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No guts no glory. 1 million subcribers needed to break even.

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/star-wars-mmo-could-see-over-2-million-subscribers/

 

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/18/ea-expecting-two-million-subscribers-for-star-wars-the-old-repu/

 

"He added that, at the very least, the game needs over one million players in order for EA to break even."

 

I think it's a bold move. Investing so much money that you need at least 1 million subs to break even. Of course, you either flop big, or you make big profits.

It's pretty damn hard to make an MMORPG that gets a million subs these days. Who's done that except WoW, and maybe some Korean games? And TOR obviously isn't targeted at the Asian market, so we're talking NA subs, maybe Europe.

It's been pointed out that with all the VO, it's only in three languages. Not like you could afford to do VO in every language, but then a lot of young people speak some English in countries where English is not their native language.

I'm just saying, they got cajones with a million sub make it or break it strategy.

I don't know how transparent this will be. Publishers dont' generally announce their numbers, unless they are really good, then they brag, and usually exaggerate.

But I think this is the measure of success, since it's the number they've given us. 1 million subs is a success, anything less is a fail.


BioWare Needs to Sell 10 Million Units

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Comments

  • trypantstrypants Member Posts: 19

    Didn't we already know this? I seem to recall hearing about this quite a long time ago. either way they have invested a ton of money, its either going to be a total sucess or a total flop.

  • ghaleonx128ghaleonx128 Member Posts: 145

    Something tells me they aren't spending their money very wisely..

    Making a great mmorpg shouldn't take insane amounts of money, especially taking into account how much the quality of single player games has gone up in comparison. 

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Member Posts: 1,803

    i wish them luck, i highly doubt it will make it to 1 million (maybe, just maybe on box sales) but 1 million in retention? i dont know if they will make it. though i do wish they do! sounds like a really good game

    even though im borderline going to see starwars dressed as a jedi (have not done it yet but i have considered it) i will not be playing SWTOR. its simply not my cup of tea. 

    and in a business point of view, i think they should have done more research

    the only game (other than FTP) that has managed to get 1 M subs is Guild Wars and they dont even have a paid subscription. 

    so unless they do something exceptionaly polished (coparing it to other MMOS that have been out for years) they wont break that 1 million sub mark.

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  • IhmoteppIhmotepp Member Posts: 14,495

    Originally posted by ghaleonx128

    Something tells me they aren't spending their money very wisely..

    Making a great mmorpg shouldn't take insane amounts of money, especially taking into account how much the quality of single player games has gone up in comparison. 

     

    If they get a million + subs, then they spent it wisely. If they get way less than a million, then you're right. Not wise.

    But you kinda know where you stand as a subscriber. If there's a million other players, you know the game is making money, and going to be supported.

    If it's something like less than half a million, it's probably only a matter of time before they cut their losses, and pull the plug.

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  • LobotomistLobotomist Member EpicPosts: 5,934

    There is no way for MMO today to get more than 1 million subscribers.

    WOW subscription numbers are exception , because WOW is not MMO its cultural phenomenon. Like Facebook. Its one time deal , after that people move on - but not to another MMO (and especially not one like WOW).

    For MMO to get any larger piece of subscription pie , they need to make something completely different.

    But whatever SWTOR is doing is not enough different from WOW.

    I am sorry , voice acting is not enough.



  • Rockgod99Rockgod99 Member Posts: 4,640
    Hmmm... This could be bad. Two million subs? That dude wasn't talking box sales... This has officially knocked TOR down a few notches on my list. I just don't see how a sci-fi mmo could sustain that many subs. I don't want to get all excited for a game that will be considered a failure with 500k+ subs when that's more than every other game besides wow.

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  • Asmiroth20Asmiroth20 Member Posts: 346

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    There is no way for MMO today to get more than 1 million subscribers.

    WOW subscription numbers are exception , because WOW is not MMO its cultural phenomenon. Like Facebook. Its one time deal , after that people move on - but not to another MMO (and especially not one like WOW).

    For MMO to get any larger piece of subscription pie , they need to make something completely different.

    But whatever SWTOR is doing is not enough different from WOW.

    I am sorry , voice acting is not enough.

