EA execs won’t be happy until the entire PC-owning population is playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.
At an EA investor event, CFO Eric Brown announced that over 1.5 million people had signed up for the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta. He called the number “a great indicator in the interest level in the franchise,” but that “We’re not that concerned about generating initial demand.” Considering that the game has a pre-built audience of Star Wars fans supplemented by BioWare’s popularity and the sea of MMO gamers out there, I can begin to see why EA might be able to yawn at 1.5 million people.
1.5 million just isn’t enough. But 12 million? Yeah, 12 million sounds about right.
“For us it’s about creating the right experience for expanding from tier one and the tier two users to getting people who have never played an MMO before, but are interested in Star Wars, to engage and give it a try. If we do that, our addressable market is well beyond 12 million people… into more of a general gamer population, pretty much anyone that has a minimum spec personal computer.”
So that’s why EA wasn’t excited about the 1.5 million beta requests: its only a small part of the global population of computer owners. EA just won’t be happy with SWTOR‘s performance unless it is installed on every computer capable of running it.
Brown also mentioned that it was “reasonable to infer” that the game will be out between July and December of this year. How very noncommittal of him.