Star Wars: The Old Republic Needs 500k Subscribers For Profitability

Gamasutra jumped onto the earnings conference call hosted by EA yesterday, during which they learned that Star Wars: The Old Republic only needs 500,000 subscribers to be "substantially profitable" and that anything above a million subscribers makes the game "a very profitable business". Unless the game gets some very negative press between now and release, these numbers should be pretty easy to attain:
"At half a million subscribers, the game is substantially profitable, but it's not the kind of thing we would write home about," EA CEO John Riccitiello said in a Gamasutra-attended conference call accompanying EA's third quarter fiscal earnings report today. "Anything north of a million subscribers, it's a very profitable business."

Riccitiello stressed to investors that the costs being incurred now would "essentially turn on a dime" to profits the day the title ships, a date still targeted for sometime after March but before the end of calendar 2012.

Riccitiello also criticized some news outlets for irresponsible reporting on the game's development costs.

"There's been a fair amount of talk on various blogs describing [Old Republic development] spends that are vastly higher than anything we've ever put in place," he said.

"Don't read gamer blogs as having any substance. They bring a chuckle, but they also bring a frustration for those that are being responsible with the management of EA's R&D dollars."