Analyst: Concerns About The Old Republic's Performance are "Overblown"

Analyst: Concerns About The Old Republic's Performance are "Overblown"

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According to one market analysis group, people badmouthing the The Old Republic's sales performance are pulling numbers out of thin air.

Star Wars: The Old Republic was relased last month and managed to rack up one million subscribers in three days, the fastest any MMO has achieved that milestone. Its Metacritic score stands at a respectable 85 out of 100, and our own Steve Butts gave it hefty four-and-a-half stars

Yet despite all that, EA's stock has dropped by nearly 30 percent since the same time last year, partly due to what one analyst described as "creeping concerns" over The Old Republic's sales performance.

According to a report from market analysis group Macquarie Securities, "creeping," in this case, means "exaggerated." Ben Schachter, an analyst working for Macquarie, points out that his peers are basing their predictions on conjecture rather than actual data. He goes on to add that the fact EA hasn't released any sales numbers for The Old Republic doesn't necessarily mean sales of the game have been poor.

He accounts for the game's slow performance at retail, as tracked by the NDP, by claiming that the majority of initial sales may have been made through EA's digital distribution service, Origin.

Webush, another market analysis firm, agrees. The group reckons that more than 800,000 copies of The Old Republic were sold via Origin, and that EA is on track to have sold 2 million copies by the end of the year.

Of course initial sales aren't the most accurate measure of an MMO's success. The game's subscriber retention will be put to the test over the coming months. The Old Republic will have to hold on to a large percentage of its estimated 1.5 million subscriber base if it's to prove profitable, given its immense budget.

Source: Gamasutra

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Even with over a million copies in the wild if the current numbers on the actual active population ~300k are accurate, that means an attrition rate of at least 65%-70% in the first month... now MMOs spike pretty sharply in their first month or two, but that sounds like a pretty extreme drop off.

Nice to see the very first post on this story showing exactly what Greg was writing about with numbers being pulled out of people asses with no sources to back them up...

A quick google search on star wars subscribers pulled up a front page full of articles and links claiming ToR has over a million subsrcribers, and there is an article on Gamespot from earlier last year citing Riticello(sp?) at EA saying the game will be profitable @ 500K subs. Which is good to hear, I haven't had this much fun with an MMO since WoW's launch and if they can keep up the pace of content release like they have been I will gladly fork out 15 a month for it.

4.5? Dragon age 2 scored higher on this very website

And given all the current controversy with unsubscribes, maybe the focus was on the wrong area for the study.

Jebusetti:
Nice to see the very first post on this story showing exactly what Greg was writing about with numbers being pulled out of people asses with no sources to back them up...

That's okay. You can't be bothered to quote me, I can't be bothered to go digging through my browser history. It's out there. In fact it's been posted on these forums before, with a citation to the original source, maybe you can find it, maybe you can't. I really can't see where you need that kind of evidence.

I hope Bioware can get their stuff together, as I actually like them.... But we'll see what happens.

So now can we all just realize that market analysts are pretty much talking out of their asses, as is anyone trying to predict SWTOR's future(both the optimists and the pessimists).

Jebusetti:
Nice to see the very first post on this story showing exactly what Greg was writing about with numbers being pulled out of people asses with no sources to back them up...

A quick google search on star wars subscribers pulled up a front page full of articles and links claiming ToR has over a million subsrcribers, and there is an article on Gamespot from earlier last year citing Riticello(sp?) at EA saying the game will be profitable @ 500K subs. Which is good to hear, I haven't had this much fun with an MMO since WoW's launch and if they can keep up the pace of content release like they have been I will gladly fork out 15 a month for it.

It's called ToRstatus.net http://www.torstatus.net/

this part specifically http://www.torstatus.net/shards/us/total

So who's pulling numbers out of their ass again? because from what I'm looking at the game barely has 300,000 active players at the moment. Now does this tell us "X people are subscribing" no but what it DOES tell us is server and population trends. In fact you can check out which servers have a decrease and increase in activity

SpaceMedarotterX:

It's called ToRstatus.net http://www.torstatus.net/

this part specifically http://www.torstatus.net/shards/us/total

So who's pulling numbers out of their ass again? because from what I'm looking at the game barely has 300,000 active players at the moment. Now does this tell us "X people are subscribing" no but what it DOES tell us is server and population trends. In fact you can check out which servers have a decrease and increase in activity

That's certainly interesting information, but we really have no way of knowing exactly how many subscribers there are based on it.

animehermit:

SpaceMedarotterX:

It's called ToRstatus.net http://www.torstatus.net/

this part specifically http://www.torstatus.net/shards/us/total

So who's pulling numbers out of their ass again? because from what I'm looking at the game barely has 300,000 active players at the moment. Now does this tell us "X people are subscribing" no but what it DOES tell us is server and population trends. In fact you can check out which servers have a decrease and increase in activity

That's certainly interesting information, but we really have no way of knowing exactly how many subscribers there are based on it.

I know I just said that, see?

Now does this tell us "X people are subscribing" no

It does tell us how many people are playing however, the drop offs and gives us a chart over time.

From there we can defer Subscriptions, or someone with a much higher grasp of theoretical math can

It also shows how many people are joining/leaving servers, which is another important thing when your servers show a downward spiral (you can find this under the Server Stats tab) and the Population trends show how well the game overall is doing via Heavy, Full and Light servers.

So I don't think the concern about it's performance is overblown, especially when we have Tera, Guild Wars 2, and other MMO's all hitting the market this year, and lets not kid ourselves, they all do WAY MORE to change up the game than TOR did, in the case of GW2, it's F2P as well, Hell TERA includes a system where you can transfer weapon and armor stats across items, so you can run around in the armor you like the look of, with end game stats. Which keeps people from looking alike (honestly this system should have been in MMO's a long time ago)

This looking like another Warhammer to me is all I'm saying.

SpaceMedarotterX:

animehermit:

SpaceMedarotterX:

It's called ToRstatus.net http://www.torstatus.net/

this part specifically http://www.torstatus.net/shards/us/total

So who's pulling numbers out of their ass again? because from what I'm looking at the game barely has 300,000 active players at the moment. Now does this tell us "X people are subscribing" no but what it DOES tell us is server and population trends. In fact you can check out which servers have a decrease and increase in activity

That's certainly interesting information, but we really have no way of knowing exactly how many subscribers there are based on it.

I know I just said that, see?

Now does this tell us "X people are subscribing" no

It does tell us how many people are playing however, the drop offs and gives us a chart over time.

From there we can defer Subscriptions, or someone with a much higher grasp of theoretical math can

It does kind of mesh with the 800k subscribers number they put out after the PvP blowout.

The 800k subscribers number, and the million subscribers number before it are kinda fake numbers. As someone else on the cancel button news post pointed out, that actually includes people who are still in their first month, and haven't actually started paying yet, but entered a credit card number to validate their accounts.

Forewarning: The without access to better statistics, the margin of error on all this analysis is ~20%.

The interesting thing there is where the numbers bottom out, in the middle of the night (~120k). There's two ways to look at that number, either add it to the peak time (for ~420k), on the rationale that players will be playing at one or the other time but rarely both. (This isn't statistically sound, but it should roughly eat up the loss of players that log in less frequently than daily, but are still regular players.)

The alternative is to look at that as the game's stable population that's actually going to remain with the game, and are indicative of the real loyalists. This leaves the game with a long term stable population of 100-120k. This is kind of a worst possible scenario, but it actually still paints the picture of, what in MMO terms, is a very healthy game.

Again, without better data, I can't say any of this with real confidence, but if there is a problem for TOR it isn't in the number of players subscribers, it's that Bioware may have set the minimum bar for success someplace in the upper stratosphere.

SpaceMedarotterX:
It also shows how many people are joining/leaving servers, which is another important thing when your servers show a downward spiral (you can find this under the Server Stats tab) and the Population trends show how well the game overall is doing via Heavy, Full and Light servers.

On the whole, yeah. This is sort of like a population growth figure for a nation. The only ones in the green are three US servers, everywhere else is dropping faster. To be fair, MMOs do this. They'll get an artificial spike at launch, and then the game will break down into it's real subscriber base after two to three months. We're still in the artificial launch statistics right now. If they were experiencing continued growth at this point, that would actually be pretty damn surprising.

SpaceMedarotterX:
So I don't think the concern about it's performance is overblown, especially when we have Tera, Guild Wars 2, and other MMO's all hitting the market this year, and lets not kid ourselves, they all do WAY MORE to change up the game than TOR did, in the case of GW2, it's F2P as well, Hell TERA includes a system where you can transfer weapon and armor stats across items, so you can run around in the armor you like the look of, with end game stats. Which keeps people from looking alike (honestly this system should have been in MMO's a long time ago)

This looking like another Warhammer to me is all I'm saying.

I'm not sure if Warhammer's the best analogy. I think TOR could easily find 100-200k players, which, again, is very healthy for an MMO. I'm also pretty sure that those numbers are far below what Bioware and EA wanted.

Starke:

SpaceMedarotterX:

animehermit:

That's certainly interesting information, but we really have no way of knowing exactly how many subscribers there are based on it.

