EA drops Warhammer on Mythic

[UPDATE] Warhammer Online maker bought and will be redubbed EA Mythic and will focus on MMORPGs, Jacobs and Denton to remain on board.

by

Ever since the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft was released in fall 2004, Electronic Arts has looked on with envy as rival Vivendi has raked in millions. In March, the French media conglomerate's game division--which lost 203 million euros ($241 million) in 2004--reported a whopping 244 million euro ($289.9 million) one-year jump in earnings for the calendar year 2005.

The jump in revenue was thanks largely to WOW, which is developed and published by Vivendi subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment. The game now has over 6.5 million subscribers worldwide, filling the company's coffers with a hefty regular revenue of gold.

Not one to let an unexploited market pass it by, