Throws Down MMO Gauntlet
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has spoken out to question whether EA stands to make a profit from upcoming BioWare MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. Apparently the "economics" of the project benefit Lucasarts rather than the game's publisher due to royalty rights - and only a few companies have ever succeeded in the narrow RPG market. One of which, of course, is his own.
Sage advice? Or hilarious playground bluster to cover up the fact that WoW is haemorrhaging subscribers? Either way, it's got to be worth a read on this blustery Tuesday morning.
Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit, Kotick lashed out at SWTOR's ability to turn a profit; suggesting that Lucasarts - not EA - would benefit from the economics.
Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars. We've been in business with Lucas for a long time and the economics will always accrue to the benefit of Lucas, so I don't really understand how the economics work for Electronic Arts.
And here's a nice little nugget of self congratulation.
If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it's a small number.
Interesting points all, but ones that EA have countered with a few stats of their own. According to their figures, SWTOR only needs 500,000 subscribers to turn a profit, and since WoW has shed 1.7 million players over the last year, there are a fair few disenfranchised heroes in need of a universe. It will be exciting to see how SWTOR performs, and whether Kotick's advice turns out to be a grim portent or the first round of mudslinging over the MMO space.