Speaking with Reuters, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was keen on downplaying the the notion that Electronic Arts could steal users from World of Warcraft with the upcoming launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, despite the fact that several analysts have been saying that the game could make a dent in the fanbase of Activision’s front runner.
On top of that, according to Kotick, the rival publisher won’t gain much of an advantage from a potential success of SWTOR, as most of the benefits would be reaped by Lucasarts and not by EA itself.
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.”
He also pointed out that publishing a successful MMORPG is very difficult:
If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it’s a small number,”
While that may be true, the numbers we have experienced on the latest beta week end seem to indicate that the interest for Star Wars: The Old Republic is at it’s peak. It most probably won’t “kill” World of Warcraft (and I don’t see why it should), but we can certainly hope that it’ll make a sizable impact in the MMORPG market, that has been in dire need for a shake-up for a long while. Competition is always good for customers.