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The Next 12 Months is Super Important to EA

The next 12 months will prove to be very important to Electronic Arts (EA). While they had many things to be happy about in their recent company earnings call, they will also be held accountable over the next year to many predictions and investments. Gamasutra reports that the next 12 months could make or break EA. There are a lot of things working in the favor of EA but it’s too soon to start celebrating victories. While their revenues and earnings per share were higher than expected, and they reported a shift to a more aggressive stance at several fronts, there is still room for things to go wrong over the next fiscal year. CEO John Riccitiello said, “We’re shifting to offense and running plays no other company can,” which is a big promise they have to hope they can hold up to. They are going in a positive direction…

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Could a Mass Effect MMO top The Old Republic?

Could a Mass Effect MMO beat out TOR when it comes to profits?In a recent investor’s note, Mike Hickey predicted that a hypothetical Mass Effect MMO could make more money for Electronic Arts than Star Wars: The Old Republic will.But is this really shocking news? First, the ME franchise has done really well for EA and there is a historical weakness surrounding Star Wars games, which is part of what Hickey made his predictions based on. This is due in part to the fact that royalties have to be paid on all Lucas Arts titles and themes. Hickey said, “Looking forward, we believe BioWare could develop an MMO based on their highly successful Mass Effect franchise, which should have a considerably better (relative Star Wars MMO) margin profile, given the dilutive nature of the LucasArts royalty.” But of course, there is more that goes into making a great MMO than…

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Star Wars: The Old Republic development cost Could Exceed $80 Million

According to Wedbush Securities analyst – Michael Pachter, the development costs of  Star Wars: The Old Republic, could exceed $80 million, especially if you factor in all the marketing and distribution costs. “The contribution from the Star Wars MMO is significant. Under the terms of its deal with LucasArts, EA is required to pay a royalty, but was required to front all of the development, marketing and distribution costs, as well as the costs of building out servers for the game. We estimate that LucasArts’ share is 33% of revenues, AFTER EA recoups its investment in game development. Given that the game was in development for over four years, with an estimated 200 full-time developers working on it, we estimate that EA’s investment exceeds $80 million,” EA has mentioned that it doesn’t need a whole lot of subscribes to make all that profit back and by having about 500,000 subscribers…

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Electronic Arts Q4 Earnings Live Blog

Electronic Arts Q4 Earnings Live Blog. At 2:00PM PDT (5:00PM EDT) today, Electronics Arts gave their quarterly call for investors to report results. I joined the call as a member of the media and got the inside scoop on what’s happening with EA. There was a lot of great info in this call so I’m bringing you the highlights right here. First, they reaffirmed that Star Wars: The Old Republic will ship in CY 2011.Additionally: Star Wars: The Old Republic will be launched as a Digital Service. Subscription revenue expected to rise with the launch of SWTOR. SWTOR was mentioned as a Subscription based MMO Over 1 million testers (signed up) Server infrastructure for Star Wars: The Old Republic is a significant FY12 cost investment. There was also an interesting Q&A involving SWTOR: Question: On the beta test for SWTOR, how long can a test like that last before launch?Response:…

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What is BioWare’s Mysterious New Project “Zulu”?

BioWare is working on a new secret project that might now be slightly less secret, at least according to some reports that say an entry on Microsoft’s PartnerNet service has leaked details about the game. “BioWare presents an adventure beyond your wildest imaginings – fantasy role playing action adventure in space!” The mysterious title reportedly appears on debug Xbox Live with an image and the above description. BioWare fans are all abuzz about what this new “project Zulu” might be. It appears to be episodic and does not appear to have multiplayer or co-op modes. The first episode is referred to as “Episode One: Too Many Cooks: Spoil the Broth” and there is a teaser to the second episode as well- “Episode 2: Another fun adventure to download and play.” Various sources are reporting that a new BioWare title, ‘Project Zulu’ has appeared on the development version of Xbox Live…

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EA conference webcast Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Electronic Arts Inc. will release its financial results for the fourth quarter fiscal year 2011 after the close of market on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. In conjunction with this release, Electronic Arts will host a conference call to review its financial results for the fourth quarter, discuss its outlook for the future and may disclose other material developments affecting its business and/or financial performance. Listeners may access the conference call live via a dial-in number or audio webcast. Hopefully investors will ask many questions regarding Star Wars: The old republic, and if we are really lucky, we might get one step closer a release day – One can dream! The conference call will be hold Wednesday, May 4, 20112:00 pm Pacific Time (5:00 pm Eastern Time) Webcast: http://ir.ea.com Press release: Electronic Arts’ financial results release will be available after the close of market on May 4, 2011, on Electronic Arts’…

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EA Working On ‘Revolutionary’ Unannounced MMO

While EA’s Bioware is hard at work preparing Star Wars: The Old Republic, Electronic Arts might announce new MMORPG plans in near future. According to a job listing on industry website Gamasutra, Electronic Arts’ Redwood Shores suite of studios is working on an unannounced massively multiplayer online game, making me guess that a upcoming game will be Command & Conquer-based. Information regarding the position is a bit unclear at the moment. The Gamasutra Posting refers to an MMO Web Architect position, but the EA Jobs link at the bottom of the page redirects to you a Java Engineer position related something to their The Sims Universe. No further details about the project itself were given.

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Blizzard Wish Success for Star Wars: The Old Republic

So it turns out Blizzard can not only produce a masterclass in MMOs, but also a masterclass in… class. Narrowly following comments by EA that World of Warcraft was in some respects like a shopping list, the Blizzard riposte was to wish their rivals well and remark on how a bigger pie means bigger slices for everyone, or something to that effect. Blizzard’s co-founder and Executive Vice President, Frank Pearce, tells MCV in an interview that, “This is a game that has an opportunity to grow the MMO market if done right and therefore is very important to the industry as a whole, not just EA. “We’ve talked about this internally and from our perspective we hope they make an enjoyable game because they’re going to bring in a lot of new players to the MMO genre, and those players’ idea of whether or not they like this type of…

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1.5 million interested in Star Wars: The Old Republic beta

As we reported yesterday Chief financial officer Eric Brown reviled that around 1.5 million gamers have registered their interest in being part of a Star Wars: The Old Republic beta. … We’ve got well north of a million, million and a half ready to test for free,” he said of Star Wars the Old Republic beta. “We’re not that concerned about generating initial demand. For us it’s about creating the right experience, expanded beyond the tier one and the tier two users. “You’ve got people that have never played an MMO before but are interested in Star Wars, to engage and give it a try. What’s really important to us is striking the right balance so that we serve the needs and demands, requirements of the core, pre-existing MMO subscribers. “They demand a lot of content, a lot of community, guilds are very important, special group activities, raids and things…

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SWTOR will not launch before July 1, says EA

During today’s Lazard Capital Markets Technology and Media Conference, EA CFO Eric Brown said that the firm would not release Star Wars: The Old Republic during the firm’s FY11. At the same time, he reconfirmed that it will be released sometime during calender 2011. “So we said it’s going to launch sometime in calendar, but not within Fiscal 11. So that basically pens down between you know, April 1st and December 31st of this calendar year. It’s also reasonable to infer that it’s not in our Q1 guidance. We gave Q1 Fiscal 11, Fiscal 12 non gap revenue guidance, minus 39 minus 44 cents and I think it’s not unreasonable to infer that it’s not included in that 90 day period.” So it looks like March-June is likely out, leaving a release date of July 1 at the earliest. Personally I belive it will be out some time this fall….

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