EA has revealed that player numbers for online video game Star Wars: The Old Republic have dipped below the one million mark, just months after the game’s launch.
The game had initially been well received, attracting more than 1.7 million subscribers shortly after its debut in December 2011.
But despite EA making its biggest investment to date on the title, it admitted that the figures were “disappointing”.
EA income drop
The news of plummeting player numbers coincided with EA’s first quarter results, which were similarly disappointing.
Although a net income of £128 million was generated in the first three months of 2012, this was down 5% in a year-on-year comparison.
EA said that it will be attempting to attract more interest in the Sci-Fi video game by introducing a new pricing plan, which would give users access to much of the game’s content for free.
The President of EA Labels, Frank Gibeau, argued that while the game’s performance was not good enough, it would still be able to break even on the game provided it maintained 500,000 subscribers.
Star Wars: The Old Republic pricing changes
“The message from players exiting the game is clear, 40% say they were turned off by the monthly subscription and many indicate 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.”
Under the new structure gamers can explore the first 50 levels of the game without charge, though they won’t have access to all of the game’s features.
A monthly fee of £9.50 is required for users to gain full access to the game. This in addition to a monthly allowance of in-game cash needed to progress or purchase items.
Non-paying members have limited access to in-game auctions and cannot complete operations.
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