According to Baird Equity Research, EA and BioWare's massively multiplayer online role playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic has approximately 350,000 peak concurrent users spread across 215 servers (124 in America, 91 in Europe). As the game only came out on December 20, these numbers are pretty strong and Baird spokesman Colin Sebastian seems to agree. "We view the early success of Star Wars as an indication of a healthy MMO market," he said.
While the numbers are strong, they aren't exactly earth shattering. Analysts at Cowen and Company said that SW: TOR has had "minimal apparent impact" on Blizzard and Activision's market-leading World of Warcraft, the current king of the MMORPG genre.
When all is said and done, it's still hard to judge the success of SW: TOR right now. First off, I'm guessing there will be a huge surge of players logging in to the game over the coming weeks as the holidays are finally over. Not everyone got the chance to become addicted as the game came out during a time when many were traveling for the holiday season. Secondly, the game didn't recieve a Mac release. If it had, that probably would have greatly increased the amount of players booting up the game at launch.
We also need to take in to account that SW: TOR's 350,000 peak concurrent users figure is just the number from the North American and European servers. While World of Warcraft boasts an impressive 491 servers for these regions, it took them quite a while to get to that point. Once SW: TOR is released in other regions, like Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and especially China, the amount of people playing the game will most likely go through the roof.
Basically what I'm saying is that Star Wars: The Old Republic is off to a decent start. It's not on track to dethrone the current king, but it's on pace to sell very well and release tons of awesome content in the future. And that should be really great news for all of you lightsaber wielding gamers out there.
Have you been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic for the last few weeks? What are your impressions of the game's popularity so far? Are you still seeing server queues?