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Electronic Arts issued new data about the launch of the six-week-old massively multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic.
As previously noted, EA said it has sold more than 2 million copies since Dec. 20 and has more than 1.7 million active subscribers. If each active player paid $60 and has signed up for at least one month of subscription service for a fee of $15 a month, then the game has probably generated about $127 million in revenues to date. (EA did not disclose the actual number). EA said the majority of the 1.7 million active users are paying.
Compare that to the estimated cost (which EA also didn’t comment on today) of $200 million to develop the game over the past six years, not counting marketing costs. EA is thus well on the way toward making money on the Star Wars game, as it can continue to sell the game to new first-time users and continue to collect the monthly subscription fees.
EA said its servers have been up for 99.5 percent of the time, and the company has already added new content with the launch of Rise of the Rakghouls. Another update is scheduled for the spring.
“We’re truly honored and humbled by the incredibly strong support from our players who are enjoying Star Wars: The Old Republic,” said Ray Muzyka (pictured middle), co-founder of BioWare and general manager of EA’s BioWare Label, which made the game. “Our entire team worked very hard over the holidays to deliver a smooth experience at launch, and the resulting response to the game from our fans and critics has been exceptionally gratifying.”
Added Greg Zeschuk (pictured left), co-founder of BioWare and general manager of the BioWare MMO Business Unit: “But we’re not resting! We’re actively listening to our community for ongoing feedback to help us ensure the game and service continue to improve, and we’re working to deliver spectacular new high quality content on a regular cadence going forward.”
EA said engagement in The Old Republic has not slowed since the launch. Players have logged more than 239 million in-game hours, or 332,000 months and 27,000 years of in-game time. More than 20 billion non-player characters have been killed, and 148 billion credits have been spent.
EA plans to launch Star Wars in Australia and New Zealand in early March. It will add more locations in Asia too, said EA chief operating officer Peter Moore, speaking on EA’s conference call with analysts today. John Riccitiello, chief executive, said that EA has to be careful as it adds new areas, as it is not acceptable to launch with poor service.
Moore said that much of the marketing spend for The Old Republic will happen as Lucasfilm releases a stereoscopic 3D version of Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace film on Feb. 10.