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Kotick 'doesn't understand economics' of EA's Old Republic

Activision boss questions whether MMO will make money

Outspoken Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has taken a dig at EA's latest rival title, BioWare MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.


Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit yesterday, Kotick downplayed analyst predictions that Old Republic could steal more than a million users from World of Warcraft, and even questioned if EA will make money from the project, because of the licensing rights it has to pay Lucas Arts.

"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," he added.

EA declined to comment but has previously said Old Republic will hit profit if it manages 500,000 subscribers.

Analysts don't seem to agree with Kotick, of course, with a recent survey conducted by Lazard Capital Markets finding that over 50 percent of 381 respondents have grown tired of Blizzard's game.

Half said they plan to buy The Old Republic, while a further 38 percent declared an interest in the title.

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The Old Republic developer BioWare said in June that it expects its game "will more than compete" with WoW following "a fantastic response" from beta testers.

Activision Blizzard announced the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, last month.

[ SOURCE: Reuters ]