The Activision CEO isn’t concerned about chief competitor EA’s The Old Republic eating up World of Warcraft‘s 12 million subscribers.
When it comes to MMOs, World of Warcraft is the 800-pound Tauren in the room. Due to the merger of Blizzard and Activision in 2008, Kotick is able to use the huge profit margins of WoW to stabilize his videogame development and monthly revenue stream. The next big MMO due to come out that might compete with WoW is EA’s The Old Republic, which has the lucrative Star Wars license and the development chops of RPG expert BioWare going for it. But when Bobby Kotick was asked whether he was worried about the imminent release of The Old Republic in 2011, he scoffed.
“I can’t say that we’re hugely concerned about that. The audience for World of Warcraft is a pretty committed group of players,” Kotick said.
As of Blizzard’s latest numbers, WoW boasts over 12 million players. The release of the third expansion, Cataclysm, to the 6 year old MMO next week is expected to draw many old players back to resubscribe, as well as many new players who might want to finally see Azeroth for themselves. WoW may see a huge bump in subscription numbers, possible to 13 or even 14 million.
The track record for previous WoW-killers like Age of Conan and Warhammer Online would support Kotick’s faith in his flagship MMO property. Wow subscribers aren’t going anywhere, and certainly not to the The Old Republic.