Aug 11, 2011

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Analyst: Star Wars: The Old Republic First Year Sell-Through – 3 Million Units

Doug Creutz, analyst with Cowan FInancial Group today raised his investor rating for Electronic Arts, citing Star Wars: The Old Republic as a catalyst for his decision:

Since ‘Star Wars‘ became available for pre-orders three weeks ago, it has tracked very strongly on the Amazon.com top-selling video games list,” he writes in a research note. “We believe it is trending as well or better than two of the top-selling PC titles last year, Blizzard’s ‘Starcraft 2‘ and ‘World of Warcraft: Cataclysm‘, both of which went on to sell over 4 million units. We are raising our ‘Star Wars‘ first year sell-though estimate to 3 million units from 1.5 million units and our run-rate subscriber estimate to 2 million from 1 million.”

He goes on to list several other criteria to back up his raising of EA’s rating, including strong pre-orders for Battlefield 3.

While we as hard-core fans have no doubt the game will be a success on many levels, having TOR hit this kind of mainstream consumer success would be a win-win, both for EA/BioWare and fans alike. Let’s hope Mr. Creutz is on target!

Source: Forbes

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Aug 11, 2011

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gamescom 2011: Electronic Arts Press Conference [UPDATED]

Don’t look now, but gamescom 2011 is NEXT WEEK!

Before the official opening of the show, however, many of the heavy-hitters in the gaming industry hold special press conferences to show off their featured wares. This year is no different, and of course Electronic Arts is one of those companies holding court before gamescom next week.

The Electronic Arts press conference will take place on Tuesday, August 16 at 10:00AM EDT (7:00AM PDT, or 4:00PM Central European Time).

While we don’t know exactly what EA will show during this conference, we have to believe that Star Wars: The Old Republic will have some sort of presence during it.

[UPDATE] The Electronic Arts Press Conference will be webcast LIVE this Tuesday. You can check it out, as well as several other gamescom features at EA’s dedicated gamescom page here.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

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Aug 4, 2011

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BioWare Emerges As Own Label Out Of EA Reorganization

Today, Electronic Arts announced somewhat of a reorganization of their business units as well as re-assignment of some top executives.

Of most interest to fans and followers of Star Wars: The Old Republic would be the emergence of BioWare as its own label under the new EA Labels division (consisting of EA Games, EA Sports, EA Play as well as BioWare.)

Dr. Ray Muzyka will head up the BioWare unit, and former EA Games President Frank Gibeau has been tapped to lead EA Labels overall.

Also of note is Dragon Age Legends studio EA2D now falls under BioWare, and will be part of BioWare San Francisco.

While the changes are noteworthy due to the pay grade of those involved, it seems to be business as usual, at least for our favorite upcoming MMO. We’ll report any more details as we learn them.

Source: Gamasutra

 

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Jul 26, 2011

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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.

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Jul 21, 2011

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Beta Test Weekends In September – Holiday Launch

Electronic Arts issued a press release today celebrating the beginning of the pre-order program for Star Wars: The Old Republic. But there were several other interesting tidbits in there.

First, was the announcement of Beta Test Weekends beginning in September:

As anticipation grows, BioWare also proudly announced today that Star Wars: The Old Republic will open “Beta Test Weekends” starting this September. These weekend play sessions will be open to selected players worldwide and create an opportunity for fans to get a sneak peek of the epic stories, worlds, quests, battles and characters in the game.

Next, BioWare Co-Founder Dr. Ray Muzyka made the following statement looking forward to launching for the holiday season:

“We are targeting Star Wars: The Old Republic to be one of the biggest launches of holiday 2011,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Group General Manager and Co-Founder, BioWare and Senior Vice President, Electronic Arts.

This should give fans of The Old Republic a little more to look forward to, and a more solid release window.

Click here to read the entire release. We’ll have more information as it develops…

Thanks to @jfollm for the tip!

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