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Star Wars: The Old Republic subscriptions expected to decline by 2013

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Posted by: Matt Liebl

There might be more behind EA's nonstop Star Wars: The Old Republic promotions than we know about.  The once highly-anticipated MMORPG may not be doing so well.  After getting off to a booming start which peaked at 1.7 million subscribers in February, analysts expect the number of subscriptions to decline by nearly 500,000 players.

Cowen And Company analyst Doug Creutz estimates that Star Wars: The Old Republic will have around 1.25 million subscribers by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2013.  This is based on server statistics provided on TorStatus.net.

In an analysis of SWTOR in its current form, Creutz notes that lack of end-game content might be leading to the decline in subscribers.  He believes EA's heavy promotions of the game are a clear indication of stalling subscriber numbers.

"We believe that the apparent decline in subscribers is most likely due to a lack of 'end-game' content for the title, meaning that players who hit the level cap have few compelling options in terms of ongoing game play," Creutz reasoned. "While the game got off to a good start, the relatively light amount of end-game content does appear to be taking a toll."

"We believe EA is attempting to address the end-game content issue, including a recent major game update, but momentum appears to have stalled and we believe it is prudent to adopt a more conservative forecast on subscribers at this time.

Despite Star Wars: The Old Republic's struggles, Creutz says the overall outlook for EA's fiscal year looks positive thanks to the company's "highly predictable" sports franchises, growth in digital sales, and current reasonable valuation.  Creutz expects EA to outperform the average of the rest of the video games market by 20% thanks to an estimated 46% increase from digital revenue.

Tags: SWTOR, Star Wars: The Old Republic

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