Star Wars: The Old Republic explodes with up to 1.5 million pre-release players

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According to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz, Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic already has between 1 to 1.5 million early players taking advantage of early access from preordering the game. Creutz has been watching the amount of servers being rolled out for the game as well as the server population. The analyst counted 140 servers over the weekend, an increase from 106 servers there were available the previous Wednesday. Seventy-seven servers are located in the United States and sixty-three are located in European countries. Players that can already access the game have been complaining of long server queues and wait times to simply log into the game.

Star-Wars-The-Old-Republic-screenshotCreutz also indicated that the Electronic Arts servers are currently more densely packed than the 491 North American and European servers used by Activision Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. Those servers contain approximately 4 to 4.5 million active players, but the overall subscriber base for the MMORPG has consistently dropped over the last year by nearly two million subscribers. While Activision Blizzard attributes that to cancelled subscriptions in Asian countries, a recent study of active North American World of Warcraft subscribers found that a potential 1.6 million players could defect to the Star Wars universe. 

Electronic Arts has previously mentioned that Star Wars: The Old Republic only requires half a million players to break even on the development costs, but company officials hope for a subscriber base that could reach over ten million players. The base cost of the game starts at $60 and ranges up to $150 for the collectors edition. While the game comes with an initial 30 days of play time, each additional 30 days will cost subscribers $15 a month. Subscribers can also get a slight discount by subscribing to three or six month packages. If Electronic Arts can manage to attract a player base of two million subscribers for the next twelve months, estimated revenue could potentially amount to half a billion dollars by the end of 2012.