        So you're saying that Star Wars isn't as popular as Warcraft?  I wonder how many people playing WoW are Star Wars fans.  I would imagine quite a bit, since it is still an icon.  If there are two games (WoW and TOR) that have similar gameplay but one adds an immersing story, more zones (planets) to explore, a reason to play different classes (we all do it eventually) and the Star Wars theme throughout...  I would think TOR would be the better choice here.

        I think they'll hit their break-even pretty easily just going by that alone, not adding the rest of the Bioware fans or the Star Wars fans just waiting for something else Star Wars to come out.

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Member Posts: 1,803

    Originally posted by Rockgod99

    Hmmm... This could be bad. Two million subs? That dude wasn't talking box sales... This has officially knocked TOR down a few notches on my list. I just don't see how a sci-fi mmo could sustain that many subs. I don't want to get all excited for a game that will be considered a failure with 500k+ subs when that's more than every other game besides wow.

    this is actually a very good point 

    (excluding WoW from the equation)

    being better than all P2P MMOS out there is not enough to make it viable?

    so basically not only you need to be in first place, you need to be 3 x better than the 2nd place simply to cut even, forget about making profit.

    edit: fixed like 40 typos, i think its time for coffee

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  • SpandexDroidSpandexDroid Member Posts: 277

    maybe if they add PvP like in WoW such as Battlegrounds and also PvP servers, and of course PvP rewards :D

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Member Posts: 1,803

    Originally posted by Asmiroth20

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    There is no way for MMO today to get more than 1 million subscribers.

    WOW subscription numbers are exception , because WOW is not MMO its cultural phenomenon. Like Facebook. Its one time deal , after that people move on - but not to another MMO (and especially not one like WOW).

    For MMO to get any larger piece of subscription pie , they need to make something completely different.

    But whatever SWTOR is doing is not enough different from WOW.

    I am sorry , voice acting is not enough.

        So you're saying that Star Wars isn't as popular as Warcraft?  I wonder how many people playing WoW are Star Wars fans.  I would imagine quite a bit, since it is still an icon.  If there are two games (WoW and TOR) that have similar gameplay but one adds an immersing story, more zones (planets) to explore, a reason to play different classes (we all do it eventually) and the Star Wars theme throughout...  I would think TOR would be the better choice here.

        I think they'll hit their break-even pretty easily just going by that alone, not adding the rest of the Bioware fans or the Star Wars fans just waiting for something else Star Wars to come out.

    you are forgetting time invested, "most" people wont leave WoW to start fresh in an uncertain game when they have guilds/achievements/wtv else WoW has (sry i dont play wow so i dont know what you guys invest time in) 

    i think it will be more of a

    "why play a game that feels and works like WoW, instead of the real WoW?" 

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  • Methos12Methos12 Member UncommonPosts: 1,244

    It could make the sales with time, but 1 million subs? Highly unlikely more on the side of impossible, especially over a longer period of time.

    Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
  • Asmiroth20Asmiroth20 Member Posts: 346

    Originally posted by Squal'Zell

    Originally posted by Asmiroth20


    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    There is no way for MMO today to get more than 1 million subscribers.

    WOW subscription numbers are exception , because WOW is not MMO its cultural phenomenon. Like Facebook. Its one time deal , after that people move on - but not to another MMO (and especially not one like WOW).

    For MMO to get any larger piece of subscription pie , they need to make something completely different.

    But whatever SWTOR is doing is not enough different from WOW.

    I am sorry , voice acting is not enough.

        So you're saying that Star Wars isn't as popular as Warcraft?  I wonder how many people playing WoW are Star Wars fans.  I would imagine quite a bit, since it is still an icon.  If there are two games (WoW and TOR) that have similar gameplay but one adds an immersing story, more zones (planets) to explore, a reason to play different classes (we all do it eventually) and the Star Wars theme throughout...  I would think TOR would be the better choice here.

        I think they'll hit their break-even pretty easily just going by that alone, not adding the rest of the Bioware fans or the Star Wars fans just waiting for something else Star Wars to come out.

    you are forgetting time invested, "most" people wont leave WoW to start fresh in an uncertain game when they have guilds/achievements/wtv else WoW has (sry i dont play wow so i dont know what you guys invest time in) 

    i think it will be more of a

    "why play a game that feels and works like WoW, instead of the real WoW?" 

