Web-based, free-to-play MMO Battlestar Galactica Online recently reached 9 million registered users, which made me wonder how many retained users it currently has. According to Google Ad Planner, the Galactica website gets 2.9 million unique visitors, and because it's a web-based MMO that's been on the market since February 2011, it's likely most of those visitors are registered users. So I'd say a fair guess is about 2 to 2.5 million people are now playing Galatica online. That's pretty impressive for a couple of reasons:
Sci-fi MMOs haven't historically done well, even when they're based on well-known franchises. (Matrix Online, Star Trek Online, I could go on.) Of course, there's the Star Wars: Old Republic MMO, based on the Star Wars franchise, but despite a huge budget and a major marketing push, it's reached a peak of 1.7 million subscribers, and analysts expect it to fall to 1.25 million subscribers by next year. At that rate, Electronic Arts will still make a decent profit from the game, but a long-term WoW-level success doesn't seem likely. Takeaway one: Battlestar Galatica Online is probably more popular than Old Republic. Takeaway two: The subscription model for MMOs just doesn't work anymore, EA, didn't you get the damn memo?