Years ago, when the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 were released, the console wars began. Since then, lots of things have happened in the video gaming world but the wars still rage on.
Now, however the war has changed fronts. It’s not about who has the best console anymore, it’s about who will emerge as the reigning king of the software publishers.
And it seems the top contenders are squaring off against one another, yet again.
Yeah, the kings of the ring are throwing virtual punches at each other again, this time in relation to EA’s upcoming MMO “Star Wars : The Old Republic”. Activision, who owns Blizzard – creators of the current MMO champion “World of Warcraft” – released statements indicating that they are not afraid of EA’s entry into the genre and that they don’t believe EA is going to make any money with their foray into the world of Massively Multiplayer gaming.
At a recent Reuters Media Summit, Activision Chief Bobby Kotick said :
“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. If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it’s a small number.”
Basically saying that he’s fairly certain Lucas is going to rake EA dry on the MMO gig. Of course, this may be the case but it’s far too early to tell and John Riccitiello, CEO of EA said, earlier this year, that Star Wars : The Old Republic would be “substantially profitable” with as few as 500,000 subscribers.
Star Wars : The Old Republic, by the way, has nearly 1 million pre-orders…including mine…because STAR WARS!
And I don’t care what Keith thinks about it.
I also don’t care that Kotick doesn’t think EA can compete with them in the MMO market and that EA doesn’t stand to take any of their player base away. The solid fact is that World of Warcraft lost 800,000 subscribers in the 3 month period between July and September of this year…and where do you think those 800,000 players are going to show up?
Probably in Star Wars : The Old Republic…just sayin…
I also find it somewhat comical that though Activision claims they’re not afraid of EA and that World of Warcraft is still healthy and doing well, they’ve managed to lose 5.5% of their stock value in the last year, while EA has accrued a 27.2% increase in their value. The problem seems to be that Activision is spending all of its time resting on its laurels and trying to ride the success of its 2 main titles – World of Warcraft and Call of Duty – but they don’t seem to have anything else in the oven and this is making investors VERY nervous.
Maybe they should spend more time writing cutting edge games and a little less time trying to save their player base by releasing new versions of the same old software and handing out half-assed expansions for tired old games.
Now, dont’ get me wrong – I’m not an EA fanboy by any stretch of the imagination. They have a LOT of work to do, as well, before they are able to impress me but they’re at least trying to innovate and they happen to own one of the world’s mega-giants in the RPG genre, BioWare – of whom I AM a fanboy.
And so the war rages on. Soon after the release of Star Wars : The Old Republic, we’ll see what kind of guns EA has to bring to bear on Activision.
I, for one, welcome the fireworks. War, as they say, is the mother of all innovation.