Here's a big quote from EA on the future of The Old Republic, as reported by MCV: “Our assumptions for break-even and profitability are not seven-digit subscribers. We think we can run and operate a very successful and profitable MMO at different levels," said CFO Eric Brown, speaking at and event in New York. “The key thing here is to really perfect the product. We’re shooting for an extremely high quality game experience. We view this as a ten-year opportunity.”
So they're not expecting to get into millions of subs, and decade lifespan suggests a long roadmap for expansions. It feels to me like EA/Bioware are gambling that there are enough people who want more from their game that free-to-play titles are perceived to supply that kind of continuous subscription income. And maybe they'll be right: it could be so high quality that we'll be fine with paying subs, even against the backdrop of better and better free-to-play stuff out there. Interesting, anyway.