The Old Republic monthly revenue has doubled since free-to-play switch

Electronic Arts reveals business model switch for Star Wars MMO has been lucrative; paying subscribers stand at 500,000.

Since Star Wars: The Old Republic added a free-to-play option in November, monthly average revenue has doubled, Electronic Arts revealed today in a post-earnings financial call. Specific figures were not mentioned.

EA Labels president Frank Gibeau said the massively multiplayer online role-playing game has added 1.7 million new players since the business model switch. This is lower than the 2 million announced in March.

Concerning paying members, Gibeau said The Old Republic now has "just under" 500,000 subscribers. This is down from 1.3 million subscribers year-over-year.

To keep gamers logging in, Gibeau said BioWare will continue to invest in new content and services, expected to be added to the game every six weeks. Star Wars: The Old Republic added the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion last month.

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

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Want the latest news about Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Discussion

134 comments
Addict187
Addict187

Poor EA they are dam if they do and dam if they don't. I don't understand, all a lot of you do is #$%& and complain. I was going to try this game and now I know it will be good because you hipsters hate it. like everything in your life 

KRHamilton
KRHamilton

I leveled up one character with free to play to level 50, got annoyed with all the restrictions, subscribed for 2 months, created a bunch of new characters and got bored to tears after finding out how monotonous and repetitive this game is. I'm a big fan of Star Wars, so I gave this game a chance. My biggest problem with this game besides boredom is how lore breaking it is and its nonsensical setting, technology, and story are when compared to the masterful 6 movies George Lucas wrote and directed.
 
How can technology in the Old Republic era be justified? What happened in the 3,000 years before the movies that caused technological advancement to stagnate so badly?  Why are light sabers so pathetic in the game when compared to the original movies (a) game balance for the sake of PvP, b) a lack of creativity, c)Teeniboper rating d) all of the above)? Take your pick.  These are just three of a myriad of questions that I can’t reconcile about the way the Old Republic is depicted in this tedious MMO.

May the force be with you if you like Star Wars the Old Republic; I’m out of it for good; there are too many other fun and exciting games that cost a small fraction of the price of this dying MMO.  I won’t be surprised when Electronic Arts is forced to pull the plug on this failed project by their stockholders.  If I had to bet on when, I would say by this time next year.  But with EA targeting tweens that are easily duped, you never know how long this tragedy will last. I’ll shed one tear when I read the headlines, R.I.P SWTOR….NOT!!! lol

tim1935
tim1935

New content is good and exciting at first, but if they keep releasing so much that you can never possibly consume it all you tend to give up trying.

sorintitus
sorintitus

I subscribed a few days ago (after a 2 month of f2p) and my experience has improved but not by much. Some of the limitations of f2p are are annoying, but one can actually reach lvl 50 (maximum level without the expansion) without paying a dime and have fun in the process.   

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I am curious. Since the sub # has gone down quite a bit but revenue has apparently soared, does that mean SWTOR would be doing even better if it started as F2P? Or maybe the sub # hasn't gone down compared to the time point that EA used in the announcement, and three F2P players average out to about one subscriber in terms of revenue? Or maybe many subscribers are spending additional money every month? It would very illustrative to examine the data.

Regrettably, that is not public info, thus making this news useless for promotional purposes.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Yet, everything they do now is more cash grab crap. When is enough money enough?

jomicro
jomicro

Star Wars: The Old Republic is the best game I've ever played.  I love it!!  I've been a subscriber since the beginning, there's still so much of the game to explore, and the storytelling is top notch.  Wielding lightsabers and playing out my galaxy saving hero jedi fantasies is an incredibly relaxing hobby.  I forget to spread my joy about the game because I'm having so much fun playing it. 

People who want to hate or endlessly complain can marinate in their misery for all I care.  Go level up a Sith and explore the dark side, I'll see you in pvp and we can fight it out there.  Now I've got a guild to meet up with, war zones to frolic in, and planets to explore.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

I don't get all the hate. Everyone jumps on the "I hate EA" band-wagon. They are a business. What business does not try to make money? It is free-to-play but with major restrictions. Why? Because if it was completely free to play, how in the hell would they be able to keep servers up and update the game frequently? Are you guys dense? You make it seem that they are evil for seeking money to keep the game running just because it is EA. Give your heads a shake.


I just recently (last week) subbed up with SW:ToR. I love it. I think the game is great. 15 bucks a month really isn't that much if its the game you're dedicating yourself to. 

