Analyst Arvind Bhatia of Stern Agee has told Edge Online that he believes Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning's subscriber base will "drop off and level off" at 250,000 to 300,000.
This modest-sounding figure - similar to subscriber numbers for EVE Online, and far short of World of Warcraft's 10 million - is what he thinks it will take for EA to achieve its goal to "break even" with the game, which launched last week.
EA shipped 1.5 million copies of the game to retail; Bhatia said these were selling "about in line with, but not above, expectations".
"Based on our estimates for sell through, it would require about 20 per cent to 25 per cent of the purchasers to remain long-term subscribers, which we believe is achievable," Bhatia said.
The game's creative director at Mythic Entertainment, Paul Barnett, is much more confident: he told Eurogamer he was betting on one million players in the game's first year, and three million thereafter.
His boss Mark Jacobs, meanwhile, has said he thinks WAR will exceed EverQuest's popularity; the Sony Online Entertainment classic had 550,000 players at its peak.
We're going to step out on a limb and back Jacobs on this one. For more on Warhammer Online, including our review, check out the gamepage.