EA the next disney? (For the love of God no..)

http://www.business2.com/articles/mag/0,,45482,FF.html?cnn=yes

Part of this article, that really irks me, besides it being about a huge monolithic entity like EA, was the paragraph that talks about how sports games are EA’s bread and butter, as they really didn’t require anything besides roster. That part of EA’s success was eliminating the need to publish “new things”. :evil:

Yeah that sucks. They found a faucet that spews money and they aren’t willing to turn it off. Bastards. What next, are they going to mention how that stabile income allows them to fund games like Battle Field 1942? Absolute bastards. What stupid businessmen. And this isn’t a business, it is games!!! Damn them for ruining the purity of gaming. I am going back to work on my open source tetris game now!! Power to the people!!!

Chet

Something is to be said of EA’s ability to absorb the monumental fiscal debacle that was EA.com and still remain #1 easily; but yeah, they’re also stagnating. The Maxis-EA Sports duopoly is funding everything else right now, but aside from that, where’s the innovative new games? Hmmm… sound like another corporation located about 800 miles north of EARS?

They made Battlefield 1942 and Medal Of Honor. Two games in my top 5 of the year.

Didn’t EA at least try something innovative with Majestic? Granted it was a failure, but an interesting one at that.

(Full Disclosure: I work for EA and used to hate them too. Until I was hired and they started matching my 401(k) dollar for dollar, let me purchase EA stock at 15% below market value, pay me a Madden royalty bonus, and if I can somehow make it to 7 years, take a fully paid three month sabbatical. Oh, and rent out a theatre for us all to see the Two Towers tonight. I used to hate faceless, soulless, innovation-destroying, impersonal, multinational corporations…until one started paying off my student loans. Now I am much more ambivalent.)

On a slightly different note, while waiting at an airport yesterday, the CNN Airport broadcast had a “video game analyst” on who stated that The Sims Online will need at least one million subscribers just to break even. I know that folks have speculated that it may be the first online subscription game to snag over a million subscribers, but does anyone know if the development/marketing/infrastructure costs of TSO are so high that the game ‘needs’ one million plus players? I haven’t followed the development of TSO much at all, but it never seemed like the game was aiming to have major innovations, either in the gameplay or graphics, which led me to believe that it didn’t have abnormally high dev costs. So unless the cost of running the game is high, or if EA advertises like mad, I fail to see why TSO cannot do well if ‘only’ has 400-500k subs.

Does anyone that has followed the game more closely have any comments?

Sounds like someone got their facts mixed up. As you say, it was expected that TSO would get 1 million subscribers. But there’s no way in hell, even given some hefty backend infrastructure, that TSO would require that many just to turn a buck. Anyone that’s worked in IT will probably agree.

It should also be noted that Square recently said they’re breaking even on Final Fantasy XI in Japan with only 200,000 subs.

–Dave

In the long gamespot dissection, they mention a rumored budget of $25 million. 25!

http://gamespot.com/gamespot/features/pc/simsonline/index.html

Yet I can’t really imagine how this game wasn’t one of the cheapest MMOs to produce of this generation of games.

Uh, that same article mentioned that 100 people have worked on the game. 100 people times 2 years labor (lets say) times $50,000 average salary (lets say) is 10 Million dollars. 25 Million doesn’t seem to be too much of a stretch.