news\ May 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Star Wars: The Old Republic subscriptions gone, revenue up

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Since going free-to-play back in November 2012, EA and BioWare's massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic has seen a dramatic increase in player accounts. Of course, with no subscription mandatory, we weren't exactly sure as to what this increase in new accounts meant in terms of revenue. And for a game that had an estimated $500 million development cost, revenue is everything.

Rest easy gamers, because Electronic Arts president of labels Frank Gibeau revealed that monthly average revenue for Star Wars: The Old Republic has more than doubled since adopting the free-to-play model.

"Since it was induced in November, we've added more than 1.7 million new players on the free model to the service," Gibeau said. "And the number of subscriptions has stabilized at just under half a million.

"The really interesting thing that's happening inside the service right now is monthly average revenue for the game has more than doubled since we introduced the free-to-play option. And as we look forward, we're going to continually invest in new content for the service and for players every six weeks or so."

EA and BioWare just finished launching the Rise of the Hutt Cartel, first digital expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Released last month, the expansion increased the level cap and introduced a new dual-faction planet for further exploration, among other things. Although Star Wars: The Old Republic no longer requires a subscription, there is a paid option that lowers the cost of future expansions and rids you of restricted content.

Perhaps Activision Blizzard should start looking at a free-to-play option for World of Warcraft which lost another 1.3 million subscribers throughout the last quarter.

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