An embittered Bobby Kotick went vocal about his thoughts regarding EA’s decision to publish BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, basically saying that only LucasArts will benefit from the whole ordeal.
According to GameIndustry.biz, Kotick, Activision Blizzard's Chief Executive, speaking at a media summit, stated that…
"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,"
Where is Kotick getting his numbers from? If you look at the history of people investing in MMOs you’ll see that it’s actually a lot of companies achieving success especially in the South-East Asian territories.
What Kotick actually means is that publishers frisky to throw big dollars into shaky MMO projects have achieved little to no success, such was the case with Tabula Rasa, The Matrix Online and many other big-budget games trying to emulate Blizzard’s World of Warcraft subscribtion based model. That’s not to mention that EA, Turbine, Cryptic and SOE have already seen gains from many of their games going free-to-play and embracing the freemium demographic, sharing in profits alongside other companies such as Nexon and Perfect World Entertainment. I’ll just count that up as another “herp, derp” moment for Kotick.
Anyways, there’s still a lot for EA to gain from SWTOR given that Kotick completely misses the point of the financial expenditure: Origin. Even if LucasArts is benefiting from most of the royalty fees, EA is still accuring a nice little cache of members for the digital service, Origin, and I’m also 99% sure that they’ll eventually open an exclusive cash-shop in conjunction with the Origin platform for The Old Republic. In other words, if EA does what any smart gamer thinks they’re going to do then I wouldn’t worry about EA not benefitting from publishing SWTOR even if it cost over$100 million to produce.
If you’re curious about the game you can sign-up to participate in the weekend beta events by visiting the Official Website.