Gamers and the game press are excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic. The combination of Bioware, Star Wars, and MMO is irresistible to a certain segment of the population. Do you know who isn't excited for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Investors.
According to a report from Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey, investors are "betting against" the Old Republic MMO. According to Hickey, EA's investors "know how difficult the MMO space is," and see the potential for problems with SWTOR. Basically, investors see the MMO-space as a minefield littered with the battered corpses of subscription-based MMOs that have either gone free-to-play or tanked totally, crushed by the behemoth of World of Warcraft.
Here's how Hickey explained some of the other factors leading to trepidation from some investors:
"a suspected subscription pricing model versus a market that is quickly transitioning to free to play, generally modest previews of the game and elevated development expense and suspected aggressive royalty to LucasArts."
- DETAILS: Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview
Like all MMOs, The Old Republic will live or die based on you, the gamer, so let me ask you: Are these nervous investors correct? Or will The Old Republic's positives outweigh the negatives they see on the horizon? I think it's honestly too close to call -- the negatives of launching an MMO in the current market are obvious when you look at games like Warhammer or APB, but Bioware is pretty damn good...and Star Wars has a pretty big fan base.