LucasArts pay 'will put downward pressure on profits'

Kotick: Star Wars licence fee will hurt EA

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has poured cold water on EA’s financial prospects for its upcoming MMO, The Old Republic.

In the wake of analysts’ claims that World of Warcraft could lose over a million more subscribers upon the release of the Star Wars MMO, Kotick insisted that his rival has its own financial burdens.

"LucasArts is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars," Kotick told Reuters.

"We’ve been in business with LucasArts for a long time and the economics will always accrue to the benefit of LucasArts, so I don’t really understand how the economics work for Electronic Arts."

He also played down EA’s chances outright: "If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it’s a small number.”

World of Warcraft is the world’s most successful MMO in history by revenue, and last year generated about $1 billion.

Yet its numbers are sinking fast, with one million paying subscribers gone in a single year.

EA has previously claimed the Star Wars MMO would be generating a profit after 500,000 subscribers – but it is not known if that would mean profit for EA after license fees.

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