Star Wars: The Old Republic business model change
It was a bit of a surprise to see that Star Wars: The Old Republic is changing business model so soon as in November this year. On the other hand, the amount of money that and customers the game seems to be bleeding now they will need to do something fast. Competition later this year in the mass-market from Guild Wars 2 is probably not going to help.
Given the amount of subscribers they have seem to lost according to Massively they have lost more subscribers than most games have had at all in the first place. It is still not quite as bad as Age of Conan, but there are still a few months left of this first year of the game. Age of Conan sold about 1 million copies in the first year and retained on average 280K subscribers during that time. SWTOR is still better percentage-wise, but presumably the cost to develop the game was substantially higher than for Age of Conan. Business-wise maybe Age of Conan was a better deal even.
Given the numbers Funcom provided in the earnings report they will be quite profitable with The Secret World even with numbers similar to Age of Conan. Now that about a month has passed since launch we may see some subscriber numbers soon – if they have been doing well and are able to retain players. if not sooner then their earnings report at the end of August should have some indication possibly – at least for pre-launch sales.