EA confirms Old Republic delay

Publisher EA has confirmed that BioWare-developed MMO Star Wars: Old Republic will not now release this spring and will instead ship some time in the next fiscal year.

This means it could potentially arrive as late as March 2012, though MCV understands that September 2011 remains EA’s target launch date.

The date was exclusively revealed by MCV last week, much to the irritation of many BioWare loyalists who let MCV know exactly how they felt in the comments section.

Speaking to investors following the publication of its Q3 results, CEO John Riccitiello has claimed that the game needs just 500,000 paying subscribers to make a profit.

"500,000 subscribers saw the game is substantially profitable but it’s not the kind of thing that we would write home about," he said, according to Seeking Alpha. "Anything north of 1m subscribers is a very profitable business.

"So it’s our view that we can be very successful without fundamentally challenging the market leader [World of Warcraft] because we think we’ll probably hit the smaller competitors harder when we get out there. Of course, we have no particular ambition to be a distant number two. Our ambitions are higher than that, but we throttle back a little bit relative to our financial projections."

At around 10 a shot for a monthly subscription, that equates to revenues of 5m a month for the game and 60m a year. These numbers, Riccitiello claims, serve to rubbish unsubstantiated reports of a $300m dev budget for the title.

"There’s been a fair amount of talk on various blogs, describing spends that are vastly higher than anything we’ve ever put in place," he added.

"So don’t need sort of gamer blogs as having any substance. Some of them are – they bring a chuckle but they also bring a frustration for those that are being responsible in the management of EA’s R&D dollars when they read sort of falsehoods out of the press."

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