Activision CEO shrugs off Old Republic concerns

By Steve Watts, Nov 29, 2011 8:30am PST

Between its license and the reputation of developer BioWare, the impending release of Star Wars: The Old Republic could bring a real threat to Activision Blizzard's MMO dominance. Now Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has chimed in with his thoughts on World of Warcraft's competition.

"Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars," Kotick said at the Reuters Media Summit (via GamesIndustry.biz). "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."

Kotick also reminded the summit that many MMOs that have tried to imitate the success of WoW. "If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it's a small number," he said.

Then again, WoW itself has seen subscribers slipping for several months. The MMO can still tout 10.3 million subscribers, but that shows a steady declining trend. And for all of Kotick's bravado, his company's stock recently downgraded in light of concerns that WoW would shed between 900,000 and 1.6 million subscribers once The Old Republic releases.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to launch on December 20.

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