Despite the (arguably erroneous) gloom over Star Wars: The Old Republic’s imminent free-to-play conversion, industry analyst firm Wedbush Morgan is still backing EA strongly – and believes the MMORPG’s best days are before it.
In a note issued to investors, Wedbush’s Michael Pachter said EA is still a safe bet, and had particularly glowing prediction for the future of BioWare’s effort.
“We believe the free-to-play option and lower retail price will combine to significantly increase the number of Star Wars players by the end of the year as the two largest barriers to entry for potential Star Wars gamers (apart from an appreciation for the franchise and PC gaming) have been significantly reduced or eliminated,” he wrote.
“We expect the network effect to augment the number of gamers further. In the long-term, we believe the adjustments will result in incremental revenue and earnings growth as high-margin Cartel Coin purchases by a much larger pool of gamers and additional advertising generate more revenue than was lost through declining subscription fees and the lower MSRP.”
Just how many gamers does Pachter expect SWTOR to bring in? “At least 10 million MAUs indefinitely, with upside to perhaps 50 million,” he said.