Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is like Mike Tyson at his best — Unbeatable. Many thought that Funcom’s Age of Conan was going to be the next king of the hill, but that objective can now unofficially be declared as failed. Then came EA’s Warhammer Online which seems to have followed the same path. Simply put, many try the new MMO’s out, but many also go back after a while. The next WoW-challenger is BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic which according to Blizzard won’t be knocked out that easily.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Blizzard executive Paul Sims acknowledges that BioWare have a good chance of reaching success with their upcoming MMO. “I wouldn’t bet against them, that’s for sure,” he said. “They are an excellent company and they’re utilising a well-known franchise as the backbone for that game. I think the combination of those two things bodes well for them, just because not everybody can say that.”
Sims then pointed out why an excellent development team isn’t going to make it alone. With a huge amount of subscribers there’s a lot more behind the scenes work, but there’s one thing that gives BioWare an advantage; namely a wealthy publisher.
“It’s a bit more tricky than it might seem, and I think that that is also why we haven’t seen any other games that really have blown up from a huge subscribership perspective,” he said. “Because how you react when it scales is very challenging, to say the least.”
“So it’s a hard road, and it’s also a very expensive road. BioWare have the benefit now of being with EA as relates to money, and EA has a pocketbook that is fat,” he explained.
There’s a lot of reasons to try out The Old Republic when it’s eventually released. Though having played its single-player predecessors is kind of the only reason I need.