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Kotick Questions  Star Wars: The Old Republic 's Profitability

Kotick Questions Star Wars: The Old Republic's Profitability

November 29, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has made light of the idea that BioWare and Electronic Arts' upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO may steal users from World of Warcraft and end its reign of the MMO space.

World of Warcraft has lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the last three months, and analysts have suggested that the Star Wars MMO, due to be released next month, is shaping up to be the next big massively multiplayer title.

However, talking at the Reuters Media Summit yesterday, Kotick said that he questions whether EA will even make money from the upcoming title, given that it will be paying LucasArts for the licensing rights.

"Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars," he argued. "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."

He said that he does not think The Old Republic will steal users from WoW, adding, "If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it's a small number."

In comparison, EA CEO John Riccitiello said earlier this year that The Old Republic will be "substantially profitable" if it sees at least half a million subscribers in total.

Elsewhere, Kotick discussed the success of Activision's Skylanders, noting that the game and corresponding toys have exceeded company expectations to such a degree that he believes it will sell out in the U.S. during the holiday season.

"[Skylanders] are in high demand. Retailers across the board are concerned that they will be out of inventory well before Christmas," he explained.

"There's nothing we can do because they are made offshore and we can't get product made that quickly."

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