With yesterday's announcement of Star Wars: The Old Republic introducing a free to play model later this year and the EA Earnings call, there was a lot to process. Darth Hater has gone over the facts, pulled out the most important details, and presents a feature to answer the pressing questions.
If you have any questions that remain unanswered, feel free to ask them in the comments section and we'll do our best to track down the answer.
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.
During the Electronic Arts E3 2012 Press Conference, BioWare and EA unveiled their latest content expansion to Star Wars: The Old Republic. The content pack includes a new planet called Makeb, end-game content, a new space combat mission, new playable species Cathar, new companion HK-51, level cap and abilities, and a new Warzone. More coming soon.
To see more content from E3, head on over to our wrapup post. Additional details, images, and video from the presentation after the jump.
Similar to last year, Electronic Arts will broadcast their press conference online via the official EA website. While we do not know if EA will show anything new for Star Wars: The Old Republic at the press conference, it is likely they will mention upcoming content. If anything comes out of it, we will bring it to you as it happens.
Visit the official EA site for the stream of the press conference live at 1PM PT / 8PM UTC. For all of the coverage at E3 for Star Wars: The Old Republic, head on over to our wrapup post.
It is time once again for the Hater team to infiltrate the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California for all things Star Wars: The Old Republic beginning Tuesday, June 5 through Thursday, June 7. As we do with all events, the entire team will provide continuous coverage from the show floor and around the web within this post, so bookmark and keep checking this throughout the week.
Before today's Electronic Arts Q4 2012 Earnings Conference Call, a Financial Results page revealed a few details that may be of interest to fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
STAR WARS®: The Old Republic™ active subscribers are 1.3 million. Two new content packs — Legacy and Allies, available in Q1.
While unknown, it will likely receive a fair bit of discussion during today’s 2PM Q4 2012 Earnings Conference Call. When and if there are new details regarding the content packs, we’ll make sure to post it here.
Update: Allison Berryman clarifies the "Allies pack."
Regarding 1.3, there isn't a "guild alliances" feature slated for that update. 1.3 will introduce more new features (like the Group Finder) to the game, though! We encourage you to check out SWTOR.com and our community blog for more news about 1.3 as it becomes available!
Update 2: During the conference call, Electronic Arts did not reveal anything concerning the "packs" themselves. However, a small tidbit was mentioned concerning upcoming content for the game.
Frank Gibeau: We have a very aggressive release plan of content for the rest of the year and beyond. It's mainly focused in on adding a lot of new elder game content around PVP, around achievements, a lot of other features that the fanbase is asking for. There's also support that will be given to guilds, a lot of features and components that they are requesting as well.
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.
Eric Brown, CFO of Electronic Arts, is at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference and "may disclose material developments affecting its business and/or financial performance." As Mr. Brown may discuss new details about Star Wars: The Old Republic, Darth Hater will cover the conference as it happens starting at 1:10P PT / 4:10P ET with a live blog and transcription. You can listen to the conference yourself by heading over to the Electonic Arts investor site.
For now, our live blog of the event follows the jump.
UPDATE: The direct quote/transcription of Eric Brown's comments at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference is now available. We apologize for the confusion we may have caused on Twitter and have made the correction available after the jump for our readers.
UPDATE 2: Stephen Reid posted on the official forums reminding fans to not read too much into investor calls. He reiterated that nothing has changed since other recent communications about release date and that BioWare is still targeting a Holiday 2011 time frame. The DevTracker post can be found after the jump.
Our Gamescom 2011 coverage kicks off today at 7AM PT / 10AM ET with our live blog of the Electronic Arts Press Conference. Dr. Ray Muzyka from BioWare will present a live multiplayer demonstration of Star Wars: The Old Republic during the press conference. There is a live stream available of the press conference for fans around the world. The live blog of the event is contained after the jump.
Update: Eternity Vault demonstration video now available after the jump. Dissection of the demonstration is in the media gallery below. More coming soon from the dissection throughout the day.
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.
