Star Wars: The Old Republic sells 2M, has 1.7M active subs

BioWare's space-faring MMORPG off to solid start, easily eclipsing the 500,000-subscriber threshold needed to become profitable.

BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic has hit the ground running. As part of its holiday-quarter financial announcement this afternoon, publisher Electronic Arts announced that the massively multiplayer online role-playing game has sold more than 2 million copies.

The Force has been strong with The Old Republic.

Additionally, of the 2 million copies sold, EA said 1.7 million are "active" subscribers of The Old Republic. That figure is well ahead of the 500,000 subscribers EA previously said it needed to make the game "substantially profitable."

"Star Wars: The Old Republic is developing a committed community of players," EA CEO John Riccitiello said of the game's launch and success thus far. Riccitiello also reiterated that The Old Republic is the "fastest growing subscription MMO in history."

The Old Republic--which reportedly cost $200 million to develop--was released in December to a warm critical reception after six years of development. The game welcomed its first content expansion--Rise of the Rakghouls--last month.

For more on Star Wars: The Old Republic, check out GameSpot's review.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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108 comments
DraconisRex
DraconisRex

Ok. I just read where the 1.7 million subscriber thing came from. It's EA's quarterly report for the quarter ended 12/31/2011.

At that time they'd sold 1.7 million copies. All of which came with a subscription that didn't end until January 20th, 2012.

In short, everyone was still on the mandatory first month.

Way to fall for the lie people. Of course they had 1.7 million subs. The game was 11 days into the first 30 and even if you'd cancelled your CC billing, you were still a 'sub.'

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

its true that alot of players in The Old Republic are trollsm sometimes i 'feed' them, by going into general chat saying 'I'm a Lightside Sith Pureblood' its hilarious how many of them react. "OMG why would you do that?" "thats stupid", sodding hilarious. (yes i really do have a Light Side Sith Pureblood (a Warrior specifically)), i designed him specifically to be a contradiction.

isandel1
isandel1

i am Lev 50 operative right now and i can tell you one thing for sure. i am playing the game before 20th of December. if bioware doesn't start listen the players but only listen those how qq all the time this game will be very quick like warhammer. the game is still in beta i think. i like pvp and pve very much but pvp destroys every mmo if imbalance.they break a class to knee with out even test the class first just to keep the masses happy. well done bioware you got the respond from all of as . i say play the game is good but don't get frustrated when your class get a nerf and you cant even solo play your storyline quest. the same in all mmos qqers ruin the game all the time.

Hakkology
Hakkology

At December 31 , i was still playing .

soccerpzn
soccerpzn

As long as they keep on adding cool new features they can see that number grow. And seeing as they have the same team working on that stuff then its probably going to happen.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

This news is faulty and misleads the reader. EA requires all users to become subscribers even to use their first free month that came with the game. The vast majority do not cancel their subscription until their free month is close to ending. On top of that, many more may subscribe for one more month just to get the "Founder" title or to finish up their single player campaign. Without at least the number of subscribers off their free month at the time of this announcement, it's meaningless.

Malscyllis
Malscyllis

@Fernin-Ker search the forums. its a common problem for a lot of folks. And my machine runs BF 3 and witcher 2 perfectly fine. Just because you or others don't have problems with the FPS doesn't mean others do not.

GeorgeLelik
GeorgeLelik

I wonder if their initial estimates that the game will be profitable at 500k subscribers and the issues SWTOR had at launch (busy servers, long queues) are connected? EA as well as many except subscribers numbers to drop significantly even and especially after a very good start. What will they do will all the empty servers and people necessary to keep them going? Then again, SWTOR seems to be a quality game and I doubt its numbers will drop below a certain level (1.5-3mln) in the next two years.

dreman999
dreman999

@Suaron_x I do get your point but there factor you have to take in part as well. Like where WoW is available. Wow has player bases in most of Europe, in Asia, as will as NA. Swtor only launched in NA and some of Europe. It just recently launched in Australia. Take note that WOW is available in more place then swtor before trying to mach up their numbers.

CocaColaNinja
CocaColaNinja

Deserved looking like a bright future for SWTOR

gutsallover
gutsallover

Glad to hear it. Personally, I didn't enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic that much, but that doesn't mean I want it gone. I'd rather see an MMO market with lots of coexisting games. There are enough MMO players out there to keep several games a float at once, and this whole concept of an MMO war/WoW killer has become quite tiresome. MMO communities are quite abhorrent Personally, I can't wait for Guild Wars 2. I hope it does really well, but not at major expense to other MMOs.

