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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » SWTOR needs only 500K subs to be "substantially profitable"

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53 posts found
  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

 
OP  7/27/12 4:39:11 PM#1

Way back in early 2011, John Ricitello claimed that SWTOR would be "substantially proftiable" with only 500K subs (http://www.gamespot.com/news/star-wars-the-old-republic-needs-only-500k-subscribers-ea-6297338).

Now, fast forward to today, and I'm starting to think this was...well, BS.  I think that the game probably still has at least 500K subs, and yet there have been...

1.  Massive layoffs.

2.  F2P considerations.

3.  Substantial price drops from several retailers.

I really don't see how all this translates into a "substantially proftiable."

Thoughts?  Was Ricitello full of it?  Or are they just anticipating further sub losses?

 

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  keithian

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/06
Posts: 2961

7/27/12 6:50:36 PM#2

My thoughts:

a) Sick and tired of reading another number of subs to profit thread to read the same comments already posted throughout these forums.

b) If they took any thread that had a conversation about subs and profit and moved them into another folder and left the remaining threads for fans to discuss anything about the game, this General Folder would be just about empty.

There Is Always Hope!

  Tawn47

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/07
Posts: 515

7/28/12 3:28:45 AM#3
Originally posted by keithian

My thoughts:

a) Sick and tired of reading another number of subs to profit thread to read the same comments already posted throughout these forums.

b) If they took any thread that had a conversation about subs and profit and moved them into another folder and left the remaining threads for fans to discuss anything about the game, this General Folder would be just about empty.

Based on these two points, the SWTOR forum is probably not the best place to visit. :)

  Mothanos

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/20/10
Posts: 1827

7/28/12 3:34:01 AM#4

They are lucky if they can maintain a 250k subs at the ende of this year.

GW2 / TSW / Tera / MoP. its a very hard world out there these days and you need to provide decent stuff for your playerbase or they /uninstal instandly.

 

 

http://speedtest.net/result/2112016336.png

  SuperDonk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 699

7/28/12 3:38:15 AM#5
Originally posted by Mothanos

They are lucky if they can maintain a 250k subs at the ende of this year.

GW2 / TSW / Tera / MoP. its a very hard world out there these days and you need to provide decent stuff for your playerbase or they /uninstal instandly.

 

 

 MoP and GW2 are going to make it tough on swtor, that's for sure. It's hard for me to imagine they get through September without annoucing f2p. The layoffs won't make the conversion to f2p any easier either.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  Tatercake

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/24/07
Posts: 243

LET GO OF MY NUTS

7/28/12 3:40:17 AM#6

by levell 5 we were bored to hell here at Chaosmachine

  User Deleted
7/28/12 3:42:01 AM#7

I think and feel (speculation here) that EA is done funding this game. it will survive with a new smaller staff or it will sink. they don't care about ohlen or erickson or willam wallace. people who championed the 4th pillar during design document time are going to go away. EA is pissed off and they're getting rid of these devs.

It can run for a pretty good time on 500k but for all the thing's funding wise it might need to be developed to keep players, that tit has dried up.

It's maintence mode now or free to play. the latter of course will be tried first. if F2P fails then option one will be a undeniable fact.

  JoeyMMO

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/09/11
Posts: 1326

To busy playing GW2 to post much around here... *shrug*

7/28/12 5:24:54 AM#8

 Odds of them holding on to 500K subscribers long enough to make a profit while remaining P2P are slim. Maybe a Freemium model can help soften the blow.

  User Deleted
7/28/12 5:37:23 AM#9

Anouther TOR is dead thread. Wow they seem to be the latest flavor of the moment for forum posters. I keep telling you people that TOR is not going no were. Why? AOC, Warhammer, Aion, CoX, LotR and the list goes on and on. If you can open your eyes and take note that these other MMO's are still doing great then what does that mean? That TOR will not DIE anytime soon.

  User Deleted
7/28/12 5:39:51 AM#10

Some perspective on the industry and layoffs.

 

When you're developing an MMO or any game the team you use for that is always oversized. 

Example.  

While developing you will have say 10 game designers, but after the game is out and released you only have enough work for 4 so what do you do ?  You certainly don't wanna keep paying 10 people who's work load can be done by 4 do you ?   So you move them to new projects or you lay them off its the nature of the business they're in.  

 

This is just an example, but a pretty good one and it goes down the line from the top to the bottom of that development staff you move the staff you need into the game staff and the ones you don't get layed off.

  User Deleted
7/28/12 6:27:38 AM#11

Last time i checked, there were 25 servers in total. 500k/25 = 20k/per server.