        You know, I've had that feeling for the previous games that I've left for (Aion, Warhammer, went back to SWG for a while).  I know that feeling all to well.  The "time invested" part, I don't agree with that though.  Most of the things you "invest" in WoW is just brainless grind either in battlegrounds or dungeons.  That time, to me, is worth throwing away if it means that I can play something that seems like it's more meaningful. 

        When you make a new toon in WoW, it's the same quests with different abilities.  TOR, as we know, all classes are going to have different stories/quests with different choices to make.  I love the thought of that alone.  Much less that it's a Star Wars game with Bioware in charge. 

        I left the WoW ship May of this year and I haven't looked back since, not even Cataclysm is going to bring me back.  It's the same thing over and over, rehashing content.  I'm done with WoW, I just figure that there are more like me that has been watching TOR intently.

  • ZippyZippy Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 1,412

    I think it is just hype used for creating buzz and publicity.  I seriously doubt they need a million subs at once to break even.  More likely they are mincing words and mean they need a million subs over  the life of the game each keeping subbed for 2-4 months to break even.  A misleading play on words designed to create buzz and lift expectations.   No game can or should expect to break a million subs when only one game currently has more than 200k total western subs.  Especially a sci fi game of all things. 

    That being said spending over a $100 million is a bold statement and a good thing.  The reality is to to make a quality AAA MMO with a minimum of content and quality a game needs a huge budget.  But even a large budget does not guarantee success.  It just said you have the potential to put a quality product that small budget Indy games will never be able to compete with.  EQ2 was $25 million, WoW $75 million, Vanguard rumored to be $30 million.  Trion has Raised over $100 million which they have said they are using at least $50 million on Rift.  I am not a SWTOR fan but I hope the game succeeds.  For that matter I hope every MMO in development not made by SOE or Funcom succeeds.  We need more quality games.

  • RdlabanRdlaban Member UncommonPosts: 396

    Tbh 1 million players aint that big. Only getting 1 mill players with SW IP; bioware fans etc. Even warhammer have had more than 1 mill players(just not at the same time). 

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,925

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    There is no way for MMO today to get more than 1 million subscribers.

    WOW subscription numbers are exception , because WOW is not MMO its cultural phenomenon. Like Facebook. Its one time deal , after that people move on - but not to another MMO (and especially not one like WOW).

    For MMO to get any larger piece of subscription pie , they need to make something completely different.

    But whatever SWTOR is doing is not enough different from WOW.

    I am sorry , voice acting is not enough.

    I keep seeing these arguments and they just don't hold water. Mostly because you are applying the "gamer" mode of thought.

    The people who make up WoW are most likely not gamers or at least weren't gamers before wow. WoW has appealed to people who wouldn't have played games let alone mmo's.

    So there is this whole other market out there besides the gamers who are looking for the next new thing. These people really just want to have fun and don't care about the differences between wow or whatever else out there.

    Star Wars appeals to many different types of people. I'm pretty sure that Star Wars fans who are inclined to play some games will try this.

    heck, look at warhammer. It sold upwards of 800k subs. Now, it didn't keep them but at the same time there were 800K people who were willing to give it a shot. that's not that far away from 1 million. And more people know about star wars than warhammer.

    Mark my words, it will sell much more than a million boxes. And all it has to do is to be good enough so that the people who bought it are willing to sub.

    Of course it won't retain every person who bought the box but given how popular star wars is to the masses I think, if they can release a bug free product, it will do well enough on its own.

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  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't crappy star trek online launch with 1 mil subs? I'm 90% sure there was an article here about it.

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Originally posted by Squal'Zell

    you are forgetting time invested, "most" people wont leave WoW to start fresh in an uncertain game when they have guilds/achievements/wtv else WoW has (sry i dont play wow so i dont know what you guys invest time in) 

    i think it will be more of a

    "why play a game that feels and works like WoW, instead of the real WoW?" 

    The only ones I know quiting and starting something again more often than Wow players are smokers.

    Many Wow players will quit Wow for the zillionth time and try TOR. The question is if the game can pull them in unlike WAR, AoC and the rest of the games we seen for the last few years. Otherwise they will be back to Wow a month later.

