Last Thursday, Electronic Arts released its financial earnings report for the last fiscal quarter that ended on September 30, 2011. The company also talked about expectations for the next quarter, during which Star Wars: The Old Republic will grace PC screens everywhere. For one, Electronic Arts actually raised its earnings outlook for the full fiscal year up from expectations of $4.1 billion to an expected range of $4.05 billion to $4.2 billion, based on increased digital revenue from games like TOR.
“We’re quite confident that we’re going to easily clear $1 billion in overall digital revenue in our full fiscal year 2012,” EA Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown told Reuters.
EA is still being secretive about pre-order numbers, but Brown said that “hundreds of thousands” of people have already purchased their copies. Luckily that vague number is also the number of users that are going to be added to the game’s beta leading up to release.
“In terms of pre-orders, we haven’t announced anything specific. I can characterize them though as very, very strong. They’re the highest preorders that we’ve ever had on a PC game so we’re feeling very good about the momentum and consumer demand out there. In addition to that, we really haven’t set the expectations for what the subscriber levels are going to be,” explained EA Labels head Frank Gibeau at the earnings call.
“The Old Republic is in beta right now, and players are blown away by the immersive story, dynamic combat and an authentic Star Wars feel. In the coming weeks, we’ll invite hundreds of thousands of players into our biggest beta test to date,” said EA COO Peter Moore.
Now, the company just recently announced that the Battlefield 3 open beta had 8.1 million players, but it could be framing the claims about TOR from a PC-only or closed beta context. Either way, those of you sitting on the sidelines waiting for a catch to test TOR may get your chance soon.
EA is using the beta to determine what kind of server resources will be needed for launch and as the company stated before, it will only be selling a certain number of units for TOR to ensure a smooth launch experience. This is good as a poor launch can kill an MMO these days.
“If you recall, Star Wars is already in beta and we’ll be gating the amount of units we put in the channel to match our capacity,” said EA CEO John Riccitiello.
Bioware has put a great deal of work into Star Wars: The Old Republic, so it’s good to see EA working equally as hard to ensure a great launch for the game.