Activision’s Kotick Doesn’t Think Star Wars: The Old Republic Will Make EA Any Money
Unsurprisingly, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick thinks BioWare’s upcoming MMO Stars Wars: The Old Republic is going to fail for publisher (and Activision arch-nemesis) Electronic Arts.
Kotick said at the Reuters Media Summit Monday in New York that only a few companies have ever done well in the MMO space (Blizzard, the other half of Activision Blizzard, being one of them), and those companies didn’t have to pay licensing fees to George Lucas — a costly endeavor, to be sure.
“Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars,” Kotick 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.”
Kotick’s knowledge of the inner workings of LucasArts notwithstanding, his comments might be taken with a grain of salt. For one thing, World of WarCraft, Blizzard’s massive MMO, has been losing players lately and is down to just 10 million. Some analysts speculate as many as 3 to 4 million players could defect from WoW to The Old Republic when it comes online on Dec. 20, and EA has said it only needs 500,000 players to be profitable. The Star Wars license alone should draw in around that many people. Or at least, one would think — there aren’t as many Star Wars fans in the world as there once were, thanks to George Lucas.