User base projected to fall to 1.25 million by March 2013

Analyst: EA losing Star Wars Old Republic users

One of Electronic Arts’ most expensive gambles in its thirty-year history is no longer producing growth in subscriber numbers, according to new analyst data.

Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz claims that Star Wars MMO subscription numbers “peaked” in February – at about 1.7 million members. He projects that the number will fall to about 1.25 million subscribers by the end of the current financial year, March 2013.

Electronic Arts has not validated the data, which was estimated via readings of server statistics.

Though estimates on the game’s budget vary wildly, the consensus is that the project cost at least $100 million to develop, promote and publish. It is not known if it is yet yielding a profit, or whether the current subscriber base will bring it out of the red in the current fiscal year.

"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," said Creutz.

 "While the game got off to a good start, the relatively light amount of end-game content does appear to be taking a toll."

Electronic Arts and developer Bioware has the capacity to implement such upgrades to the title.

"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,” the Cowen and Company analyst added.

Electronic Arts is performing above industry averages, Creutz added.

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