analyst, so I can just predict stuff.

prussia321
prussia321

Heyya guys, you know you wanna join! :) . I'm looking to recruit for the Republic Guild, Fire Company. If you're looking to join an active guild that provides opportunity for leadership and friendship, you should consider us. We are a guild of over 70 players and hope to expand greatly once the game releases. We are ready for deployment into the game. If you're interested in joining feel free to check out the page at: firecompanyswtor.enjin. com/home! (Sorry bout spam)

ZackMAck43
ZackMAck43

I will be getting this, My biggest question is how big the worlds will be, and with expansions they can always add new planets and areas with in the world. I see this game staying p2p a long time and I want it to..that way the game gets better and they put more effort in to it

Breyant
Breyant

Love this quote "If an MMO can't be profitable at $500m in revenue, then we are all doomed." Haha so true, and with the way the gaming industry is going, who knows!

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

@jspin Well, it has great voice acting for an MMO. I just think it's nice that every conversation is spoken and not just written; it makes the game all the more engaging. Personally, I thought the voice actors did a fine job and usually had just enough enthusiasm.

prussia321
prussia321

Heyya guys. I'm looking to recruit for the Republic Guild, Fire Company. If you're looking to join an active guild that provides opportunity for leadership and friendship, you should consider us. We are a guild of over 70 players and hope to expand greatly once the game releases. We are ready for deployment into the game. If you're interested in joining feel free to check out the page at: firecompanyswtor.enjin. com/home! (Sorry bout spam)

Chainer323
Chainer323

@megakick you should go back to your GW2 boards and give more praise to a game that looks rather boring to play from the couple of gameplay vids they have.

Bartrentenaar
Bartrentenaar

Have had enough of p2p games which aren't even better than a one time pay game, just simply ridiculous. I don't pay for some updates. Just make a game perfect from the start and make expansions.

alia_of_dune
alia_of_dune

As a fan of Star Wars, KOTOR and Bioware games in general, SWTOR was like Christmas 6 months earlier. I have played 3 days of beta and I loved the experience. I am totally in love with the ultra-RPG aspect of it. I've been waiting so long for KOTOR 3, it would have been a crying shame to depend on other players to get missions done all the time. The cinematics make the story feel like your own, when the crowd disappears and it's just you and the quest giver or other npcs. You really do feel like you are the ONLY savior/conqueror of the galaxy, just as you should feel, just like regular RPGs make you feel. As for the similar aspects with other MMOs, WoW especially, I liked the familiarity. It was easy to play and to handle. I was pleasantly surprised by that and welcomed the resemblances with WoW. I think that SWTOR will be very well received by both MMO fans and RPG die-hards and it will make some nice money for Lucas Arts and EA. Now I'm patiently waiting for the 20th December. :D

blakeney
blakeney

@megakick Ive yet to meet someone that i would consider a "serious" gamer, that says GW is anything but gack! Runescape is better then GW lol.

Albaficas
Albaficas

Aladrael gw 2 isnt even out yet..and still i saw 2 things they took from 2 mmo's... same type of event like RIFT and the conversation ala swtor And it looks horrible they way gw2 npc and characters doing that...the voice acting is horrible and the graphics plz they are nice but not epic...but for a F2P game is ok i guess

Albaficas
Albaficas

megakick Im sick of playing EQ2 clones..."hello wow" But ur probably a kid who just following the trend aye? No wonder....check some news and look wich games copy wich BTW i played swtor and its not comparable its in every single way better 4 years played wow btw and its just horrible now

megakick
megakick

35% in licensing fees + maintence? That is a lot! SW:TOR is WOW with branching dialog and I doubt the company will pump out enough content so it doesn't become a grind. GW2 is very different then WOW and has a history. Me im sick of playing WOW clones. If you like PVP, GW2 is the winner. I hope the Star Wars Ip is enough because you can play this game for free.

nick0112
nick0112

guilds wars 2 wont kill wow and will come nothin compared to swtor everyone can complain about the graphics but it meant to look like that so more people can play it with older machines the same thing they did with wow which almost looks 2d anyway swtor is the next mmo for years 2 come blizzard knew for ages that swtor was comin out and the next expansion is about pandas lol sorry but for someone who first game was warcraft wow is just a sinking ship lol pandas just put more holes in it

Aladrael
Aladrael

I think only Guild Wars 2 can bring down WoW from it's throne. Not this SW game which is only out there to ripoff some money from SW fans.

mack10
mack10

Lame typical run of the mill MMO. Graphics are crap, gameplay is old and tried and quite frankly boring, its a single player MMO. The only thing it has going for it is that it takes places in the SW universe...GW2 will eat this game up.

n0matter
n0matter

Sometimes I read these comments and just have to facepalm. A five year WoW addict that's, what, recovering? And you're shameless deciding to get addicted to another MMO and play 40+ hours/week? What an odd way to sing songs of praise about an upcoming title. The fanboys of TOR are almost as nonsensical as the fanboys of WoW. Neither of these games is essentially groundbreaking or incredible but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around why TOR is better than any other MMO before it simply because it plays almost exactly the same. Is this a branding thing? Like anything Star Wars is immediately considered awesome because it bares the logo? Because there's nothing about the actual gameplay that doesn't resemble WoW and other MMOs to be considered equally dull. Rose tinted glasses or something. I'll have to ask people how they feel about it in six months.

MegamanX2011
MegamanX2011

When this game is released Pandas will cry.

