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‘Star Wars’ vs. ‘World of Warcraft’ – the gauntlet is thrown

When it comes to “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” the folks at EA who are publishing the massively multiplayer online game clearly have their eyes on a very particular prize: “World of Warcraft” and its 12 million subscribers. EA wants those players to leave their online universe of orcs and elves for a new online universe filled with Sith and Jedi. And they seem to feel confident players are going to do so. And as “The Old Republic” launch nears, the game publisher seems to be stepping up the “WoW” vs. “Star” Wars” trash talk. In an interview with Industry Gamers this week, Frank Gibeau, head of EA Games, suggested that “WoW” is an aging game and that playing it can feel like tending to a “shopping list.” “When I play ‘World of Warcraft,’ you go and get your quests, and you go and do your quests, but it feels…

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EA retracts forum user ban

Electronic Arts has retracted the Bioware Social Network ban on a user who questioned if Bioware had ‘sold their souls to the EA devil’. As we wrote on Friday, the forum ban then rippled through Electronic Arts’ DRM system and blocked user v_ware from being able to play Dragon Age 2 at all. ‘Now I’ve got a dead game for 50 euros,’ said v_ware at the time. Despite the fact that moderators repeatedly told v_ware that the ban was not a mistake and that the Dragon Age 2 block was in accordance with the terms of service, EA now claims that the extent of the block was a mistake. ‘Unfortunately, there was an error in the system that accidentally suspended your entire EA account.’ EA’s Senior Director of Customer Support, Boyd Beasley, wrote. ‘Immediately upon learning of the glitch, we have restored the entire account and apologize for the inconvenience…

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EA/BioWare can Revoke Your Gaming and DLC Licenses for Forum Conduct Violations

Yesterday a post appeared on the official BioWare forums containing a complaint from a gamer who says he was unable to play his recently purchased copy of the Signature Edition of Dragon Age II (from the EA Store) because his main forum account (which is tied to his EA account) was suspended for 72 hours: So.My other account got suspended yesterday for 72 hours. My suspended v_ware account has all my Bioware games registered to it. My other games are Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Awakening. I have played every game off Bioware since KOTOR, which is my favourite game of all time. Since I have these other games and off course have played the DA2 demo, my previously unlocked DA2 content is assigned to this account. When I got the mail I was curieus. I wanted to know what I did that was offensive. The mail stated…

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EA: Star Wars: The Old Republic “going right at” World of Warcraft

In a presentation at an investment conference Tuesday afternoon, EA chief executive John Riccitiello noted some of the company’s up-coming releases for the year that he expects will boost the company’s share in two key areas of the video game market–first-person shooters and massive multi-player online, or MMO, games. EA has high hopes for Star Wars: The old republic expecting the game to come out sometime late in the calendar year 2011. Riccitiello compared the Star Wars: The old republic to “World of Warcraft,” the most successful MMO game in the market that is produced by Activision’s Blizzard unit. He praised “Warcraft” as one of the “greatest entertainment properties ever built,” but believes the “Star Wars” universe could topple it. “We want to take share,” he said of the MMO category. He added that SWTOR is being built on an improved technology platform that is going to look better than…

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Insiders are Selling EA Shares

This properly doesn’t meen anything for Star Wars: The old republic, but if you are an invester like me, monitoring insider trades is a very important component to successful investing. We think you should be aware of these insider sales from the first week of February: Kenneth A Barker, SVP & Chief Accounting Officer, sold $99,704 worth of stock on February 3rd, 2011 Stephen G. Bene, SVP & General Counsel, sold $707,087 worth of stock on February 3rd, 2011 Peter Moore, President, EA Sports Label, sold $264,152 worth of stock on February 3rd, 2011 and Gabrielle B. Toledano, EVP, HR,  Corporate Services, sold $89,408 worth of stock on February 3rd, 2011. Shares of (NASDAQ:ERTS) have increased by 10.26% year-to-date.

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EA To Present At Goldman Sachs Technology And Internet Conference

At last weeks conference call,  we learned that Star Wars: The old republic needs 500.000 subscribers to be profitable. Apart from that, only small amount of new information came out. Now we get a new chance to gather information about the game, as John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer of  Electronic Arts will present at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 in San Francisco. Here is the press release I found in my mail box this morning: Electronic Arts Inc.  today announced that John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer, will present at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 in San Francisco, CA. During the course of this event, Electronic Arts may disclose material developments affecting its business and/or financial performance. Listeners may access the presentation via a live audio webcast. Tuesday, February 15, 2010Presentation at 2:40 PM PT / 5:40…

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EA: Star Wars: Old Republic can be profitable with 500000 subs

World of Warcraft may have more than 12 million subscribers, but that doesn’t mean Star Wars: The Old Republic needs to surpass or even approach those sorts of numbers in order to be profitable. During a conference call yesterday EA CFO Scott Brown talked about the number of subscribers BioWare’s upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic need to be profitable – and according to his comments on a recent conference call: it’s 500,000. “At half a million subscribers, the game is substantially profitable, but it’s not the kind of thing we would write home about,” he said. “Anything north of a million subscribers, it’s a very profitable business.” Tackling World of Warcraft is certainly a daunting task. Achieving one million subscribers, though? That’s not in any way a given, but it’s most definitely an achievable number for a quality MMO — especially one carrying the Star Wars name. Brown…

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EA crowned top publisher of 2010

Electronic Arts has been named the leading games publisher for the second year in a row. The firm took the biggest share of the UK games market in 2010 in terms of revenue generated from games and units sold – as it did in 2009. Data from GfK Chart-Track revealed that Activision Blizzard and Nintendo took the second and third biggest share of the market in terms of value, while Ubisoft and Nintendo were the No.2 and No.3 publishers in terms of games sold. 2010 was also a bumper year for Microsoft as Xbox 360 took the biggest console market share. It took 35.2 per cent of the market in terms of value and 28.9 per cent of total retail game sales. To see the full charts and analysis, read the top publishers of 2010 list.

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EA CEO Claims Cloud Gaming Is Not The Future

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello has announced that he thinks cloud-gaming is not necessarily the future, and that games issued on disc are still the best way for consumers to enjoy gaming. In an interview with Industry Gamers, Riccitello claimed that discs will be around for a long time to come as they are still the most practical and reliable way of accessing games quickly. “I think the consumer…doesn’t care what the technology is, what lives behind the veiled curtain; they just want it to work,” Riccitello said. He explained that streaming a game is often not the most efficient way of processing the experience. He pointed out that relying on an internet connection means that users would be unable to access games if their broadband was down and that there are lag issues with slower connections. “The point, though, that I’m making is that sometimes you’re not going to…

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EA and LucasArts Enter Into New Global Publishing Agreement for Star Wars: The Old Republic

In what amounts to a bit of publisher houscleaning, Electronic Arts has announced that it has entered into a new agreement with LucasArts that basically has EA taking over most of the publishing and marketing duties for the upcoming MMO Star Wars The Old Republic. Under the new agreement, LucasArts will continue to collaborate with EA and the game’s developer BioWare on the “design and marketing” for the game in addition to LucasArts’ basic role as the licensor of the Star Wars property itself. Financial terms of this new deal were not disclosed. BioWare and LucasArts first entered into an agreement to collaborate on Star Wars The Old Republic back in 2007 before the game itself was announced and just before BioWare was acquired by EA. The game itself was announced in October 2008. EA and Lucasfilm Ltd, announced today an updated global publishing agreement for the highly anticipated massively multiplayer…

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