Subscription-based MMOs have it rough — They’ve got to prove themselves worthy of your money month in or month out, or you’ll stop paying and playing, as will your friends. A game can go from a promising up-and-comer to a flat-lining invalid in a matter of weeks.

We’re not quite ready to declare an Alderaan-like fat for Star Wars: The Old Republic, but you can certainly hear the opening bars of the Imperial Death March starting to play. In its financial report on the close of the latest fiscal year, publisher EA sheepishly admits the force of the game has grown weaker to the tune of 400,000 players.

The player base, which was once 1.7 million players, is now 1.3 million. EA is hoping to reverse the slide by pushing out a pair of expansions, called Legacy and Allies, sometime in the next three months. Those expansions had better be enough to tractor beam departed players, otherwise it might be a matter of time until the game goes the free-to-play way of seemingly all MMOS.

There is always option B — every download comes with a visit from the Galactic Groomers.