Jul 26, 2011

Posted by in Electronic Arts, News | 4 Comments

Electronic Arts Q1 2012 Earnings Conference – Record Pre-Orders For TOR

[UPDATE] Reuters posted highlights from an interview with Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown where he confirmed the number of pre-orders taken in the opening days of the pre-order program:

“We’re well over 200,000 pre-orders in the first five or six days. From an EA perspective, that is significantly greater than any other EA title we’ve ever had in the first week” – Eric Brown, Electronic Arts CFO

Thanks for Daelda for the tip!

In the “nothing much to see here” department, EA today held their Q1 2012 earnings call for investors.

The die-hard TOR faithful (like us!) always look to these events hoping for some type of little gold-nugget of information about the game, or maybe more specifically hints of a release date. Fans aren’t totally off-base with this as there have been certain things in the past on these calls that may have dropped a hint or two.

The biggest direct news from today’s release revealed record-breaking pre-orders for Star Wars: The Old Republic, although no backup was provided as to what that mean it terms of sheer numbers.

As usual, TOR was excluded from not only revenue guidance but also the release date schedule, indicating only that it is targeted for a “holiday 2011″ launch, the same stance that recently emerged during Comic-Con. Although they did leave some wiggle room in the financial guidance for the release to occur “anywhere in the fiscal year,” which ends in March, 2012.

“We started the year with Star Wars in development, and we will close the year with Star Wars in operation” – Eric Brown, Electronic Arts CFO

“We will launch Star Wars: The Old Republic and look to take a big slice of the MMO market” – John Riccitiello, Electronic Arts CEO

“Most MMOs announce ship dates 4-8 weeks ahead of launch” – John Riccitiello, Electronic Arts CEO

You can download supporting documents for this earnings report here, as well as be able to listen to a recording of the call soon.

Q&A Session (Only select TOR-related, paraphrased)

Q: How will you handle demand for capacity of TOR?
A: We feel pretty good about where we’re at with that. We’re capable of scaling to several million users.

Q: What is the size of the MMORPG market as a whole? How many pre-orders were there?
A: MMO category extremely large… double-digit millions in the Western market. It’s not only about World of Warcraft. We feel bullish to come into this category.

Q: Can you wrap context around pre-orders? (Mike Hickey) Also curious on beta testers converting to pre-0rder buys.
A: Pre-order numbers are ahead of our expectations. It’s the largest number we’ve done at EA, up significantly from Battlefield 3. 1000 testers currently, ramping up in summer leading into September and we’ll be more in a position to give a hard date.

EA Logo

  1. Just some “Armchair Analysis”, with a LOT of assumptions thrown in here (if I am reading these numbers correctly):

    At 16 weeks prior to release, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for both X360 & PS3 had sold a total of 109,085 copies.
    http://www.vgchartz.com/article/5868/americas-preorder-charts-15th-nov-09/

    Now, Battlefield 3 Pre-Orders were more than 10 times Bad Company 2 according to the picture blurb above.

    So, figure 1,090,850 copies 16 weeks to prior to release (give or take) as a guess.

    “[SWTOR] Pre-order numbers are ahead of our expectations. It’s the largest number we’ve done at EA, up significantly from Battlefield 3.”

    What is “Significant?” 16 Weeks would put us at November 15, 2011, which is well within the “Holiday 2011″ window.

    Bad Company 2 apparently went on to sell 7 million copies total. Battlefield 3 might sell 11 – 20 million units (http://www.gamersbook.com/scene/developer-spotlight/electronics-arts-might-sell-more-then-11-million-battlefield-3-units/).

    Does that mean that SWTOR will sell that many? Of course not! It’s a completely different genre. But it does seem that we are on track to a very substantial launch.

  2. MrFester says:

    Funny how everyone was talking about facts in another post, kind of makes me chuckle to hear companies like this talk, because they always state oh this is up over the previous game numbers. EA never gives any real numbers at all or any hard facts.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors.

  3. “We’re well over 200,000 pre-orders in the first five or six days. From an EA perspective, that is significantly greater than any other EA title we’ve ever had in the first week,” said the company’s finance chief, Eric Brown, in an interview.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/eas-quarterly-revenue-falls-beats-estimates-202510568.html

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  1. Electronic Arts Conference Call | Sons of Bria - [...] MMOs announce ship dates 4-8 weeks ahead of launch” – John Riccitiello, Electronic Arts CEO http://www.askajedi.com/2011/07/26/electronic-arts-q1-2012-earnings-conference-record-pre-orders-for... This …

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