SWTOR is a great game, and a timeline for character transfers would be a nice additional touch.
Which would be a good distraction, given the timing of this "State of the Game" announcement.
Electronic Arts CEO to Resign
The Wall Street Journal
March 18, 2013
"More dramatic, however, has been the challenges it faced with its online game, "Star Wars: The Old Republic." The game, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make over the period of five years, was built to be a competitor to Activision Blizzard Inc.'s ATVI -1.12% popular "World of Warcraft" online subscription game. Activision has said that game, along with its "Call of Duty" war-simulation game series and its "Skylanders" toy game franchise, make up a significant portion of the company's revenue and profit.
But "Star Wars" didn't capture gamers fast enough. EA executives had said it needed 500,000 subscribers to be profitable and one million to make it a "good investment." The game attracted 1.7 million active players in its first month, but saw subscriber numbers shrink as months went on. EA stopped reporting the number of subscribers the game had and changed it from requiring a subscription to offering it as a "free-to-play" title, charging customers for items such as vehicles, boots and armor within the game."
John Riccitiello Steps Down As EA CEO - Why, And What Now?
March 18, 2013
"Riccitiello’s time at EA, on a corporate level, involved significant acquisitions – notably Bioware and Pandemic Studios for $775 million"
"major, ambitious purchases intended to position EA as a leader in previously underexploited areas – mobile and social gaming, but also the MMO market"
"Along with BioWare’s role-playing games expertise, they were assigned the task of taking the money-spinning Star Wars IP and creating a successful MMORPG."
"The Old Republic, created at huge cost, launched to considerable fanfare in late 2011, but could not sustain its subscription-only model and, although profitable, is now largely free-to-play"
"a growing chorus of dissent was growing regarding EA’s relationship with its studios and business practices."
"Consumerist’s “Worst Company of 2012″ award – were possibly taken more seriously on Web Street than Wall Street. However, it certainly defined a narrative for criticism of Riccitiello and his company: that EA, despite his assertion when returning as CEO that it would respect studio autonomy, was pushing BioWare to simplify its game style, to work to the level of sophistication of games consoles rather than PCs, to build in multiplayer (which would become unusable if and when EA shut down the servers) and cash shops and to focus on DLC as a way to spread the work of recouping development costs."
"The hope that Riccitiello’s departure will usher in a golden age of studio independence and a return to the former glories of Maxis, BioWare et al may yet prove justified."
Electronic Arts stock falls after departure of CEO Riccitiello
The Los Angeles Times
March 19, 2013
"Riccitiello "never got enough credit" for cutting 25% of its development base. Despite restructurings, reorganizations and studio closures, EA still is in search of the one thing that will lift its margins -- new hits, he observed.
"That is what has given us low confidence," Wilson wrote. "Because it is hard to cut your way to better games.""
Electronic Arts Chief Resigns
The New York Times
March 18, 2013
"The chief executive of Electronic Arts resigned on Monday, a victim of a troubled environment for the big video game companies as well as of internal missteps."
4 moves Electronic Arts must make now
March 20, 2013
"2. Get your act together."
"4. Spend less, innovate more."
"Instead of stuffing its release schedule with releases and rushing development, focus on product. Yes it's a tired adage, but quality over quantity."