Activison Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has questioned EA’s ability to turn profits from Star Wars: The Old Republic, warning only a “small number” of companies have ever succeeded in the MMO space.
Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit yesterday, Kotick said LucasArts license fees would make the project difficult for EA.
“Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars,” he said. “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.
“If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it’s a small number.”
EA had previously said the BioWare MMO would make a profit if it reached 500,000 users, while one analyst, quoted by Reuters, has even predicted 3-4 million World of Warcraft players could defect to TOR.
One recent survey said the Blizzard effort could lose 1.6 million subs to the EA title, which has cost a rumoured $100 million to develop.
It’s just the latest chapter in the apparently endless snipe-war between EA and Activision, which has heightened this year as a result of the contest between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3.
Star Wars: The Old Republic launches on December 20 worldwide.