Market survey suggests WoW could lose up to 1.6M players to SWTOR

Tuesday, 22nd November 2011 17:07 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Analyst firm Lazard Capital Markets has concluded World of Warcraft could lose between 900,000 and 1.6 million players when Star Wars: The Old Republic launches next month.

According to data obtained in conjunction with Peanut Labs, out of 381 online consumers surveyed, over half have grown tired of Blizzard’s MMO juggernaut, and 50% of the players plan on purchasing SWTOR when it releases, with another  38% expressing interest in the Bioware MMO.

While subscriber numbers always ebb and flow, whether due to new game releases and expansions or the fact the majority of players are MMO polygamists, 33% of the WoW players surveyed plan to resubscribe when Mists of Panaria releases next year.

Add-ons such as this always bolster active users and subscriber numbers for any MMO, and the Asian theme of Pandaria could resonate well with the game’s Chinese market. If so, the fourth expansion to the MMO could bring back some of the 800,000 subs it recently lost, as the majority of the exodus occurred in China.

Due to the survey’s findings, Lazard Capital Markets has downgraded Activision Blizzard’s stock from buy to neutral.

Thanks, Develop.



  1. GrimRita

    Blizzard have already lost 2 million players over the past 12 months. I think this weekends upcoming open beta test will probably be make or break for SWTWoW.

    Players want something other than a WoW clone as the WoW formula has/is very stale. You just need to look at the data of people leaving the game and the lack of new subs made after the trial period.

    Personally, I just wished SWTWoW was a little more creative in its thinking by offering some different touches to the game, instead of just ‘story’.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    Whether World of Wacraft loses people or not, whether SWTOR can actually keep people is the important thing.

    The one thing that most MMO developers seem to completely fail to grasp is that its the constant churning out of end game content that keeps people interested in WoW.

    BioWare are going to need to have a pretty solid grasp on this if they hope to keep anyone for more than a few weeks at most, because they *will* steamroll the content and they *will* get bored quickly.

    And guess exactly where they’re going to go back to..?

    I don’t understand why people are so excited about this game anyway. It literally is nothing more than World of Warcraft with lightsabers.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    It’s gonna be very interesting to see whether they can dodge the F2P bullet.

    WoW doesn’t have a lot of places to go at this point, and I’m sure that it’ll lose customers to newer MMOs going forward, but who’s going to bring the new WoW? I don’t think doing a carbon copy is enough. People are just going to loathe SWTOR for the same reasons they loathed WoW.

    Even if they end up with 2 million users, I reckon there’ll still be more money in doing a Zynga.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DarkElfa

    I’ve waited for SWTOR for over 2 years and have been a staunch defender. However, after playing for about 10 hours in last weekend’s demo, let’s just say:

    “I have a bad feeling about this…”

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    @4 I have played about 15 hours at the 3rd beta weekend and I can say that my friends and I can ‘t wait to play this game. We already making plans to create a guild.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. OlderGamer

    My two cents, but I can not imagine a SW MMO making it over the long haul. It should be f2p with in 24 months of launch. SW lends itself really well to some games. But certianly not a MMOrpg. I want to play a new Battlefront, absolutly zero interest in this game.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Erthazus

    I played SWTOR beta for a bit and i’m not impressed at all. My expectations were already low on it, but now i confirmed my fears about it.

    If they will leave SWTOR by how it is now. You can look forward for F2P in the near future.

    PS: also, bioware is ripping off Blizzard in marketing campaign and in Beta structure. One thing they don’t understand that we are now in 2011. It’s not going to work.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    EA won’t go F2P, look at Warhammer it is still based on monthly subs and they still keep it running. SO all of you that are saying TOR will go F2P should really reconsider that statement.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Erthazus


    As of May 5, 2009, Electronic Arts executives confirmed in an investor conference that they have 300,000 subscribers as of the end of March 2009, shortly after the company reported a loss of $1.08 billion in the financial year for 2009. (c)

    F2P for Warhammer? Just a little more time and you will get it there. Just a bit more.

    EA can’t afford losing money. Eventually they will start doing F2P with it, because even SONY with Everquest II are not avoiding F2P model despite it’s huge success in the past and big community.

    to make a success with MMORPG you need to be more than just weak WOW Rip Off. Period.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Phoenixblight


    Still the point remains its been out for 3 years and its still a sub based. You guys are suggesting that TOR will do it in 24 months. ANd BTW Bioware already made up majority of the dev cost of TOR with the reservation fee they had.

    And what WOW has done is set a standard for what is expected out of an MMO. Every MMO that has and is coming out in the next few years are still using the same conventions. Just like COD in some respects has done for FPS.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB

    The question isn’t whether they can afford to keep it around, but whether they can afford not to make it free to play. They could miss out on a huge ammount.

    Warhammer was doomed from the beginning, and this late in the game, they may think it’ll do just as poorly competing with other free to play MMOs, and converting it would still constitute an expense. Why put make-up on a corpse, it’s not like it’s going dancing any time soon.

    I don’t really see EA as somehow very hostile to F2P models. Last time I checked they had quite a few games running those.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. GrimRita

    @2 – I totally agree about content. I’ve always said that ‘content is king’ when it comes to an MMO. Blizzard have spent too long rehashing the same old crap, changing its colour to the NPCs and dungeons and pushing it out as ‘new’.

    My biggest fear for SWTWoW is just this. If everything is voice acted, when will this become a) too time consuming b) too expensive to do? Its a nice gimmick to have but I just cant see it lasting outside of 12 months.

    Of course, I guess it will be dependant on the numbers playing but anything below the 500k mark EA claim they need to return a profit, the game will be in trouble.

    SWG lacked alot of content early days, one of the reasons why it failed(before NGE) but it offered(and still does) much more in terms of content and giving the community the flexibility to make its own content.

    I quit WoW about 3 years ago now to play this and dipped in to Rift, which I enjoyed until I encountered its dreadful pvp set up and looking at the dev blogs, SWTWoW will head down the same route.

    Open world pvp like SWG had from launch is the way to go, to add some excitement to a game, instead of being whisked away to some shame hole to capture a stupid flag/stone/insert name of pointless item here

    Sure, those who dont want to encounter pvp will scream like girls but if dont correctly, those who wish not to get involved can do so – the same was said for SWG.

    But on topic, I think 1.6 million is reaching for the stars as tops, and I think it will settle around the 400-600k mark after 12 months. Not a failure but not the giant success EA quietly want this to be. They are desperate to dominate the MMO space and this is their final shot at it.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. jnms

    “It literally is nothing more than World of Warcraft with lightsabers.”

    That’s why people are excited about it. Quite sad isn’t it…

    #13 3 years ago

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