BioWare and Electronic Arts' Star Wars: The Old Republic
is poised to attract over 1 million subscribers in its first 12 months of availability, according to Janco analyst Mike Hickey.
"We suspect a willingness from investors to believe [500,000] to 1 million Star Wars MMO subscribers is an attainable target," Hickey said in an investor note on Monday. The game is slated for a 2011 release.
EA CEO John Riccitiello said earlier this year
, "At half a million subscribers, the game is substantially profitable, but it's not the kind of thing we would write home about. Anything north of a million subscribers, it's a very profitable business."
Hickey said he expects initial sales figures for the game to "far exceed" the 500,000 to 1 million range, but "game development must be perfectly orchestrated" in order to sustain the subscriber base.
The analyst noted EA-published Warhammer Online
, developed by subsidiary Mythic and released in 2008, sold well off the blocks with 1.2 million in sales. But the subscriber base quickly dropped to a more sustainable subscriber base of 300,000.
Hickey said at just over 1 million subscribers, Star Wars: The Old Republic
could generate $161.9 million in total sales and $35 million in profits during its first 12 months of release.
The analyst also provided his sales estimates for major EA titles released during the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31:
-Dead Space 2
- $91 million in sales 2.030 million units sold-in
-Dragon Age II
- $57 million in sales 1.280 million units sold-in
- $50 million in sales 1.100 million units sold-in
- $78 million in sales 1.725 million units sold-in
-Need for Speed Shift 2
- $91 million in sales 1.975 million units sold-in
-Mass Effect 2
(PS3) - $17 million in sales 0.380 million units sold-in
-Tiger Woods: The Masters
- $32 million in sales 1.100 million units sold-in
-Fight Night Champion
- $44 million in sales 0.975 million units sold-in