After the reveal of new details about afree to play modelforStar Wars:The Old Republic, EA will hold their Q1 FY 2013 Earnings Call this afternoon.Live coverageof the call will begin here at 2 PM PST.
We can expect that EA will announce updated subscription numbers forStar Wars:The Old Republic during the meeting. Duringthe last callheld back in May, EA revealed 1.3 million active subscribers at that time.
First, the game many of you have been tracking closely, Star Wars: The Old Republic. 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.
Electronic Arts held their Q3 FY12 earnings call this afternoon, and Darth Hater was on the call to pick up the highlights. The launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic was touted as largely successful. Server stability during the launch period exceeded internal expectations, allowing BioWare to push out additional copies that were expected to be held in reserve until Q4.
2,000,000+ copies sold – 40% sold through Origin
1,700,000+ active subscribers – 1 million concurrent
Average session time was four hours during the first month and a half
99.5% Server Uptime
Additional key points from the conference call can be found after the jump.
Electronic Arts held its Q2 2012 earnings conference call, where they discussed with their shareholders and analysts the potential revenue from Star Wars: The Old Republic now that it has a confirmed December 20, 2011 release date.
In the prepared comments, EA COO Peter Moore talks about the SWTOR launch and some plans for the upcoming testing:
Next, our biggest event of the year, the December 20th launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. This is inarguably the most anticipated game of the year, an epic MMO that makes each player the hero of their own Star Wars saga. The Old Republic is in Beta right now and players are blown away by the immersive story, dynamic combat and authentic Star Wars feel. In the coming weeks we'll invite hundreds of thousands of players into our biggest Beta test to date.
Just because San Diego Comic-Con is over, that does not mean there is not plenty happening elsewhere. At 2pm PT/5pm ET, Electronic Arts will have their Q1 2012 Earnings Conference Call. In order to bring you the most pertinent information from the call, we will live blog it and transcribe it. The live blog will start at 2pm PT sharp so be sure to follow the jump and get your seat early for the call.
Update: In an interview on Reuters, Eric Brown mentions Electronic Arts took over 200,000 pre-orders in the first couple days of Star Wars: The Old Republic being available.
"We're well over 200,000 pre-orders in the first five or six days. From an EA perspective, that is significantly greater than any other EA title we've ever had in the first week," said the company's finance chief, Eric Brown, in an interview.
The EA Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call is today! As always you can expect Darth Hater to cover the event and bring it to you live with notes on topics covered during the call. Our Liveblog of the Conference Call will start at 2PM PST / 5PM EST and last the entirety of the call. We would like to remind our readers that EA/BioWare/Lucasarts will not announce a release date on this call as EA CEO John Riccitiello stated last year, "Any announcement about TOR's release date would be a very public announcement and would not come during a shareholder call." However, if past Conference Calls are any judge, we should hear news SWTOR's slated Spring Release Window and other tidbits related to the game.
Make sure to keep your browsers locked on target here at Darth Hater. Conference Call Wrap-up continues after the jump.
UPDATE: SWTOR will ship Calendar 2011. Fiscal 12 guidance when Q4 results are announced. Fiscal 12 release for SWTOR. (For reference: FY11 ends in March)
Last night, Electronic Arts held its Q3 2010 earnings conference call, where they reaffirmed to their shareholders and analysts that they did not include potential revenue from Star Wars: The Old Republic in their FY11 guidance.
In response, Sean Dahlberg quickly informed the official community:
Nothing has changed since we last posted about this last month. While we have not announced a specific date, we can confirm that we are targeting a spring 2011 release for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Earlier today, Electronics Arts updated their outlook for fiscal year 2010 with a press release and a conference call. The majority of the call dealt specifically with the slew of titles releasing this spring, however, a bit of Star Wars: The Old Republic news found it's way into the Q&A section at the end. After being asked about their lower expectations for 2010, EA CEO John Riccitiello said the following:
A couple other thoughts on fiscal '11 that I think might be helpful. We are very cognizant of a need to drive growth margins and operating margins, and some of our distribution businesses have provided us luxury profitability that we like. So for now at least we are planning our distribution businesses to be sharply down in fiscal '11.
On the digital side, while we've got a great number of initiatives, one key driver will be the launch of our major MMO. As it stands today, the game is making great progress towards a spring 2011 launch. But given the volatility of this particular sector, and the fact that we haven't yet provided a specific launch date, at least for now, we're excluding the revenue from our FY'11 plan for guidance.
With no other known "major MMO" in development, this can be interpreted to mean that they are working towards a Spring 2011 launch date for Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, a fiscal conference call is an unlikely venue for an announcement of this gravity, and this comment is bracketed by talk of fiscal year 2011, which is predominately calendar 2010.
We contacted LucasArts and BioWare for an official comment, and we will keep you updated with any developments.
Update (Jan 12 - 11:09 AM EST): Sean posted an update just minutes ago regarding the news -
While we have not announced a specific date, we can confirm that we are targeting a spring 2011 release for Star Wars: The Old Republic. We've got a lot of exciting updates and reveals planned throughout 2010, including the first-ever hands-on testing for the game. It's not too late to sign up to be a game tester, so go to www.swtor.com/tester and sign up today. We can't wait to share more about the game with you as we progress through the year, so make sure you stay tuned to the official website for details.
For those of you who may not listen to the podcast, but should, EA had their Q2 2010 earnings conference call on November 9th. The vast majority of the conference call was directed at the recent acquisition of the social gaming developer Playfish, but it did contain a few gems relating to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Lets take a closer look at the relevant pieces of the call.