EA has indicated that they are incurring significant financial costs in developing BioWare’s upcoming Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic, and that the game will see stores after FY 2011 ends. This aims that supposed launch date somewhere between April and December of 2011.
Moreover, in EA’s recent Q3 results report, the company stated that their upcoming MMO will become profitable with a mere 500,000 subscribers. To put that into perspective, Activision-Blizzard’s World of Warcraft has more than 12 million subscribers keeping it afloat.
John Riccitiello, CEO of EA, expanded on the margin of success by explaining that Star Wars: The Old Republic doesn’t necessarily have its sights aimed on the top dog in the MMO space:
It’s our view that we can be very successful without fundamentally challenging the market leader because we think we’ll probably hit the smaller competitors harder when we get out there.
Riccietiello also explained that BioWare’s MMO is costing the publisher more money than they had anticipated in terms of development. He actually went on to warn against any falsehoods set to be perpetuated from gaming bloggers concerning the cost of the project itself. Riccietiello would not comment further on the project itself, citing his NDA.
A lot of MMO gamers are looking towards The Old Republic as their next big adventure. The title undeniably couples two gloriously geeky things that are wholly enticing to your average nerd. The Star Wars fanbase alone should be able to tick off that 500k profitable point, but there’s no telling exactly how much of an audience this game will pull in.