After the reveal of new details about a free to play model for Star Wars: The Old Republic, EA will hold their Q1 FY 2013 Earnings Call this afternoon. Live coverage of the call will begin here at 2 PM PST.
We can expect that EA will announce updated subscription numbers for Star Wars: The Old Republic during the meeting. During the last call held back in May, EA revealed 1.3 million active subscribers at that time.
The call will be available by webcast at the official EA Investors site.
Update: Prepared comments document now available, here's an excerpt.
Although it launched well, subscriptions have been on a declining trajectory and have now slipped below one million. Last year we announced that the breakeven point was roughly 500,000 subscribers. And while we are well above that today, that’s not good enough. The message from players exiting the game is clear – 40 percent say they were turned off by the monthly subscription. And many indicated they would come back if we offered a free-to-play model. Our plan now is to pivot and provide a two-tiered pricing plan which will make the game more accessible and grow the audience. The new pricing will go into effect in November.
- 2:00: Call starts, introduction
- 2:03: Disappointing performance of Star Wars: The Old Republic was offset by powerful performance of Battlefield 3.
- 2:07: Frank Gibeau will provide an update on SWTOR later in the call.
- 2:11: Lowered expectations in SWTOR, future outlook affected by it.
- 2:14: Giving people choice along side subscriptions should give people plenty of options and drive players to the game. Mentioned break even point was 500,000, SWTOR is well above that but under 1 million total subscribers. Offering two-tiered pricing plan in November. For players who cancelled their subscriptions, feedback provided as they cancelled indicated that 40% were turned off by the monthly subscription fee.
- 2:16: SWTOR will retail for $15 along with a free month of subscription. Premium players: $15 a month, currency for boosts, customizations, and faster level progression. Free: players move at their own pace and comfort level, can buy new stuff when/if they want.
- 2:20: Our diversity allows us to make up for a miss on one franchise (SWTOR) with a hit on another (BF3).
- 2:24: Q&A starting now
- 2:26: Star Wars is the primary driver for adjusted guidance to a lower number. Battlefield 3 offset SWTOR performance.
- 2:31: Prepared comments document now available.
- 2:50: Question on expectations of the future of Star Wars. Frank Gibeau: The idea with F2P is to open the funnel and get some of the players back that we lost to churn. We anticipate that the mix between subscriptions and free to play are going to be balanced but we don't foresee free to play revenues as incremental to anything that we discussed in the call.
- 2:53: Call over.