Are those servers really crowded by now?

Just curious, since i unsubbed in january.

 

  gervaise1

Elite Member

Joined: 1/17/07
Posts: 1221

7/28/12 8:03:23 AM#12
Originally posted by Creslin321

Way back in early 2011, John Ricitello claimed that SWTOR would be "substantially proftiable" with only 500K subs (http://www.gamespot.com/news/star-wars-the-old-republic-needs-only-500k-subscribers-ea-6297338).

Now, fast forward to today, and I'm starting to think this was...well, BS.  I think that the game probably still has at least 500K subs, and yet there have been...

1.  Massive layoffs.

2.  F2P considerations.

3.  Substantial price drops from several retailers.

I really don't see how all this translates into a "substantially proftiable."

Thoughts?  Was Ricitello full of it?  Or are they just anticipating further sub losses?

 

Well fast forward and EA (JR) said that they needed 500k to break even and 1M subs to "make a profit but nothing to write home about". So I have always assumed that the 500k to be substantially profitable was on a day-to-day, forget about repaying the investment basis. Write the development costs off as a loss partly off-set by box sales (no EA do not get $60 or whatever per box).

For something to kick around: 500k subs x $15 would be $7.5M; assume 1/3 to LA, $3M a month to run the game and that would leave $2M. So $2M profit on $3M of costs and that would make SWTOR "substantially profitable" - hitting the 60-70% figure that EA aim for.

$3 a month @ 100k per employee (to cover salary, taxes, medical, dental and all employee expenses - servers for techs, software licences for developers, phones, electricity etc.) and that would be enough to cover a team of 300. I think they had more than that but now they may have less. Anyway point is I think that with 500k JR could claim that SWTOR would be substantially profitable.

Don't think they have 500k though .....

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10533

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

7/28/12 8:08:06 AM#13


Originally posted by Creslin321
Way back in early 2011, John Ricitello claimed that SWTOR would be "substantially proftiable" with only 500K subs (http://www.gamespot.com/news/star-wars-the-old-republic-needs-only-500k-subscribers-ea-6297338).

Now, fast forward to today, and I'm starting to think this was...well, BS.  I think that the game probably still has at least 500K subs, and yet there have been...

1.  Massive layoffs.

2.  F2P considerations.

3.  Substantial price drops from several retailers.

I really don't see how all this translates into a "substantially proftiable."

Thoughts?  Was Ricitello full of it?  Or are they just anticipating further sub losses?

 




They didn't qualify what substantially profitable meant, and they didn't qualify their expectations for the game's performance. If they set their staffing based on two million subs instead of five hundred thousand subs, then they would have to get rid of people.

I think what they were saying was, "We can be profitable having less than half the subs we're doing to get, so this is going to make tons of money!"

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Xthos

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/18/10
Posts: 2635

7/28/12 8:17:04 AM#14

I thought the number was closer to maybe 250-350k, but havent played in a bit.  I am from the crowd that thinks they have not made their money back yet (with IP fees and such...).

 

I don't think anyone will know though, unless someone knows what fee they are paying for the Star Wars IP.  Some have it at 30%, others scoff at that as insane....  The IP fee makes all the difference, it was raised enough on SWG to make Sony fold their game (which was not doing great, but was able to function under the old agreement).

  JoeyMMO

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/09/11
Posts: 1326

To busy playing GW2 to post much around here... *shrug*

7/28/12 9:07:09 AM#15
Originally posted by Xthos

I thought the number was closer to maybe 250-350k, but havent played in a bit.  I am from the crowd that thinks they have not made their money back yet (with IP fees and such...).

 I don't think anyone will know though, unless someone knows what fee they are paying for the Star Wars IP.  Some have it at 30%, others scoff at that as insane....  The IP fee makes all the difference, it was raised enough on SWG to make Sony fold their game (which was not doing great, but was able to function under the old agreement).

 The IP fee was 35 cents to the dollar, but that was only after the initial investment was paid off. LA invested in TOR as well. If EA or LA gets paid first isn't clear at all. It's no doubt a complex agreement, and both parties thought they'd make a ton of money from it.

  rdrakken

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/15/12
Posts: 435

7/28/12 9:19:46 AM#16
Originally posted by William12

Some perspective on the industry and layoffs.

 

When you're developing an MMO or any game the team you use for that is always oversized. 

Example.  

Snip

 Your example is meaningless to anyone that has been playing MMOs for at least 5 years and your perspective is sorely lacking.

