Depending on who you ask, Star Wars: The Old Republic either did quite well and continues to succeed in an incredibly saturated market, or it's already peaked and now all it has to look forward to are diminishing subscriptions and the inevitable march into free-to-play territory. Last week, Cowan and Company analyst Doug Creutz claimed that the MMO's 1.7 million subscribers will now start to decline and will reach 1.25 million by March 2013. That came after news that EA laid off between 500 and 1000 employees following the poorer than expected sales of SWTOR and Battlefield 3.
Now BioWare is offering its own explanation for why lots of servers appear to be less populated. According to Daniel Erikson, subscriptions have not started to drop, players merely aren't all playing at peak times now. Due to the "change in player behavior," there may be some server merging, but it's not a priority. That might have something to do with all the people getting a free month and thus not cancelling but not actually paying or even necessarily playing, so take that with a pinch of salt.
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