It’s difficult to imagine BioWare failing at anything, but appeasing investors may be their first chance to do so. Actually, EA has a part in it too, the upcoming launch of the major Star Wars MMO Old Republic has investors looking the other direction.
EA’s MMO success has been, well, non-existent. Warhammer Online couldn’t grab market share despite a large user base, and with that all powerful Warcraft to contend with, it’s only a small chance that Old Republic will take off.
Even with the license and the developer behind it, this is not a genre that has proven to be two-way. Players tend to get sucked into one paid title (Warcraft) and ignore everything else. The recent failure of APB is hardly the sole example of a major release sputtering downhill as dedicated players of other universes stuck to their guns.
EA does have marketing power behind it, and the addition of Star Wars fans means a wide array of potential customers. As far as the gaming populace though, MMO gamers sold their soul to Blizzard a long time ago. That’s a tough nut to crack.