Let's be honest here. There wouldn't be near this much hate if EA wasn't affiliated with this game. Instead of people being happy that there are some improvements and more success in the gaming industry, you get mad and upset and just call it a scam. Unbelievable.

mcepin3
mcepin3

LOL, EVERY 6 WEEKS!?!?!?!?!? SOOOOOOOOOOOO GLAD,I QUITED THIS GAME IN JUNE!!!!

I kept getting news about it and this Rise of Hutt,was said to be out in december or even sooner...and now is MAY. And they will put stuff out every 6 weeks!?!?!?! Hahahahahha...and only 500k paying fools left. Milk those,while you can...

Jacen22
Jacen22

I subscribed for two months got a character to lvl 50 and realized there is no end game content and haven't touched the game since. That was over a year ago, would consider going back and do a new character for the story but only when the restrictions are gone and the game really is free to play.

brunocj2
brunocj2

They're learning then... good. It's like EasyJet and Monarch arilines. They're cheap, but they make millions on extras that people will just buy as they go. Clever...

tionmedon
tionmedon

played it but can`t do it is not graphical enough 4 me........................fap it............

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator

I don't play it anymore but I'm glad to hear they are doing well. STO and LOTRO are the other two that I know have done much better after going F2P 

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

Oh look, another MMO failing to really get off the ground...

The way I see it, WoW dominated the MMO market for a long time as it was the only real contender. And gamers who liked the MMO genre got in on it and invested a not insignificant amount of money and a certainly not insignificant portion of their lives into their WoW characters.

I'm assuming it's the potential for $ that has made many devs over the last few years go for the MMO model. But the problem is, I think, that a vast majority of the MMO gamers out there are now loathe to, essentially, accept that all of the time and money put into their MMO characters was wasted by switching to an entirely different MMO.

berserker66666
berserker66666

Free to kick EA in the balls model would be much more profitable.

CyhortI82
CyhortI82

And this is why it's stupid to even try to use subscription based models. Free to play is the only way to make money on MMO's these days.

mattress805
mattress805

That's why Free to Play has nothing to do with playing for free. I would jump in front of a bus before I would spend 1 minute playing a Free to Play game. I hope one of these big publishers gets sued for fraud and false advertising; because thats what Free to Play equates to in my mind. They should NOT be able to call it this; it's misleading.

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

Free-to-be-treated-as-a-second-class-player.

XenoSage
XenoSage

The game is too punishing to be enjoyable as a F2P game: 

-Inventory and bank space are severely downsized to the point where you'll have to sell every few minutes. 

-Awards from completing quests are often not given because "you are not a subscriber" and the game constantly reminds you of the rewards you are missing out on 

-Experience is cut

-you can only have a limited amount of in-game cash

- you are only limited to two crafting specialties (of which you need 3 to be efficient in increasing your skill). 

-Resurrecting on the spot is limited to  only 5 times (Otherwise you have to rez  at a selected location

-weekly limit for warzones and dungeons

-It takes longer to get "mounts" or speeders

-You can not hide headgear (of which 99% of them look ridiculous)

You really need to subscribe to actually enjoy this game and I guess that was their intention. Getting people to try it out by promoting it as F2P and then convincing them to buy the sub to remove all the restrictions. Sort of a low-ball technique but unfortunately, according to this article, it seems to be working...

Lucius_Scipio
Lucius_Scipio

@KRHamilton You had me going there until the last paragraph when you characterized SWTOR as a "dying MMO."  Stakeholders care about profitability and the game is making money for them, like it or not.

mcepin3
mcepin3

@jomicro Well,you are just a perfect "target" for EA,aren't you? 

WarL0rdzz
WarL0rdzz

@mcepin3 Why do you care about us being milked when i bet it's your parents who pay your monthly sub. kids...

Eryxx
Eryxx

@mcepin3 

We're glad you "quited" in June, too, congrats.

tim1935
tim1935

@Jacen22 That changed very quickly over a year ago.  Any MMO gets out the door with less content than is added later.

Eryxx
Eryxx

@Jacen22 

That can never happen, you do understand a business has to earn money to remain in business, right? Are you waiting until all food is completely free-to-eat before you buy more, too?

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

@realscarygary The masses mhm.. the only people who are able to see through this scam are people like us commenting here on GS that do our homework  but yeah it should not even take that.. you should be able to tell its a scam from the start.

Such fools.

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

@Sefrix A large part of the reason these F2P models work is because they end up selling "Lockboxes" (or keys) which contain random loot or items.

So, it's a way for these companies to suck off of gambling addicts.

It's a disgusting and slimy business model.

BuBsay
BuBsay

@Shanks_D_Chop Bingo, I played The Old Republic for a while and it simply didn't hold my interest, all in all it wasn't a bad game I just had the same feelings you described.