I know I just said that, see?

Now does this tell us "X people are subscribing" no

It does tell us how many people are playing however, the drop offs and gives us a chart over time.

From there we can defer Subscriptions, or someone with a much higher grasp of theoretical math can

It does kind of mesh with the 800k subscribers number they put out after the PvP blowout.

The 800k subscribers number, and the million subscribers number before it are kinda fake numbers. As someone else on the cancel button news post pointed out, that actually includes people who are still in their first month, and haven't actually started paying yet, but entered a credit card number to validate their accounts.

Forewarning: The without access to better statistics, the margin of error on all this analysis is ~20%.

The interesting thing there is where the numbers bottom out, in the middle of the night (~120k). There's two ways to look at that number, either add it to the peak time (for ~420k), on the rationale that players will be playing at one or the other time but rarely both. (This isn't statistically sound, but it should roughly eat up the loss of players that log in less frequently than daily, but are still regular players.)

The alternative is to look at that as the game's stable population that's actually going to remain with the game, and are indicative of the real loyalists. This leaves the game with a long term stable population of 100-120k. This is kind of a worst possible scenario, but it actually still paints the picture of, what in MMO terms, is a very healthy game.

Again, without better data, I can't say any of this with real confidence, but if there is a problem for TOR it isn't in the number of players subscribers, it's that Bioware may have set the minimum bar for success someplace in the upper stratosphere.

SpaceMedarotterX:
It also shows how many people are joining/leaving servers, which is another important thing when your servers show a downward spiral (you can find this under the Server Stats tab) and the Population trends show how well the game overall is doing via Heavy, Full and Light servers.

On the whole, yeah. This is sort of like a population growth figure for a nation. The only ones in the green are three US servers, everywhere else is dropping faster. To be fair, MMOs do this. They'll get an artificial spike at launch, and then the game will break down into it's real subscriber base after two to three months. We're still in the artificial launch statistics right now. If they were experiencing continued growth at this point, that would actually be pretty damn surprising.

SpaceMedarotterX:
So I don't think the concern about it's performance is overblown, especially when we have Tera, Guild Wars 2, and other MMO's all hitting the market this year, and lets not kid ourselves, they all do WAY MORE to change up the game than TOR did, in the case of GW2, it's F2P as well, Hell TERA includes a system where you can transfer weapon and armor stats across items, so you can run around in the armor you like the look of, with end game stats. Which keeps people from looking alike (honestly this system should have been in MMO's a long time ago)

This looking like another Warhammer to me is all I'm saying.

I'm not sure if Warhammer's the best analogy. I think TOR could easily find 100-200k players, which, again, is very healthy for an MMO. I'm also pretty sure that those numbers are far below what Bioware and EA wanted.

Most definitely, I don't think TOR will 'Die'. I think it will fail to meet it's intended target, which has always been to make GANGBUSTERS of money, thing is it really depends on what the budget was. The rumored and often cited 300 Million? In another thread I showed that this is a very daunting figure, with the Analyst predicted 500 Million? it would take a little over a decade to make back it's money.

The most daunting thing, something Bobby "Satan Himself" Kotick brought up, was that Lucas takes, at minimum, a 30% cut. Of everything. More often than not he would take a bigger slice of the pie, but for all Theoretical Math I assume to average number, so 30%.

In the 'Cancel Subscription Button Missing' thread I posted why this was daunting.

me:
They boasted about 1 million preorders.
Lets assume that was true and there were 1 million people who bought the game for release day.
If we assume that about 10 percent of those sales were the $150 collectors edition then all up on sales they made about $69 000 000. This isn't including the digital deluxe pack, so lets be nice and say they made $72 000 000 in sales instead.

Now, their current number of players is just under 300 000, according to ToRstats.
Given that the budget was $300 000 000, they will have to keep those 300 000 players subbed at $15 per month for 51 months in order to break even (probably slightly less given additional post-release sales).

If the budget is $500 000 000 as economic analysts are predicting, then they will have to keep every one of those 300k players subbed for 95.1 months in order to make a profit (again give or take some weeks accounting for additional sales).

Given the 30%(Minimum) cut Lucas gets, then the sales amount left over is reduced to 50.4 million.

Assuming he also takes 30% of the sub fees (reducing them from $15 to $10.5), those 300k players will have to sub for 79.2 months given a $300m budget and 142 months given $500m.

Now obviously that doesn't account for the now alledged 2 million copies sold, and it also doesn't account for all those people seeking refunds. It also assume the earned money is 'Pure Profit' which it wouldn't be because most copies sold will be retail chained and...

Have I mentioned I hate math?

