‘Galaxies’ debuts with record buyers

Cyberbiz Brief

“Star Wars Galaxies,” the long-awaited massively multiplayer online game from LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment, snapped up 125,000 customers in its first week of release, the companies said. The debut is the best ever for a U.S. game of this sort and comes despite several delays during the complex game’s development.

Debut is markedly better than last winter’s bow by Electronic Arts’ equally awaited online version of the bestselling “The Sims” franchise, which had 89,000 subs after its first quarter on the market. In massively multiplayer games, thousands of participants can be online, playing in the same “universe” at the same time. And when a player logs off, the world continues to operate.

Players of such online titles must pay both for the initial software and for ongoing subscription fees that typically run $10-$12 per month. Sony Online Entertainment also created the most popular U.S. massively multiplayer title, “EverQuest,” which has more than 400,000 subscribers.

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