In a day and age where game developers are more inclined to talk smack about the competition, the people in charge at Blizzard take a more objective view and actually hope for the success of the competition (at least, publically), offering positive words for BioWare and their upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Blizzard CEO, Mike Morhaime had this to say,
“[Star Wars is] certainly a strong franchise and BioWare’s a great developer. We’ve talked about this internally and from our perspective we hope they make an enjoyable game because they’re going to bring in a lot of new players to the MMO genre, and those players’ idea of whether or not they like this type of game is going to be determined by that experience.”
While The Old Republic and World of Warcraft won’t be directly competing for each other’s customers (much), they will undoubtedly be compared to one another in terms of success, and will become the hot topic of trolls everywhere on the web. The fact that they appeal to different gaming demographics probably accounts for some of the friendliness Blizzard is showing toward BioWare however, one could be sure the 12 million subscribers, platinum-plated toilets, and the near-decade of success WoW has had makes Blizzard feel extremely secure. Too bad DICE General Manager, , doesn’t share the same friendly spirit as the Blizzard boys.
Blizzard recognized that the aforementioned differences in demographics between the games means that if BioWare and EA have their way, they could bring another 12 million gamers into the massively multiplayer fold. Co-founder and executive vice president of Blizzard, Frank Pearce, commented that, “This is a game that has an opportunity to grow the MMO market if done right and therefore is very important to the industry as a whole, not just EA.”
With 1.5 million gamers signed up for the beta, The Old Republic looks set to make a big splash in the video game industry, innovating in both the MMO and RPG genres, as well as suggesting that BioWare’s break-even point of 500 thousand players will be shattered right at the game’s release. Frank Pearce also said that the success of WoW was that it built, “a universe around an already established franchise that was near and dear to the hearts of gamers.”
BioWare finds themselves in the same situation here, building off of the love that people have for Star Wars as a franchise, but also the love people have had for the Knights of the Old Republic series. Things look pretty secure for BioWare with their recent release of Dragon Age 2, and the massive success that Mass Effect 2 was. Chances are, the Blizzard heads will not be disappointed by hoping for The Old Republic to usher in a major revolution in the MMO world.
Source: MCV UK