Star Wars: The Old Republic sales could already be 1.5M - Analyst

Cowen & Company's Doug Creutz estimates substantial preorders based on capacity of EA's 140 MMO servers.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic can't be bought in stores until tomorrow, but already Electronic Arts is having a hard time keeping up with demand. Just how big is that demand? According to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz, between 1 million and 1.5 million players are already jockeying for position in The Old Republic's servers.

Don't let these city streets fool you. Star Wars: The Old Republic is packed.

Creutz's estimate is based on the fact that EA now has 140 Old Republic servers online, with 77 handling US players and 63 for Europe. That figure is significantly up from the 106 servers The Old Republic had online as of Wednesday, one day after EA began inviting preorder customers into the game.

Of those 140 servers, Creutz said that at the time of his checks, 54 were labeled as full, 23 were in a state of very heavy use, 41 came in at heavy, 20 were standard, and two were light.

By contrast, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft has 491 servers online in the US and Europe. Creutz estimates 4 million to 4.5 million of WOW's 10.3 million players can be found on those nearly 500 Western servers. However, the analyst did say that it is not clear whether the two games have similar player capacities per server, though he speculated that The Old Republic's is denser.

Based on preorder demand, Creutz reaffirmed his expectation of 2 million subscribers for The Old Republic by March 31, 2013.

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