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EA investors 'betting against Old Republic'

Industry's track record at launching MMOs is off-putting, says analyst

EA investors are betting against big-budget MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, due to concerns spawned by the industry's poor track-record at launching successful MMOs.

That's according to Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey, who says EA's investors know how difficult the MMO market is, and what an enormous risk it is to launch a game of Old Republic's scale (it's estimated to have cost EA over $100m).

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Confidence is dented further still, says the analyst, by the shaky launch of EA Mythic's Warhammer Online, which carried high expectations but was ultimately anticlimactic, drawing 500,000 subscribers in its first week and then seeing a huge drop-off.

"We believe many investors are betting against SWTOR achieving market success, provided the company's (Warhammer Online from Mythic) and industry's track record at releasing successful new MMOs," Hickey suggested.

Other factors he notices that might affect EA's shares include "a suspected subscription pricing model versus a market that is quickly transitioning to free to play, generally modest previews of the game and elevated development expense and suspected aggressive royalty to LucasArts."

Last year, an alleged, anonymous employee of Bioware Mythic suggested The Old Republic is destined to be a massive failure.

[ SOURCE: Gamasutra ]

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