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Old Republic sales concerns 'are overblown' - Pachter

Analyst believes 1.7 million copies of the MMO have already been snapped up

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has suggested that concerns over Star Wars: The Old Republic sales are "overblown".

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Writing in a note sent to investors this afternoon, he said: "EA shares have been under assault over the past two months (and especially the past week), as many of our competitors have opined that the company's MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic was tracking well below 'consensus' expectations.

"Some of our competitors have suggested that the 'consensus' first quarter sales estimate was 3 million units, or over a million above our own estimate, which we believe is not only unrealistic, but borders on the absurd.

"Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft, the most successful MMO of all time, sold 1.5 million units in its first month, and an additional 2.5 million units in its first year, representing sales of around 50,000 units per week after the first few weeks."

Pachter thinks about 1.7 million copies of The Old Republic have been sold to date. "We continue to expect Star Wars to have a meaningful impact on revenue and earnings growth in upcoming quarters. As mentioned previously, we expect sell-in of 2 million units in Q3:12 (with an additional 1 million units next year)," he said.

EA has "probably" invested close to half a billion dollars in Star Wars: The Old Republic, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz said earlier this week.

The publisher has said that The Old Republic will turn a profit if it manages to retain half a million subscribers, and claimed over Christmas that the title is the fastest-growing subscription MMO in history.

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