Is it possible for a MMOG to have a ten-year lifespan in a World of WarCraft era?
During the UBS Annual Media and Communications Conference in New York, EA CFO Eric Brown indicated that the company is looking to keep Star Wars: The Old Republic around for at least ten years.
"Our assumptions for break-even and profitability are not seven digit subscribers," he told the audience. "We think we can run and operate a very successful and profitable MMO at different levels. 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 10 year opportunity," he added.
While that sounds like a very long lifespan for a MMOG, just keep in mind that SOE's EverQuest--launched back in March 1999--is still up and running. Funcom's sci-fi-themed MMORPG Anarchy Online still has paying subscribers as well, launched for the PC back in June 2001.
The problem EA will face is publishing a new Star Wars-themed MMOG in a post-World of WarCraft era. Then again, BioWare is highly capable to tackling Blizzard's MMORPG head-on (sorry Tuan, it's true).
Last week Brown announced during the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference that Star Wars: The Old Republic would launch during EA's 2012 fiscal year which begins April 2011. While the new schedule doesn't conflict with a previous forecast of Spring 2011, it does eliminate any rumors that the MMOG will appear in Q1 2011.