    I think TOR actually will get at least a million players for the first few months. It is if the game is fun or not in the long time that is uncertain.

    And the question is if the game really feels like Wow or not. If it does I think Guildwars 2 will be the real winner in the duel of Wow and Tor.

  • I honestly do not think they will have an issue at all with breaking 1 million subscribers. The point of the matter is how many box sales do they need. The real upfront money of MMos to recoup their development is initial sales. If you look at Age of Conan for example; it was considered a great success at 750k box sales even though it only retained around 1/5th of the total sales as subscribers. If EA is claiming they will need 6million or 7million box sales I would say that is a little outlandish, but I do believe that within the first year if they develop the game the way they currently are and do not slack off and forget their base of Star Wars fans then they will have a very strong game and recoup the money with a windfall to follow. 

  • HepisodicHepisodic Member Posts: 328

    Fact is people forget this just isn't another MMO it is Starwars. Because of this they will at the very least break even because people are gunna get this game to play and enjoy the Starwars Universe. I have tons of none MMO gamer friends that are going to get this because it is Starwars so they can play a jedi or w/e. 

     

    It will break even.

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  • DrachasorDrachasor Member Posts: 2,678

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    There is no way for MMO today to get more than 1 million subscribers.

    WOW subscription numbers are exception , because WOW is not MMO its cultural phenomenon. Like Facebook. Its one time deal , after that people move on - but not to another MMO (and especially not one like WOW).

    For MMO to get any larger piece of subscription pie , they need to make something completely different.

    But whatever SWTOR is doing is not enough different from WOW.

    I am sorry , voice acting is not enough.

    I don't buy the "WoW is a cultural phenomenon" argument.  That's a lame excuse to ignore WHY WoW has done so well.  Let's face facts, it's the only very polished AAA MMO that has been released in the last 7 years.  Everything else was released too early and was short on features and polish.

    If TOR is full of features and is polished, then it could well grab a million subs.  That's not even 10% of what WoW is doing and the Star Wars IP is very, very popular.  If it gets released in a flawed state or short on features, then this won't happen, however.

  • DrachasorDrachasor Member Posts: 2,678

    Originally posted by Squal'Zell

    you are forgetting time invested, "most" people wont leave WoW to start fresh in an uncertain game when they have guilds/achievements/wtv else WoW has (sry i dont play wow so i dont know what you guys invest time in) 

    i think it will be more of a

    "why play a game that feels and works like WoW, instead of the real WoW?" 

    When Warhammer and Age of Conan were released, a whole bunch of WoW players went to try them.  There are plenty of WoW players that would move on to a new game, many with most or all of their guild with them.  The problem is the new games have sucked.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,925

    Originally posted by Drachasor

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    There is no way for MMO today to get more than 1 million subscribers.

    WOW subscription numbers are exception , because WOW is not MMO its cultural phenomenon. Like Facebook. Its one time deal , after that people move on - but not to another MMO (and especially not one like WOW).

    For MMO to get any larger piece of subscription pie , they need to make something completely different.

    But whatever SWTOR is doing is not enough different from WOW.

    I am sorry , voice acting is not enough.

    I don't buy the "WoW is a cultural phenomenon" argument.  That's a lame excuse to ignore WHY WoW has done so well.  Let's face facts, it's the only very polished AAA MMO that has been released in the last 7 years.  Everything else was released too early and was short on features and polish.

    If TOR is full of features and is polished, then it could well grab a million subs.  That's not even 10% of what WoW is doing and the Star Wars IP is very, very popular.  If it gets released in a flawed state or short on features, then this won't happen, however.

    Well, actually it is a cultural phenonemon.

    It has basically drawn people who would never play games or who were not die hard gamers into the mmo space. It keeps these people becaues it offers great value for money.

    To the point of your argument, these people would have to be people who played other mmo's and stuck with WoW because of its polish and amount of content as well as game play.

    But many people who play wow just play "wow". They are not mmo players and if you have ever engaged them in conversation about other mmo's you might find them in the dark.

    Most of the people I know who play mmo's play WoW. I say most because I know  a handful of peopl from mmo games. However, the people I meet in my daily life who play mmo's play wow. I have spoken to them about other games and other mmo's and they just don't know about them.