It is time once again for the Hater team to infiltrate the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California for all things Star Wars: The Old Republic beginning Monday, June 6 through Thursday, June 9. As we do with all events, the entire team will provide continuous coverage from the show floor and around the web within this post, so bookmark and keep checking this throughout the week.
EA Press Conference 12:30 PM PT / 3:30 PM ET (Live on Spike TV and EA.com)
Spike TV and Electronic Arts have collaborated to bring you the EA press conference live as it happens at E3. In a press release that went out earlier today -
Spike TV, the #1 network for video game programming, today announced that it is working with leading game publisher Electronic Arts Inc., (NASDAQ: ERTS) for an exclusive live, commercial-free telecast of the companys 2011 showcase event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the gaming industrys leading trade show.
Broadcasting from the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, Gamechangers: EA 2011 Preview, premieres live nationwide Monday, June 6 at 3:30 PM ET/12:30 PM PT.
Be sure to catch it live when it happens. As always, Darth Hater will be covering it via a Live Blog and will bring you the information regardless of whether you are able to watch it or not. For coverage on SWTOR at E3, keep your browsers locked on target here.
Electronic Arts will hold their 4Q'11 earnings call at 2p PT / 5p ET, and Darth Hater will live blog any comments related to Star Wars: The Old Republic. The press release and other documents are in line with prior comments.
Page 17 of the latter document contains a footnote that reads:
1 These forward-looking statements are valid as of May 4, 2011 only. The Packaged Goods title release schedule excludes Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is expected to launch in either Q2 FY12 or Q3 FY12.
Q2 FY12 is July through September 2011, and Q3 FY12 is October through December 2011.
UPDATE: Stephen Reid sent a reminder via Twitter about the release date window.
Today Eric Brown, CFO of Electronic Arts, spoke at the Lazard Capital Markets Technology & Media Conference. The topic of Star Wars: The Old Republic was once again brought up and one of the many interesting things said by Brown was, "So we said it's going to launch sometime in calendar, but not within Fiscal '11. So that basically pens down between you know, April 1st and December 31st of this calendar year. It is also reasonable to infer that it's not in our Q1 guidance. We gave Q1 Fiscal 11, Fiscal 12 non-GAAP revenue guidance, minus 39 minus 44 cents and I think it's not unreasonable to infer that it's not included in that 90 day period."
This indicates that the game most likely won't release before the 1st of July.
Brown also talks about moving from a closed beta, to a semi-closed beta and then eventually to an open beta and then says that EA will talk more about Star Wars at E3, which takes place June 7-9th. Transcription follows after the jump. An audio version of the talk is contained on their website.
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello is currently speaking in San Francisco at Morgan Stanley's Technology, Media & Telecom conference. Once again, we're listening in to see if he'll answer or talk about Star Wars: The Old Republic. Riccitiello already reaffirmed double digit growth for the upcoming financial year, and reassured investors worried about the NFL lockup affecting Madden sales.
The full quote to the SWTOR question is transcribed after the jump, but Riccitiello once again stated they are going toe to toe with Blizzard's World of Warcraft and "great money" can be made at the 2 million subscriber level.
Chief Executive Officer of Electronic Arts, John Riccitiello spoke today at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. He points out the differences in The Old Republic and World of Warcraft. Hit the jump to see John Riccitiello's quotes on how EA wants to go right at Blizzard for a share in the MMO market.
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)
Electronic Arts and LucasArts issued a press release yesterday which announced the consolidation of some global marketing duties for Star Wars: The Old Republic into Electronic Arts. EA largely handled publishing duties for European markets since the game's initial announcement. These sales and marketing responsibilities could encompass everything from retail sales marketing to call center management and possibly global media buys for increased cost efficiency, but the release didn't explain such details nor disclose the financial terms of the agreement. The press release re-affirmed Lucasfilm as the owner of the Star Wars IP, and this means they have pretty much the final say on anything that is in the game or represents the IP in any EA marketing efforts planned for SWTOR, as well as any third party licensing agreements.