I played SWTOR for 363 hours over the first 49 days (including early access)...
It's a very strong game. Consider that they sold 2 million copies and got 1.7 million subscribers. A 85% retention rate after the first month is extraordinary.
Couple of descrepencies in your statement.
Best Launch of any MMO - Yes
Fastest Growing MMO ever - No, all indications say that ToR is decaying
* WoW saw growth of about 300k per month for 6 months straight. In 6 months they had 1.8m active subscribers (not just units sold). At 9 months they had 3.5m subscribers. They launched in Q4 2004 and did not have a single negative subscriber month until Q4 2008. Thats 4 straight years of adding subscribers at a blistering rate. ToR is already loosing subscribers from what all reports are showing. This is negative growth or decay.
An interesting side note: MMOs subscriptions are decaying sector wide since 2009. This is the 1st year long stretch of time we have seen with net decay since we started recording subscriber statistics in 1997. i think the reasons are obvious. The game companies are not attracting kids in the high school level and they cannot seem to retain adults graduating college (WoW is too simple for many adults). All of WoWs massive gains were from high schoolers around my brothers age who are now done with college and no longer have time for MMO. They simply arent being replaced. I dont think ToR is going to attract kids since they know nothing about star wars and the movies they had were horrible.
Anyways thats my current take. I do hope that ToR grows but it looks like its not going to happen.
Star Wars in 3d is going to cause hype for the game. I know after playing Batman Arkham City, I went out bought Dark Knight on Blu-Ray, Batman the Animated Series on DVD.
People are going to watch star wars on the big screen get pumped up about star wars and play the game to experience that some more.
I believe this behavior is someone standard in MMOs. A lot of people only play for the free month. Others come and go. Some of that 300-500k will be back. People also play over holidays and then cancel until summer or other times when they can get their money's worth.
The key takeaway is that this is the fastest selling and fastest growing MMO EVER. The launch numbers are more than double most all other MMOs. I don't see how anyone could expect any more.
No analyst expected more than 2 million subs in the first year... they are going to have it in the first quarter. This news could not have been better.
It's possible future growth will be constrained... I'm not sure why you folks aren't understanding simple math, or didn't listen to the call, or maybe you cannot get your heads around the fact that the game is really good and people are enjoying the game.
I think what's going on with some message board folks is that they got it in their head that the game was a dud and it is a great game, and you refuse to admit it to yourself.
And to add a bit more... if you adjust those numbers to account for the behavior of the people that bought the game after Jan. 1 - who I think it's fair to assume are not quite as MMO/Star Wars-nutty - you're probably looking at a 50% 1-month retention rate for those folks.
So... 375k/750k purchases.... puts us @ 1.375 million (maybe a bit less, seems a tad high) real subscribers somewhere in mid-February.
Would guess they sell something like another 300k "boxes" over the next 5 months.
Over/Under @ 6 months on # of real subscribers (at that point, very few would be in the 30-day trial status)... I'd put the line @ 750k - but I'd lean toward the under at this time. Significant improvements to the game could change that opinion.
The numbers are not encouraging.
Unless you figure a large % of people just threw the game in the trash and never bothered to play.... here is why:
Over 2 million sold? OK. Let's say 2.25 million.
Anyone who bought this game on Jan 1st or later MUST be considered an active account... it would be impossible to not be.
What you have is 500k (?) people who bought this game either as a pre-order or in the first 10 days of launch, that have already decided not to continue their subscription. And remember... we're talking about the hardest of hardcore fans here, too... the true MMO addicts.
How many were sold before Jan 1? 1.5 million? A 2/3 retention rate after 1 month among this crowd doesn't sound like the greatest omen to me.
It's 1.7 million active accounts with a form of payment on file (credit or pre-paid time card). Not all are necessarily paying yet. Some will still be on their 30 day free trail (but haven't unsubscribed/stopped playing).
Yes it's after January 20th but not every single one of the 2 million sold through occured on or before Dec 20th. Regardless it sounds like churn rates are pretty low/reasonable to me.
"Star Wars®: The Old Republic™ has generated 1.7 million active subscribers and sold through
more than 2 million units in a little over one month."
Thiq does not mean that SWTOR currently has 1.7M subcribers as a 30 day free play is included in the game.
It does include subcribers who then unsubscribed.
1 million unique logins per day. That million users average 4 hours of play time per day.
They doubled the number of servers after launch to relieve congestion. (hence the light loads)
Hinting at ambitious plan to reach Star Wars fans all over the world. I'm guessing we'll see this in action (advertising) within the next 3 months. [me: It'd be great if they created a Clone Wars type of TV show.]
Pre-orders for ME3 are bigger than the same time period before the ME2 launch.
Got to disagree on the TV show. Unless they poured large amounts of money into and had a stellar cast and direction/writing... A poor/cheesy Star Wars TV show by a SciFi network (which is what is would be) would ruin the pedigree of the Star Wars brand. Lucas wouldn't allow it.
The marketing project is going to be cross-selling SWTOR with the upcoming Star Wars 3D re-release.
Using other EA properties to deliver hundreds of millions of ad impressions within games to drive people to SWTOR.
Think LONG TERM! The whole success and what really made WOW its money was expansions and licensing products. Not what it did in the first year but what id did year after year! Now, think about all the expansions they could do for this game. Imagine if they ever got to the time when Luke, Hans and the rest of the clan was around...dear god, subs would go nuts! Secondly, I can easily see movies and all sorts of other items coming from this game. The trilogy had a cult following and they need to capitalize on it!
Already posted that....and yes, I do believe I said they were wrong when the analyst tried to predict swtor would not perform well...pfft...they should stick to stocks not trying to rate games! 1.7M is very strong and MMO's take time, its a joke to gauge the success of this game over one month. You need a min of 6-12 months.