As someone who had played WoW since December 2004 (and quit rather recently) I didn't want to go through the tedious grind process all over again, and the amount of work I had put into my main character on WoW was not something I could even possibly duplicate these days.

weetbix23
weetbix23

@Shanks_D_Chop 

your are right- Although i have tried other MMOs i only ever go back to WoW, because it has all my characters and level progressions on it. I cant be bothered starting from the beginning again, even if there is a better MMO out there

MoronGotMyName
MoronGotMyName

@Shanks_D_Chop A 2004 release is still king - MMO's are hilarious as long as you don't actually play them. Also, forget the past tense - it still dominates the market completely. 

exedeath
exedeath

@mattress805 It is free to play. You do not in any way have to pay to play the game. So it is as advertised, and you are a moron.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator

@XenoSage You haven't played very many Subscription based MMO's that went F2P have you? In LOTRO you get all of the things you just mentioned the same. But they lock away content behind a pay wall. The fact that all of the content is available to you is crazy compared. They both share something in common though, they are making more money now with F2P model.

Mantleman
Mantleman

@XenoSage not to mention limited open chat as well...no emails and other stuff too...like you said though..the game is unplayable in F2P trust me i was there


commando1992
commando1992

@XenoSage Which is exactly how F2P works. It's a mildly underhanded marketing tricket, but apparently it works. 

keysnsamples
keysnsamples

@XenoSage 

Don't forget you have to pay for additional hotbars. Never seen a f2p game charge for the UI! It's sad, I was paying the $15 every month until they went f2p. So disappointed, this could have been a great game..

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator

@Tripwolf Hello fellow wolf. Anyway I wouldn't put it any worse than the MMO itself. People get way addicted to those. I've never been like that but I'm not the kind of person who gets addicted anyway. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's no different than taking their monthly sub so they can continually raid because they are addicted and *need* that new armor set. In this case, every single MMO is guilty of this.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@MoronGotMyName I don't play them, myself. Can't justify the time and money, I'd rather have a deeper single player experience that I only have to pay for once.

You're right, I'm not sure why I used past tense. What little I do know about WoW is that it's still hugely popular.

mattress805
mattress805

And that's why they are making twice as much money now! Keep drinking their Kool-aid. Nothing is free. You are sucker and I bet you enjoy taking it up the ass from EA while they bend you over a dumpster and they whisper in your ear "it's free, it's free to play"

XenoSage
XenoSage

@Sefrix @XenoSage 


No I haven't. The only other game I played that converted was The Secret World which has the best model as you get the ENTIRE game (minus the extra "episodes") with no restrictions. However, while you do not need to purchase a sub, you do need to buy the game so it might not qualify as a true F2P.

MoronGotMyName
MoronGotMyName

@arc_salvo @MoronGotMyName @Shanks_D_Chop Yeah, this is the standard fare - it's a cash grab market with no depth or immersion, dumbed down to attract casuals and non-gamers, using shitty business practices on top. It's funny to watch people discuss them seriosuly once you have played them some yourself and know the drill. And you and about five percent of the people who play them have a healthy attitude towards them, it's the remaining 95 percent that are fun to fuck with :)

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Shanks_D_Chop @MoronGotMyName You're right.  The trailers and movies are WAY more interesting than the game itself.  It's basically just pushing hotkey buttons every 1.5 seconds.  Maybe there's some movement too.

Not very visceral or action packed.  And this from a WoW player who's at least played 1 month every time an expansion came out.

I may be a fan, but that doesn't mean that I"m a fanboy or don't see the flaws.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@MoronGotMyName @Shanks_D_Chop Yes, I agree.  Even though I am playing WoW for now, I don't know how much longer I will.  Blizzard doesn' really respect your time or money in its MMO.

It seems like everything they make is an intentional grind to make you keep paying your $15 a month.  And on top of that, they now have a cash shop.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@MoronGotMyName @Shanks_D_Chop That's the other thing that puts me off about MMOs. The trailers are always rather spectacular CGI affairs showing off various character classes, abilities, frenetic combat... And then the game itself is rather basic and lacking. Okay, Skyrim's combat isn't the deepest or flashiest out there. But at least I feel like I have actual control of what's occurring.

MoronGotMyName
MoronGotMyName

@Shanks_D_Chop @MoronGotMyName I have been known to troll them, but claiming I play them might be an exaggeration :) I wouldn't worry too much about needing to justify the time and money if you are reasonably intelligent, you will be bored to tears pretty fast. 

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator

@XenoSage That's the best way imo. Purchase the game and then there is no sub. They have a store in The Secret World but from my understanding it only has stuff that is not related to the core gameplay which is good.