Wall Street Journal: Star Wars Game Is Actually An Attack On World Of Warcraft

It's hard to untangle whether it's a media creation or born of the competitive natures of gaming and business, but according to at least one newspaper the war between Activision and Electronic Arts continues to simmer.

"With Star Wars EA is taking aim at Activision's World of Warcraft game," the Wall Street Journal reports. It is the second major strike, the newspaper says, against Activision.

Drawing a battle line between Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and EA's Battlefield 3, with its "Above and Beyond the Call" marketing, is pretty obvious.

But does Electronic Arts see itself taking on Activision's World of Warcraft with Star Wars: The Old Republic? Sure, on some level that makes sense. Any massively multiplayer game that enters that market can't help but acknowledge the night elf in the room. But drawing a direct connection seems a little much.

In his recent conversations with the Doctors Bioware, our own Evan Narcisse says that they didn't seem to view the game as a direct competitor.

Still, perhaps publisher EA has a different take on the matter. The Wall Street Journal piece says "EA executives said their titles would compete against Activision's twin juggernauts but acknowledged they wouldn't overtake them."

The story goes on to quote EA's head of studios Frank Gibeau saying that half a million subscribers would be approaching profitability and a million would be a good investment.

World of Warcraft, which has had and continues to have tremendous successes, is eventually going to wind down. Blizzard already seems to be preparing for that, but I don't see that game exiting the marketplace any way other than under their own terms.

There's no such thing as a World of Warcraft killer, not until Blizzard decides there is. Trying to take the game on directly is the easiest route to the land of games that quickly, sometimes surprisingly went free-to-play.


    Consider for a moment the Wall Street Journal's target audience: The Suits. Not the 20, 30-something gamers who hold regular jobs, but stockbrokers who drive AMG Mercedes Benzes and M5 BMWs.

    It is fair to say that Bioware themselves probably do not see TOR as a "competitor" to 'that other game', but it is entirely reasonable from a business perpsective to say that TOR is nothing less than EA's competitive foray in to territory that is otherwise dominated by World of Warcraft. So yes, in a strictly business sense, TOR *is* a 'direct attack' on WoW, and as long as John Ricitello and the EA Executive continue to grant Bioware a salary, that will be the expectation of EA's shareholders.

    My opinion is that this article is too focused on the developer and the end user, and largely the reality that somewhere in the world, there is a room full of stockbrokers and EA executives that fully expect this game to be taking a calculable chunk of Activision's market.


      And honestly, why shouldn't it be allowed to take a chunk of Activision's market? It's called competition folks, and retail competition is protected at least in Australia.

    The "WSJ" needs to stop using "quotation marks" around every "proper noun". It's quite "disturbing" to the "flow" of my "reading".

      I like how you "used" the quotation marks on all of your "proper nouns". I had very hard time "reading" your "comment" here.
      +1 for "originality"

        Well actually, the only "proper noun" I used it on was "WSJ". The rest are "common nouns".
        According to the "Internet", it was "Clive Barker" who said there was no "originality" left in the world. But I'm sure some Greek "philosopher" said it long before him.

    While yes, they are two MMORPGs, this thing has a wiff of lazy journalism and a bit of a beat-up story.
    They are two different games. WoW is very much a traditional MMO while TOR focuses on the singleplayer experience, moral choices and is much more story driven.
    If it had a simultaneous AU release, I may have even been drawn back into MMOs.

    Agreed with Lone Wolf.

    I'm an economist and also a gamer. WoW and TOR aren't necessarily direct competitors at all. Sure, same genre, but the games themselves are very different.

    "Japanese" and "French" are both kinds of food, but that doesn't mean a Japanese restaurant and a French restaurant are direct competitors. They offer different things.

    Ditto WoW and TOR. Very different products even if you can fit them into the same category at a high enough level of abstraction.

    Not only are they EXTREMELY imperfect substitutes, but there are probably many people that own both, or those that have no interest in one but heavy interest in the other.

    That's a cool image... now I really want to play KoToR again. I just realized I've played KoToR at least 5 times through to the end. Nuts.

    except they are competing, because mmo's take up most of peoples time, so they will usually end up closing one of the accounts after a few months for whichever they decide to stay with.

    unless they are stupid like me and have been paying for wow for the last 6 months and haven't logged in, in all that time :S

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