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Investment group predicts positive returns for Star Wars: The Old Republic following free-to-play announcement

Eliot Lefebvre

Yesterday's bombshell from Star Wars: The Old Republic has prompted the usual spirited debate among fans over the game: Is this a last gasp before it dies or a smart move in the current MMO marketplace? Wedbush Securities believes it's the latter, with analyst Michael Pachter stating that the news from Electronic Arts is positive and that the change in business models should result in a significant profit for the game.

Pachter described Wedbush's reaction as "incorrigibly positive," with specific emphasis on EA's digital catalogue and the free-to-play shift for Star Wars: The Old Republic. According to his analysis, the change in business models will remove the most significant hurdles from potential players, leading to a net increase in revenue from the game. The market as a whole responded positively to the financial news, with EA's stock rising six percent as a result of the call. Pachter has previously been critical of the MMO market, having claimed in early July that subscriber numbers have peaked for the industry as a whole.

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