Kayweg
Kayweg

@dreman999 fair' nuff, dreman. All i ever saw were 60day GTCs not 30day ones. Take my comment in the light of that please ;)

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

WOW established that there are at least 12 M people willing to pay to play an MMORPG. WOW is supposedly old and in decline. (I played WOW for 4 years before breaking my addiction, and it kinda helped that I was looking for a new adventure). Of those 12 million WOW player pool a large portion of them are probably inclined to play another MMORPG at some point in time. Many of them have to be getting bored with WOW. Why shouldn't I or say investors think a new MMORPG (like SWTOR) should launch to higher numbers? Bioware is known for making quality games. The Old Republic universe is a familar and popular Intellectual Property. The question is not a slam on the quality of SWTOR (or even on WOW), it's a question as to why haven't more people purchased/subscribed to SWTOR? Everybody talks about it being a great early launch and the game will grow. I heard the same things about Rift and frankly I don't buy that excuse anymore. MMORPGs are an established product, people know what they are getting into. Are people who are leaving WOW just sick of the MMORPG formula and not resubbing in new games with similar structure? Otherwise, what's really keeping people glued to WOW and keeping them from investing in great new MMORPG games, such as SWTOR?

BigDawgSteve420
BigDawgSteve420

I can't help but laugh at the trolls that probably haven't even played acting like those numbers aren't true. At high play times, you check server status and you still get some full ones even with as many as they have open, and tons of high to standard ones. You even get high pop servers in midday, so quit acting like everyone is dropping out. The game started out cool and is only getting better.

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

That number will drop. The game has a issue certain nvidia cards and BioWare has been slow to fix. I like others are done after our month is done.

maer
maer

Hmm isn't this report from December, like a week after the games release?? I bet the numbers look a bit worse now..

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

We just need another 300,000 trolls to drop out, and things will look even brighter for the rest of us. :P

dreman999
dreman999

@Evenios It already made 145 million.

dreman999
dreman999

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

aaaaaa12
aaaaaa12

i love this game!! can't wait for the next content patch.

dreman999
dreman999

@Kayweg The first GTC already ran out.The games been since dec. 20...The first month been over since the week of Jan 20th.

emperiox
emperiox

I love how terrible the SWTOR community is. That alone is worth making me stay. Lolol, everyone in that game is a troll xD

Kayweg
Kayweg

It's gonna be more interesting to see what's going to happen when the first GTCs run out. Enjoyable enough for now, but after the initial 30 days plus the 60 GTC days i can't see myself prolonging. I expect those numbers reported here to drop substantially, not least with the GW2 open beta lurking. Still, they said that 500k can sustain the game....we'll see if they can establish that player base.

vihazur
vihazur

1.7 million, active as of when? Not, what they probably mean, or what words usually mean, etc, etc, but specifically, and without ambiguity? Did they actually say that they have 1.7 million subs right now?

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

Wasnt there an article last week or the week before that said is was only 1 Million? Doesnt really matter, as long as people are still around in 6 months.

CeasdRedemption
CeasdRedemption

was good until framerate starting dropping and peaking effecting gameplay significantly. no more money from me... sigh onto the next one... ps my computer CAN run it

Anigmar
Anigmar

1. I play the game because I like it, and I'm more than happy to pay the subscription. 2 It has bugs and there's room for improvement but it's been out for less than two months. 3. If you like it I'll see you there, if you don't that's fine. Now I'm leaving this article to avoid the bashing, flaming and conflict that ensues in each news regarding this title.

cybermyth21
cybermyth21

The game exceeded my expectations and I dropped WoW after more than 6 years of play. I'm not going back. The only issue is how well will SWTOR last after Mists of Pandora and Guild Wars 2 comes out? The MMO war is far from over.

Centurion95
Centurion95

Someone's going to install a new money hot tub... Seriously though not a bad first start for a company's first MMO.

Spahettificator
Spahettificator

@raahsnavj There are people paying. I've seen plenty of people with the "Founder" title which you get if you've made a subscription payment before some certain date (think it's the first of March).

townsforever
townsforever

and for those whining about graphics, look at WOW's graphics.

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

@Malscyllis I don't see where all the frame rate crap comes from, I run the game fine at 170fps average with with all settings maxed at 1920x1200 res with a modest machine, http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadode.asp?id=566405 , the only people having frame rate issues are the folks trying to play it on 3-4 year old machines that can't run more more than WoW or CoD at mid settings.

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

And here's another number to chew on. 25 million dollars. A month. That's how much money they'll be bringing in with the current sub base, and at 200mill to make the game, that means total costs recouped in 8 months and even then assuming the player base doesn't grow. A good investment I'd say.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Have the free subscriptions even expired yet? 500,000 subscribers to be successful probably still included 'paying' in there. I'm not sure anyone is yet...

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

@Suaron_x A figure like that is totally unrealistic. WoW took half a decade to hit that number, and TOR already has 1.7million in less than two months; which is in an of itself a new world record for this type of subscription based game and just over 3x what was needed for it to be considerably profitable. This stupid notion that it needs 6-million subs is what made alot of investors and pundits squawk and back away since they're to dense to realize that not only do projects like this need time to grow, this particular one has already come out of the gate strong enough to blow expectations and even the best case scenario guesses out of the water.

