EA Takes Aim At $1 Billion Per Year World Of Warcraft

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Electronic Arts’ (ERTS) Jens Uwe Intat is “confident” his company’s forthcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, can “dethrone” World of Warcraft.

That would be some feat: Activision-Blizzard’s (ATVI) massively-multiplayer online (MMO) game has dominated the market for years now, and it’s a big market — the game is estimated to generate over $1 billion in revenue each year.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the company’s European regional boss acknowledged Warcraft’s success and the failure other companies — including his own — had met in trying to challenge it. But he is confident The Old Republic will eventually take the top spot, because it is not only a great game, it is a Star Wars game.

“Star Wars franchise has such a huge fan base across the planet that people being able to play that as an MMO… it will be a totally different reason for buying.”

There have been very successful Star Wars games in the past, but at this point, betting on Warcraft is pretty much always the smart bet.

If the game can make any serious inroad in to Blizzard’s marketshare, it would be a huge step in EA’s struggle to recapture the biggest developer crown. The margins on monthly subscription fees are massive, providing a sizable chunk of Activision-Blizzard’s earnings.

It will be a long time before the success of the game can be judged; as Intat says, the real challenge is not selling plenty of copies when the game is released, but rather sustaining the interest of gamers that try it.

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