In yesterday's EA earnings call, CEO John Riccitiello said the company had a "major new MMO" coming in Spring '11. Could he mean anything other than Star Wars: The Old Republic?
In the same conference call in which EA lowered estimates for 2010, John Riccitiello mentioned that he expected 2011 to be a good year, in part due to the launch of the publisher's "major new MMO" in the spring. Of course, that's mainly softening the blow from the news that the game in question - presumably Star Wars: The Old Republic, given that EA has nothing else quite so high-profile under its wings - won't be coming out in 2010 as previously announced.
The Bad News: Well, it's a delay of a hugely-anticipated game that many are expecting to be a cross between Super Mario and Jesus to deliver them from the dominance of WoW. Despite Riccitiello's optimism, this can't be good news for EA, given that a delay just means a longer development budget (gotta pay those designers!) and a longer wait before we see a return on investment.
The Good News: A delay until Spring '11 means that SW: TOR avoids going head-to-head against the even more hugely-anticipated World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, meaning that it won't have the stumbling block right out the gate of a major WoW expansion. This could be a chance for the game to find footing and a stable, growing fanbase before another Blizzard salvo - though it could conceivably put it up against Diablo III (haha, yeah right).
When GameSpot asked for clarification if Riccitiello had meant TOR, the answer came back (and naturally, it was a "no comment"): "No further comment beyond what John said. This wasn't a comment about a specific franchise, but a notation on how we are building a plan and guidance for the next fiscal year."
Yeah, but let's be fair here: Do you really think EA was talking about APB or Need for Speed: World Online?