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Activision Blizzard Trying To Scare Off Competition?

August 31st, 2008 by Derrick Schommer · 2 Comments

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A few months ago, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said investing $500 million to a billion still wouldn’t be enough to compete with an MMORPG like World of Warcraft. The MMORPG space is a costly investment and you’d need to really burn a lot of money to start competing against the mega-giant, but Mythic VP and Warhammer Online lead designer Mark Jacobs disagrees with that quote.

Jacobs says $100-million dollars would be needed to start competing against the giant subscription generator that is World of Warcraft. Although few developers are sitting on $100-million USD, it’s a bit more realistic an investment for a studio to scrape up compared to a billion bucks! A billion dollars is a scary number when you consider that’s the start of an investment that may, or may not, pay off in the end.

Kotick may not be using complete scare tactics, he may be working off experience when dealing with MMORPG’s. A startup MMO isn’t a cookie cutter system, there is a lot of development efforts, $100-million dollars worth, but MMO developers slip dates many times. When you start slipping your dates you’ll start burning more money and, before you know it, you’re a billion in the hole. Jacobs thinks $100-million will cover development costs and messing up, so a billion is still way over budget.

Perhaps this is a bit of a scare tactic, assuming a developer will fail and slip their dates isn’t really a great way to start quoting prices. However, shooting too low isn’t always the best method of building your development assessments. The end result, scream ONE BILLION and you may scare off any potential startup MMO developers.

Warhammer Online lead designer did mention one big barrier to entry: the need for “at least half a million subscribers to be successful.”

(Thanks, 1up)

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Tags: Editorial · MMO · Warhammer Online · world of warcraft

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