SpaceMedarotterX:
Most definitely, I don't think TOR will 'Die'. I think it will fail to meet it's intended target, which has always been to make GANGBUSTERS of money, thing is it really depends on what the budget was. The rumored and often cited 300 Million? In another thread I showed that this is a very daunting figure, with the Analyst predicted 500 Million? it would take a little over a decade to make back it's money.

The most daunting thing, something Bobby "Satan Himself" Kotick brought up, was that Lucas takes, at minimum, a 30% cut. Of everything. More often than not he would take a bigger slice of the pie, but for all Theoretical Math I assume to average number, so 30%.

In the 'Cancel Subscription Button Missing' thread I posted why this was daunting.

me:
They boasted about 1 million preorders.
Lets assume that was true and there were 1 million people who bought the game for release day.
If we assume that about 10 percent of those sales were the $150 collectors edition then all up on sales they made about $69 000 000. This isn't including the digital deluxe pack, so lets be nice and say they made $72 000 000 in sales instead.

Now, their current number of players is just under 300 000, according to ToRstats.
Given that the budget was $300 000 000, they will have to keep those 300 000 players subbed at $15 per month for 51 months in order to break even (probably slightly less given additional post-release sales).

If the budget is $500 000 000 as economic analysts are predicting, then they will have to keep every one of those 300k players subbed for 95.1 months in order to make a profit (again give or take some weeks accounting for additional sales).

Given the 30%(Minimum) cut Lucas gets, then the sales amount left over is reduced to 50.4 million.

Assuming he also takes 30% of the sub fees (reducing them from $15 to $10.5), those 300k players will have to sub for 79.2 months given a $300m budget and 142 months given $500m.

Now obviously that doesn't account for the now alledged 2 million copies sold, and it also doesn't account for all those people seeking refunds. It also assume the earned money is 'Pure Profit' which it wouldn't be because most copies sold will be retail chained and...

Have I mentioned I hate math?

Interestingly, that "2m copies sold" isn't an actual number, if you look at the link carefully, you'll see it's a sales projection, which was raised from 1.5 to 2.something million for this quarter. If that was actual sales it would be a sign that the game was going down in flames, in that it would have managed to achieve a 60% attrition rate before the trial month was up.

But, yeah, even at 200m, this game was basically forced to be the next wow or die trying. I'm not sure what the nominal budget for an MMO is these days, but the market as is can't sustain that budget.

Also, the captcha is asking for an umlaut, anyone got one?

ResonanceSD:
4.5? Dragon age 2 scored higher on this very website

And given all the current controversy with unsubscribes, maybe the focus was on the wrong area for the study.

That's only because DA2 was a better game. :p

But in all seriousness, the Escapist reviewed a single player RPG, and basically ignored the MMO elements for the entirety of the review.

Starke:

SpaceMedarotterX:
Most definitely, I don't think TOR will 'Die'. I think it will fail to meet it's intended target, which has always been to make GANGBUSTERS of money, thing is it really depends on what the budget was. The rumored and often cited 300 Million? In another thread I showed that this is a very daunting figure, with the Analyst predicted 500 Million? it would take a little over a decade to make back it's money.

The most daunting thing, something Bobby "Satan Himself" Kotick brought up, was that Lucas takes, at minimum, a 30% cut. Of everything. More often than not he would take a bigger slice of the pie, but for all Theoretical Math I assume to average number, so 30%.

In the 'Cancel Subscription Button Missing' thread I posted why this was daunting.

me:
They boasted about 1 million preorders.
Lets assume that was true and there were 1 million people who bought the game for release day.
If we assume that about 10 percent of those sales were the $150 collectors edition then all up on sales they made about $69 000 000. This isn't including the digital deluxe pack, so lets be nice and say they made $72 000 000 in sales instead.

Now, their current number of players is just under 300 000, according to ToRstats.
Given that the budget was $300 000 000, they will have to keep those 300 000 players subbed at $15 per month for 51 months in order to break even (probably slightly less given additional post-release sales).

If the budget is $500 000 000 as economic analysts are predicting, then they will have to keep every one of those 300k players subbed for 95.1 months in order to make a profit (again give or take some weeks accounting for additional sales).

Given the 30%(Minimum) cut Lucas gets, then the sales amount left over is reduced to 50.4 million.

Assuming he also takes 30% of the sub fees (reducing them from $15 to $10.5), those 300k players will have to sub for 79.2 months given a $300m budget and 142 months given $500m.

Now obviously that doesn't account for the now alledged 2 million copies sold, and it also doesn't account for all those people seeking refunds. It also assume the earned money is 'Pure Profit' which it wouldn't be because most copies sold will be retail chained and...