Bramann
Bramann

I played the beta for 3 days and loved every minute of it. As a 5 year WoW addict and just recently completed my 1st year WoW free - I can't wait until 12/15. I for one don't put any stock into the haters mostly due to the fact once the game launches, they won't be there and I can neglect all my adult responsibilities for 5 to 6 hours every night.

prussia321
prussia321

Heyya guys. I'm looking to recruit for the Republic Guild, Fire Company. If you're looking to join an active guild that provides opportunity for leadership and friendship, you should consider us. We are a guild of over 70 dedicated players and hope to expand greatly once the game releases. We are ready for deployment into the game. If you're interested in joining feel free to check out the page at: firecompanyswtor.enjin. com/home! (Sorry bout spam)

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

well patcher states the obvious again whud a' thunk it? smh

Jertsy
Jertsy

I will not be purchasing this game - paying out £39 for the game, then another £13 per month, no way.

Woe2spread
Woe2spread

i liked the game honestly. the graphics are easy on the eyes yes. i found a sweet spot for who im goin to make first. bounty hunter. or sith lord? hell im not really sure...glad there is two full weeks till the game launches, soo i can decide lol. oi.

n0matter
n0matter

I beta'ed for two weekends and the game feels like an MMORPG on rails. There is zero sandbox feel to the game and you're basically thrown from one cutscene into another, much like FF13. I'm not sure why people are embracing this element in an MMO but hated it on a console RPG. If feels like a single-player RPG with chat channels. Graphics and atmosphere are done pretty well. Combat is a little clunky and doesn't feel nearly as smooth as the allegedly inferior WoW. I don't know, I feel alot like I did about Rift with this game. It was great for a month and then I felt like it didn't really offer anything new, just a new skin thrown on to a tired old formula. The game will appeal to Star Wars die-hards and scifi fans to a lesser degree. But I honestly don't see 3 million subs for this. Ever. The laws and lore that govern the Star Wars universe leave so little to interpretation and expansion that, no matter what time period the games are set in, you always feel like you're playing through the same story. And, well...we all know how this story ends x thousand years in the future. Takes a bit away from the feeling of making a difference through your virtual efforts.

grand17
grand17

i cant believe how popular star wars still is. im sure this game will do well at launch. the only thing that could go wrong is EA. knowing ea they will shut down the servers one year after launch and release part 2...

terafumos
terafumos

I hope the game does well because it clearly has quite a bit of love pumped into it. I appreciate the involving story elements and what I consider to be a wise graphical approach that will likely age well.

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

The game is going to be successful. Bottom line. Any speculation over this is just wishful thinking. The game is a polished, well produced, and production heavy game that plays well and has a good story for an MMO. If it were any other property, say like one of BioWare's other franchises, it would still do well because of the great gameplay and narrative. But it's Star Wars. That in and of itself is almost guaranteed success, as the millions (and probably billions) of Star Wars fans across the world would cling to anything Star Wars anyway. So, the fact that it's Star Wars and actually good should equal success, and if it doesn't, then I guess I have the formula for good gaming wrong.

Cowbie
Cowbie

This game will do well and it will succeed. It will no doubt turn off the ADHD-minded, zoomzoomgo crowd, who have the patience of a newborn wanting a bottle. That's not really so bad though. RPG lovers will love this game, it's the first MMO a true RPG lover might actually enjoy. So long as they keep up with end game, and they haven't done bad so far with 2 operations at end game, and all flashpoints do-able at level 50 again. I suspect this game is gonna do better than some people would like.

Aeriscloud99
Aeriscloud99

After playing it I think it has potential to be a good MMO, but not a great MMO.

CptRexKramer
CptRexKramer

You know, for a president of a major gaming company, Kotick makes a lot of idiotic statements. It's a wonder he's made it as far as he has.

vihazur
vihazur

@PPD3195 Coruscant rendered properly in a game, especially an MMO, could have been a massive wow moment. I'd say Bioware's art team just dropped the ball bigtime, so yeah, it really isn't.

PPD3195
PPD3195

I was in the KOTOR beta last weekend, and it was fun. It feels a lot like DA2 in the way they present dialogue options and progress the story forward. I'm not sold on the graphics yet, but I'll reserve that till release client. So far, it feels a little bland graphically. The biggest difference to me between my first experience with KOTOR and the current heavyweight MMO champ is the initial 'holy crap!' factor. Anyone how rolled a human anything in WoW had this experience the first time they ran up the road to Stormwind. It was a game changer. I don't think anyone that's not a big Star Wars fan is going to have that same moment when you get to Coruscant (sp?). We've already been to Coruscant several times through the last few movies. We'll see how it goes though. My 13yo is a huge SW fan, so we'll have at least one copy in the house to judge from :P

Mr_Jones66
Mr_Jones66

well, i`ve not been beta testing, for the past few weeks, i`ve been lucky enough to be Game Testing, i can tell all the people who are on the fence about this game, or the doubters, that this game walks all over WoW, the gameworld, characters, gear, quests, your character companions - yes, you can send them away to do missions to earn little rewards etc - are absolutely top notch. The games storyline, is very immersive, and makes you feel you are making a difference in the world. The environments are superbly done also. Its very polished indeed. I worry at launch of very long queues, - and i mean long. This game so well done in every respect.

PPD3195
PPD3195

@albaficas - EQ2 came out the beginning of Nov. '04. WoW came out the end of Nov. '04. How do you figure Blizzard copied EQ2, had gold copies out and boxes on shelves in less than 3 weeks?

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

I wish analysts would stop getting paid to make guesses...

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@mrboone01 Oh yeah? And why do you say that? Any specifics or just blanket BS statements? I've been in the last 2 beta tests and will be in again today. The game is excellent. The combination of single player story and rpg elements into and MMO is awesome, the gameplay is fun as hell and the graphics are nice.It keeps the tried and true elements of WoW while innovating with its story phases and group questing. Unlike WoW, grinding is rewarded with sub mission objectives and the story is not disjointed. But those are just specifics.... Blanket dismissive statements are much more powerfull right?