Confusion over Star Wars MMO business model
CEO discuses "micro-transaction" model for title, but corporate insists no decisions have yet been made
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello suggested to investors yesterday that Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's recently-announced MMO, will earn money from micro-transactions rather than subscriptions, reports our sister site, Eurogamer.net.
However, EA has subsequently distanced itself from his comments, according to Shacknews, stating there has been a "misunderstanding" and "no statements have been made about the Star Wars business model".
Riccitiello's description of Star Wars: The Old Republic as a "mid-session", "micro-transaction-based" game certainly came as a surprise.
Although it's true that business models weren't discussed at the game's unveiling in October, everything about its presentation suggested that it was a big-budget, premium MMO intended to compete with Blizzard's World of Warcraft for lucrative player subscriptions.
But Riccitiello's description aligned it more with the likes of free-to-play shooter Battlefield Heroes and trading-card RTS Battleforge in EA's line-up, or FIFA Online, which it operates in Asia.
"We are continuing to stick to the plan relative to building out our direct-to-consumer models which include micro-transactions and subscriptions," he said in a conference call. "The recent launch of Warhammer [Online] is a great example of that.
"Other initiatives we've announced, for example [the] Star Wars online MMO, are mid-session games which are micro-transaction-based," he continued. "You’ll be hearing more about those in the February [conference] call."