Over at Joystiq we find that EA is setting the bar for success (and failure) for Star Wars: The Grand Ol’ Republic:
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia recently visited EA to check in on the progress of the company’s upcoming, cutscene-driven MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. He reported that “earnings are somewhat depressed” due to the development costs for the game, but EA management is hopeful that they’ll recoup this cash when the title brings in over two million subscribers. He added that, at the very least, the game needs over one million players in order for EA to break even.
Wow. I seem to be saying that a lot about MMO news today. Wow.
So, as with Warhammer Online, EA has drawn a public line in the sand.
Success is not possible without more than “One Meeel-yon Subscribers!”
1 million times $15 a month times 11 months (assuming you get a month free with the box) plus box sales (call it $40 a box, though $60 wouldn’t surprise me) plus, I am sure, some sort of cash shop. Gross sales ought to be over $200 million if they get that million and keep them for a year.
Of course, you then have the retailers part of the box sales and ongoing operational costs. Plus George Lucas is going to have his hand out waiting for his cut, and there is a man who gets paid no matter what.
I wonder how much they’ve spent on the game? I wonder how soon they want to get their money back?
So everybody will be watching the box sales and EA’s quarterly report to see if The Old Republic is a success or a failure.
Not that it won’t be a success. It ought to be. But making public the metrics that determine success is always a risk. 900,000 players will automatically be a “FAIL” now.
And, as a final thought, is anybody else disturbed by the phrase “upcoming, cutscene-driven MMO?” That certainly isn’t selling the game to me.