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  • aleosaleos Member UncommonPosts: 1,939

    Originally posted by SpandexDroid

    maybe if they add PvP like in WoW such as Battlegrounds and also PvP servers, and of course PvP rewards :D

    imageimageimage

  • DrachasorDrachasor Member Posts: 2,678

    Originally posted by SovrathWell, actually it is a cultural phenonemon.

    It has basically drawn people who would never play games or who were not die hard gamers into the mmo space. It keeps these people becaues it offers great value for money.

    To the point of your argument, these people would have to be people who played other mmo's and stuck with WoW because of its polish and amount of content as well as game play.

    But many people who play wow just play "wow". They are not mmo players and if you have ever engaged them in conversation about other mmo's you might find them in the dark.

    Most of the people I know who play mmo's play WoW. I say most because I know  a handful of peopl from mmo games. However, the people I meet in my daily life who play mmo's play wow. I have spoken to them about other games and other mmo's and they just don't know about them.

    The Wii has done the same thing.  That's doesn't make it some magical device whose success can never be explained or duplicated even in part.  The people brought into gaming ARE gamers now, and they'll play a new game if it looks appealing to them.

    As for these people not knowing about other MMOs, is that supposed to surprise me?  What other MMOs have had a marketing campaign of note?  I don't recall commercials for Warhammer or Age of Conan, for instance.  I'll bet you TOR will have a proper marketing campaign, however.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,925

    Originally posted by Drachasor

    Originally posted by SovrathWell, actually it is a cultural phenonemon.

    It has basically drawn people who would never play games or who were not die hard gamers into the mmo space. It keeps these people becaues it offers great value for money.

    To the point of your argument, these people would have to be people who played other mmo's and stuck with WoW because of its polish and amount of content as well as game play.

    But many people who play wow just play "wow". They are not mmo players and if you have ever engaged them in conversation about other mmo's you might find them in the dark.

    Most of the people I know who play mmo's play WoW. I say most because I know  a handful of peopl from mmo games. However, the people I meet in my daily life who play mmo's play wow. I have spoken to them about other games and other mmo's and they just don't know about them.

    The Wii has done the same thing.  That's doesn't make it some magical device whose success can never be explained or duplicated even in part.  The people brought into gaming ARE gamers now, and they'll play a new game if it looks appealing to them.

    As for these people not knowing about other MMOs, is that supposed to surprise me?  What other MMOs have had a marketing campaign of note?  I don't recall commercials for Warhammer or Age of Conan, for instance.  I'll bet you TOR will have a proper marketing campaign, however.

    I'm not saying it can't be duplicated, but I'm agreeing that it is a cultural phenomenom. It wasn't like all these non-gamers were sitting aroudn saying "oh, EQ is a pretty good game but it's a bit grindy and a bit of a time sink so I'll just wait until someone puts out something better".

    I DO remember news reports about how people who played EQ were neglecting their lives or that they were buying virtual items for money (which at the time would elicit a "gasp") and essentially questioning the whole online game space, EQ in particular.

    Now no one really bats an eye.

    And yes, their success then brought more money and more money brought more advertisements. Rubiks cube was a bit of a cultural phenomemon and at the height of its popularity there were more commercials about it and more attempts to capitalize on its popularity.

    I would find it hard to imagine a cultural phenomenom that people aren't talking about and where someone isn't trying to make money off if it.

    As far as people no knowing about other mmo's, well, "I" didn't know about other mmo's other than EQ. Then Lineage 2 came along and I followed it and eventually that brought me to a point where I followed these games, without hordes of marketing driving me. That's because, like it or not, inside I'm some sort of "gamer".

    But my point is that these players are solely interested in WoW, they are not looking to necessarily experience a new game unless that new game has some sort of built in draw that puts it in the public eye. They aren't gamers. Some might become "gamers" but some are just into wow.

    edit: and yes, the wii is a cultural phenomenom. Can someone duplicate its popularity? We'll see. I do know a friend who never would ever buy a console but she did buy a wii and loves it.

    That's how it works, people who never before would be interested in a thing suddenly get drawn into something because it hits the right nerve.

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