EA has announced that Bioware's new MMO, Star Wars: the Old Republic has performed better than World of Warcraft when it was first released.
During an investor call, EA's CEO John Riccitiello said that out of the two million units sold at launch, over 1.7 million of those are still playing, with each of them paying their $15 a month for the subscription. He claimed that this is a bigger uptake of paying subscribers than World of Warcraft received in its first month.
This is impressive, but Blizzard's game didn't have migrating WoW fans when releasing its new game. Considering there are some two million gamers haemorraging from World of Warcraft, and the fact that SWTOR had a good intellectual property behind it, it was in a good position before it was even released - I'm not surprised it did well afterwards.
As Hexus points out, the real test for an MMO isn't one month after launch, but one year. If it's still able to financially operate with a subscription model and is still growing its player base, it's doing incredibly well. In recent years, most massive multiplayer games have become free to play quite quickly. While this often increases revenue for the developer, it's rarely out of choice.
According to other official figures released by EA Games, around a million players log in every day, with an average play time of four hours. Riccitiello also said that impressively, 40 per cent of SWTOR copies were bought via the Origin digital distribution platform first introduced with Battlefield 3.