It’s still too early to tell if Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWares long anticipated MMO, is the heir to the WoW throne. Early numbers are strong, but there have been other MMO’s in years past that started strong and quickly faded. The power of WoW is in the insane staying power of its monthly subscription base.
BioWare announced that since the game launched on December 20 there have been one million subscribers added, making it the fastest growing MMO subscription base in history. This is not surprising considering BioWare’s Star Wars gaming pedigree, which is supported by millions of gamers worldwide who recognize the company as the best in the modern western RPG business. With the advent of Mass Effect BioWare has turned it’s Old Republic world into an MMO. It’s no wonder one million people joined in the first week.
Factoids about the user base include number of in-game hours played (28 million), and that there are slightly more people choosing to play the Dark Side as Sith Warriors. But it’s the rapidly expanding subscriber base that matters most, and points to The Old Republic being a true major player in the MMO game.
The real test will be in the months to come, but The Old Republic has a tremendous advantage over other MMO’s in that it’s created by a company with the will and resources to support the game. Blizzard is a behemoth of a company and they’ve been fortunate in their uncanny ability to support WoW for years. BioWare could easily do the same.