Star Wars The Old Republic shedding subscribers

Star Wars The Old Republic is already shedding hundreds of thousands of monthly subscribers only a few months after the PC MMO was launched by developer BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts.

As part of its quarterly financial press release today, EA admitted that the game only had 1.3 million active subscribers in the first quarter of 2012.  That's well below the 1.7 million active subscribers that EA said The Old Republic had when the game launched back in December 2011.

Overall, EA said it generated $977 million in revenues for the quarter that ended on March 31, compared to $995 million for the same period a year ago. Today's numbers were slightly ahead of estimates. EA said the revenues were due in part to strong sales of games such as Mass Effect 3, FIFA Street 4, SSX and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

Net income of EA came in at $400 million for the last quarter, well ahead of the $151 million in net income from the same period a year ago. EA said that for its last fiscal year, it generated $1.2 billion in revenue via digital properties. That includes $150 million from EA's Origin download store in its first 10 months of going live. Full game downloads generated $60 million in revenue in the last quarter for the publisher.

EA also said that it would be investing $80 million to develop games for "Gen4 console systems". That likely means the successors of the Xbox 360 and the PS3 consoles.

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I love Star Wars. I really wanted to love this game. It is a good game. However, it is not worth paying for. I happily dropped my subscription and the worst part is that I don't even feel the urge to play it anymore. They had a free weekend a little while ago and I logged in for like 10 minutes, said "meh" and closed it. Now that I've experienced Guild Wars 2 I don't know that I'll ever want to play it again. If they dropped the monthly fee then I might at least play it occasionally, but as it is right now... I take great offense to having to pay for a game that I already purchased. SW: ToR is the first MMO that ever succeeded in getting a subscription out of me, but they also lost it by making it a good game and not a spectacularly awesome game. I expected more from Bioware, and not even the lure of lightsabers will get me to spend another dime on it (unless it goes free to play, then I might buy expansions).

The problem isn't necessarily SWTOR itself - but the competition (especially from other MMOs - and most importantly, the improved state of F2P MMOs).

Between improved F2P MMO product (such as Aion, which went F2P in April) and newer titles including Diablo III and Guild Wars 2 (both of which are one-payment-and-done), justifying a monthly fee is getting harder and harder for an MMO to do.

Have to agree, however SWTOR has lots of little niggles that are generally annoying people and a lack of things to do at max level. The legacy system which people were calling "an attempt to save the game" is completely lacklustre
With D3 out this month and GW2 soon I think they will find a lot less subscribers very soon - some servers already are like ghost towns (although some others are very busy)