Malscyllis
Malscyllis

Just fix the engine and optimization and this game will be golden. all my buddies, excluding me, unsubbed because of the frame-rate problem.

Kane04
Kane04

To people mentioning they're finances, this game does cost more than a regular one, and it comes with 30 subscription. After that you pay 0,50eur a day to play and I bet it's even cheaper on the US. I get it that if you spend a day or two without playing feels like you are throwing money away, but it's 50 cents, between smoking , coffees a drink and what ever else your daily habits are, that shys away as pretty insignificant. On another note I joined a server that was spouse to be "roleplay without special rules" thinking people would be laid back and not too hardcore, turns out I've barely meet anyone yet that does/knows how to roleplay =/

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

Only sold 2M copies? That seems kinda low to me, for such a big budget game. Is 1.7M the actual number of subscribers, or just the number of people who haven't completed their 30 day trials? With WoW peaking around 12M customers back around LK, you would think Bioware was trying to attract somewhere around 5M copies sold and 3M active customers for a launch.

kez1304
kez1304

@Triton That's what the 1.7M active subs are... 2M+ sold, as the game launched over 5 weeks ago, those are people that have continued with their first monthly subscription. Good figures, and a new record if I'm not mistaken.

megafitch
megafitch

It may not be bursting with fresh ideas, and the character races are a little sterile - but that still won't detract away from the fact the game is fun! I've played WoW since release, and grew tired of it. This plays enough like wow to be familiar, but at the same time its something different. The sales figures are good, considering most MMO's don't do terribly well! If they can keep the figures around this level, or improve on them - then really its a success.

Triton
Triton

You get the first 30 days free right. Like to see the numbers when that runs out. I know its a hit but show me the numbers.

johnny_pay
johnny_pay

i bought the game set up a subscription but cancelled it 3 days later because i couldnt play the game due to their buggy launcher. i might resubscribe but i will decide that when my free 30 days end

ronnet
ronnet

I don't think 300,000 players leaving within the first few months means SW:TOR is a bad MMO. I think a great deal of people just wanted a KOTOR sequel and this was the next best thing. So a part of the reason why this game is a succes is that it attracts people who normally wouldn't play MMOs. I'm also not a fan of subscription-based games as it makes me feel like I should rush them and play as much content as possible. Yet I considered paying for this for just a few months to finish the storylines. I think many people are in a similar situation and some of them are slowly ending their subscription once the storylines are done. It wouldn't suprise me if another 700,000 left within the next few months. I don't think SW:TOR is a failure but it has yet to proof itself as an MMO. Right now the people who buy it for the singleplayer experience are making the figures unreliable. At the end of 2012 I think the figures can be compared to other MMO's.

Hakkology
Hakkology

This is exactly like WoW 1.1, when i heard what they were telling us there would be operations we would be part of great battles, we would get enemies swarming on us constantly. It's just heal/dps/tank thats all. I was thinking Dota like pvp, swarming Empire and Republic forces and we fighting alongside them against hordes of enemies. 16 people is the maximum amount of people you can raid with and thats all. PvP is absolutely same as WoW with stupid battlegrounds and worse with low fps.

Satan666HellDie
Satan666HellDie

Thats awsome for them. But I didnt like it at all, and I dont see how they have so many subscribers. Its a game that has nothing new (besides the dialoge and the crafting). And its just a basic mmo, 4 classes for each side is just far to few, and the races you can choose is just a joke. And Iv said it before and I will say it again: The biggest asset the game got is its dialoge, but its this asset that allsow brings the game down. Make a new character anyone? Want to go thru that dialoge once again eh? Not me anyway. Its just a basic mmo with no substance. Keep in mind that this is just my oppinions, if you are having fun and enjoy playing it then Im glad for you and wish you many gaming hours ahead. Rock N RoLL!

X_Colbert_X
X_Colbert_X

While I don't necessarily find this game to be screaming "I'm revolutionary!" it's nice to see any new MMO succeed in a market that is so difficult to penetrated. I've had several of my students talk about TOR and inviting me to join this and that, but as I told them I simply don't have the excess finances, time, or energy to put into a monthly MMO. Personally I too am waiting for Guild Wars 2--it's looking to have some truly fresh new features and its business model fits easier into my schedule as a teacher--but the Star Wars/BioWare/KotOR fan inside of me can't help but give credit where credit is due. Great job TOR :)

tachsniper
tachsniper

I am proud to say I am one of the 1.7mil. SWTOR is off to a very good start.

delateur
delateur

I may not care for the game personally, but it's a heck of an effort, and I am glad that it looks like the investment will at least pay for itself. I'm still waiting for the patch that gives it longevity, though...