EA has high hopes for the longevity of its forthcoming Star Wars MMO. In his speech at the UBS Annual Media and Communications Conference in New York, EA's CFO Eric Brown stated that Star Wars: The Old Republic has the potential to stay active and relevant for at least 10 years.
“The key thing here is to really perfect the product. We’re shooting for an extremely high quality game experience. We view this as a ten-year opportunity,” said Brown, continuing, “Our assumptions for break-even and profitability are not seven-digit subscribers. We think we can run and operate a very successful and profitable MMO at different levels.”
Above: Better hope those lightsabers come with an extended warranty
Bold statements like this are to be expected when shareholders are in the room, but it appears as though EA is genuine about the long term success of BioWare's online empire. As you may recall, however, not everyone shares EA's optimism. Big Point's CEO Heiko Hubert voiced his negative predictions at the London Games Conference, stating that he thought EA was overestimating the strength of its subscription model. "With micro-transactions and longer lifetime maybe I see a chance for this game but I don't think that EA or BioWare will be profitable with this game. Ever," he said.
Who does one believe: the hype or the competition? Either way, a decade is a long, long time to survive in the MMO space, even for a much loved galaxy far, far away.