I cannot think of any other game that layed off so many TOP LEVEL PEOPLE that was not in deep trouble...lower level people is one thing but when top level people are being let go left and right it points to only one thing...massive mistakes and a game in trouble. Hell, even HORIZONS, what can be argued is the single worst MMO launch in history did not let the top people go until the company nearly went bankrupt and they were forced to sell the game to another company.

This isnt a case of, oh well this managing director was offered a better position someplace else, or hey that guy is going to retire...this is a large group of top level people GONE in a short time and no game in good condition is going to have some many people in CHARGE of the game leaving...this is an MMORPG, the people in charge of the game are the only ones that know WTF is going on in all parts of the design and its future...so losing all those people is going to do nothing but hurt the game even more.

Perspective, gain some.

  Airtaee

Novice Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 89

7/28/12 9:28:46 AM#17
Originally posted by JoeyMMO
Originally posted by Xthos

I thought the number was closer to maybe 250-350k, but havent played in a bit.  I am from the crowd that thinks they have not made their money back yet (with IP fees and such...).

 I don't think anyone will know though, unless someone knows what fee they are paying for the Star Wars IP.  Some have it at 30%, others scoff at that as insane....  The IP fee makes all the difference, it was raised enough on SWG to make Sony fold their game (which was not doing great, but was able to function under the old agreement).

 The IP fee was 35 cents to the dollar, but that was only after the initial investment was paid off. LA invested in TOR as well. If EA or LA gets paid first isn't clear at all. It's no doubt a complex agreement, and both parties thought they'd make a ton of money from it.

Joey...Can you tell us where the 35% comes from? As i know, SOE and LA negotiated the license as a fixed pay every 3 years. they didnt renew it at 6 months of the next renewal.

I'm pretty sure LA assured their part of the bussiness as a fixed ammount despite the profit from the game, is what they do with Wizards of the coast, what they do with SOE and pretty sure with EA. If you can provide a link about % of benefits i will be really grateful. 

 

  Ozimandeus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/06
Posts: 79

7/28/12 9:33:12 AM#18

As an Ex Earth and Beyonder... I am always nervous of EA and its 'comitment' to MMORPG.. unless it is very profitable they will look to can it as quickly as possible.

I'd expect either the game will be lost at some stage in the next couple of years, or will get sold on to someone less focused on mega profits.

TSW people be warned... EA are not to be trusted!!

 

  erictlewis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3058

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

7/28/12 9:35:15 AM#19
Originally posted by Creslin321

Way back in early 2011, John Ricitello claimed that SWTOR would be "substantially proftiable" with only 500K subs (http://www.gamespot.com/news/star-wars-the-old-republic-needs-only-500k-subscribers-ea-6297338).

Now, fast forward to today, and I'm starting to think this was...well, BS.  I think that the game probably still has at least 500K subs, and yet there have been...

1.  Massive layoffs.

2.  F2P considerations.

3.  Substantial price drops from several retailers.

I really don't see how all this translates into a "substantially proftiable."

Thoughts?  Was Ricitello full of it?  Or are they just anticipating further sub losses?

 

I don't even think that number is real enough to pay the bills.  They spent 200-300 million making the game.  Even if they did sale 2.4 million copies we know the box was going for 49.95 x 2.4m = 119 million.  That is still far short of paying for the cost of it. Not to mention you only get a certain % of box and mortar sales, and employee salaries and overhead.

I have to look at the massive layoff, the price drops, the free week ends, now the free to play to level 15, and a possible free to play model in the works points at one thing.  They are not making enough, and they need more folks to come in and get their money. 

I seen this same thing happen to LOTRO, who actually after they went free to play they stabilized the bleed off from Moria, and turned it around.  Now you see the same kind of warning indicators with swtor.

Just saying I think they are in trouble all the evidence points to that.

 

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17083

7/28/12 9:38:59 AM#20

Well, my thought was that SWToR was never going to have more than 500k or so subs. And that's a good thing.

Maybe not for EA but there's this idea that if your game doesn't have millions then it's a failure. Of course companies would love millions but outside of WoW and a few f2p asian games, most mmo's don't have millions or even a million.

Then there is the idea that if the game sold x amount of copies it's a failure if it doesn't retain most of them. Which is also ridiculous as the mmo-scape is dotted with many players who game hop, many players who are looking for "their perfect home", WoW players who are looking for WoW 2.0 and even regular gamers/players who are just looking to try something like an mmo.

Top that with, in this case, Star Wars Fans who may or may not be gamers and you get a lot of people trying a game that really can only be attractive to a specific audience.

 

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