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Reader Comments (103)

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:19AM Duulin said

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The number he gave actually means nothing with a duration. Yes they will sell 500K boxes, but how many months do they need to retain 500K subscribers to be profitable?

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 2:08PM eyeball2452 said

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@Duulin

I'd venture to guess that the duration needed to achieve an overall profit is quite low. Remember, the box sales are going to pay for a vast majority of the development. The subscription fees mostly cover the ongoing costs of the data centers, support staff and ongoing development.

If you look at the financial statements, MMOs are high margin businesses, so breaking even shouldn't be hard for such a strong IP and developer. The issue is whether the platform can remain profitable enough to keep running. If Champions, STO, AoC and WAR are still running, I'd say that turning a profit shouldn't be hard. It'll be maintaining it at a level that moves EA's bottom line. That will be much more difficult due to EA's size.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 7:34PM Strife said

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@Duulin

Let's assume that they are not selling the game at a premium of 60 dollars, but instead the standard 50.

50 X 2,000,000 = 100,000,000

Add the standard subscription cost, 15, for 500k subscribers.

15 X 500,000 = 7,500,000 per month.

If the game costs an estimated130 million, it will take 2 million box copies and 4 months of subscriptions to turn a profit.

Of course these numbers are all variables and can be skewed greatly. I also did not include the cost of Collectors editions and the like.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 8:43PM Saerain said

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@Duulin I would assume that EA would want a profit within their fiscal year, so I'd think that's what Muzyka is saying.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:21AM Rooher said

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They may get half a milion in the begin the question is if they can hold it for any longer amount of time. And it is a hard time to release now with so many other MMOs coming out this year, I mean we got Tera online, RIFT, Forsaken world, Earth rise, Guild wars 2, DCUO just realease. Hopefully the gaming market is big enough for all of them.

I speak for myself when I say that I'm not going to try it out

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 12:24PM Dutzu said

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@Rooher I doubt they're concerned with Forsaken World too much and even more so with Earthrise.
In terms of expectations, they're the biggest mmo coming, so the other ones should be more concerned with SWTOR.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:22AM distiler said

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They said 1 million some months ago. Well, anyway, 500k is a lot of ppl, I mean, a lot. Just not enough for those greedy shareholders. So I think for them SWTOR will be a total flop, no way they are going to maintain 1 million subs.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:33AM Sharuk said

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@distiler WoW has 4.5 million subscribers in NA/EU. I can easily see SWTOR pull off 1 million subscribers in NA/EU for long periods of time.

Again, this is BioWare we should give them some credit.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 8:45PM Saerain said

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@distiler 'They' didn't say that, if by 'they' you mean BioWare or EA. People outside the project were estimating that, based on rumors of its budget.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:25AM gamebynight said

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Agreed. They'll sell that many boxes and more. It's a bit iffy if they'll have even 300k in a year. That's towards the upper end of the post-WoW MMOs, IIRC. More importantly, let's say they hit 500k and float there. How inclined will EA be to continue investing in such pricey development (full VO) if it's "nothing to write home about"?

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:30AM Noviere said

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If WAR could sell 1.2 million in it's first month, I think TOR will easily beat that number. The number of people that stick around afterwards is less clear.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:33AM Sharuk said

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@Noviere Agreed. And the hype train for SWTOR has been more than for WAR.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:48AM mysecretid said

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@Sharuk

Except for two important differences:

1) Bioware has been up-front about what the game will and will not be; they're not trying to sell it as "all things to everyone".

and

2) A lot of the hype has been coming /from/ the Star Wars fans /toward/ the game, and not the other way around.

Hype won't be the most dangerous element here -- exaggerated expectations that Star Wars fans bring in with them might be.

Cheers!
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:34AM ManaByte said

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Nice EA damage control in an attempt to lower expectations. This way when they struggle to hold a million subs they can point to this and say "See! We only need 500k!"

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 11:52AM slyjo4aolcom said

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@ManaByte Oh, yes, because every thing EA says MUST be a lie

I mean they're a big corporation so that MUST make them dishonest
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:36AM Lenn said

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The Internet, where everybody is an expert.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:36AM Nibbana said

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Well, the number isn't 500,000 anyway. It's 499,999 because I'm going to play this until my Wookie hurts.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:43AM Greyhame said

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How long do they need to keep those subscriber numbers for would be interesting information as well. So they need to keep it for the duration of the game's lifetime, or just the first year?

That said, I can see them hitting that amount easily at the start. Keeping that amount depends on how good the game actually is.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 10:45AM sauceofmagic said

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Rift, Tera, then GuildWars2 are coming out ... WIll I play this old over-exploited IP? I don't think so.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 1:31PM sleepr said

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@sauceofmagic Go play your "innovative" games.
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