Only 500K Users Needed to Make Star Wars MMO Profitable
Electronic Arts upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic can reach profitability with 500,000 subscribers, according the CEO John Riccitiello.
Speaking in a conference call to investors, he said that half a million subscribers would be “substantially profitable, but it’s not the sort of thing we would write home about.”
“Anything north of one million subscribers is a very profitable business,” continued Riccitiello. “Essentially it turns on a dime from being quite sharply negative in terms of its EPS impact to positive the day the product ships.”
The MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game) is potentially a huge money-maker; you get monthly income from uses who subscribe. But it also has huge costs – running servers, customer service etc. Not only that but the space is dominated by World of Warcraft;
[In 2008] the same question was asked near the release of a few majorly hyped MMO titles such as Warhammer Online and Conan. Neither of those did so hot, to be honest. We’ve seen MMOs come, claiming to be able to topple, or at least compete with, the king of the hill. Yet, time and again all that big talk is lost in the wind of the WoW-dominated MMO market.
World of Warcraft, being on top of the totem pole, is a great thing for Blizzard. They can sit by and pretty much do as they please. They have a game convention just about every year dedicated to themselves, after all. In a general sense, I’m a big fan of WoW. I played the game from launch, in November 2004, until earlier this year, with only a few breaks in between to try out other MMOs and give my often-neglected consoles some love. This article isn’t about how much I hate WoW or me hoping it crashes and burns. Far from it. I’m glad Blizzard is having success with the franchise and still get excited when new patches are released and new expansions are announced.