Yahoo reports that Star Wars The Old Republic has generated 1.7 million subscribers chose to stay on after the free month ended, out of 2 million copies sold.
What does this mean? That is a 15% decline, well below analyst’s estimates, which is a positive sign that players are sticking around at least for the short term. It’s not unusual for a new MMO to have a drop off after the customary first free month, so this is normal. However, the real test will be when patch 1.1 hits, which will feature new content, such as a new planet, flashpoint(dungeon), and operation(raid). Most of those who are on the fence as to whether to stay or not will decide at that point, and the subscriber numbers will be a referendum of sorts on whether the players agree with the direction Bioware is taking the game.
Patch 1.1 is looking to release sometime in March, which would also be part of the end of Q1 financials for Bioware.