Have I mentioned I hate math?

Interestingly, that "2m copies sold" isn't an actual number, if you look at the link carefully, you'll see it's a sales projection, which was raised from 1.5 to 2.something million for this quarter. If that was actual sales it would be a sign that the game was going down in flames, in that it would have managed to achieve a 60% attrition rate before the trial month was up.

But, yeah, even at 200m, this game was basically forced to be the next wow or die trying. I'm not sure what the nominal budget for an MMO is these days, but the market as is can't sustain that budget.

Also, the captcha is asking for an umlaut, anyone got one?

The fun thing with re captcha is it gives 1 word for you to type out, and then 1 dummy word. You can always tell the Dummy Word because it has something like a comma or an umlaut.

All you have to do is type a letter like "a" and then write out the correct word and it will pass through

SpaceMedarotterX:

Starke:
Also, the captcha is asking for an umlaut, anyone got one?

The fun thing with re captcha is it gives 1 word for you to type out, and then 1 dummy word. You can always tell the Dummy Word because it has something like a comma or an umlaut.

All you have to do is type a letter like "a" and then write out the correct word and it will pass through

Funny thing about that is, in this case both were legitimate German words with non-English characters. *Shrugs* Did not know that about recaptcha though.

EDIT: At least I think they were, I was pretty tired when I wrote that.

How ignorant are you people? 300k active players every day means at a minimum 7-900k active subscribers since, surprise surprise, not everybody plays every day. Hell, it fucking says that API has nothing to do with number of players on the page in red lettering.

ravenshrike:
How ignorant are you people? 300k active players every day means at a minimum 7-900k active subscribers since, surprise surprise, not everybody plays every day. Hell, it fucking says that API has nothing to do with number of players on the page in red lettering.

We're ignorant enough to read the rest of the thread, and comment on their published figure of 800k subscribers. We're ignorant enough to do basic statistical analysis of the data. We're ignorant enough to understand exactly what the API does and does not tell us. We're ignorant enough to read, learn, and understand stuff.

I get if you're not thrilled with the current online reputation for TOR, but the fact is, this was a fairly coherent discussion, until sleep deprivation and recaptcha dragged it off topic. If you have something to contribute, then, please, do.

Starke:

Jebusetti:
Nice to see the very first post on this story showing exactly what Greg was writing about with numbers being pulled out of people asses with no sources to back them up...

That's okay. You can't be bothered to quote me, I can't be bothered to go digging through my browser history. It's out there. In fact it's been posted on these forums before, with a citation to the original source, maybe you can find it, maybe you can't. I really can't see where you need that kind of evidence.

You can't see where he'd need that kind of evidence? You can't construct a valid argument by saying "TOR is failing." and then just leave it at that. A valid argument would go something like "TOR is failing. Here is why. Here is source #1, 2, 3, etc... showing sales and subscription cancellation numbers."

All he did was call you out on your own shit. To which you responded "I know I didn't post any sources for my statements but they're out there and if you need to see them google them yourself or something but I don't see any reason you'd want to do that you can trust me fellah."

You said it yourself. You don't have hard access to accurate numbers. All you and SpaceX are doing is speculating based on a website that doesn't even appear to be an official Bioware or EA site. One that shows ACTIVE PLAYERS

Because given a game that has been sold on both sides of the planet not all subscribers are going to be online at the same time.

One final thought. It's clear from both your posts and especially SpaceX's posts that you're not fans of the game or Bioware. Why do you continue to spend energy posting over and over again the same basic argument "This game sucks and is going to fail" Move along. God damn.

Something folks should remember about Market "analysts":

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b1b_1237128864

SpaceMedarotterX:

Hell TERA includes a system where you can transfer weapon and armor stats across items, so you can run around in the armor you like the look of, with end game stats. Which keeps people from looking alike (honestly this system should have been in MMO's a long time ago)

Just butting in to comment on this bit...

You can already do this in SWTOR.

that is all.

Nami nom noms:

SpaceMedarotterX:

Hell TERA includes a system where you can transfer weapon and armor stats across items, so you can run around in the armor you like the look of, with end game stats. Which keeps people from looking alike (honestly this system should have been in MMO's a long time ago)

Just butting in to comment on this bit...

You can already do this in SWTOR.

that is all.

As does Aion, Rift, Guild Wars, and even WoW lets you do it now too.

Kwil:
Something folks should remember about Market "analysts":

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b1b_1237128864

Something folks should keep in mind when reading about information on internet forums http://torwars.com/2012/01/20/troll-the-swtor-devs-bad-idea/

 

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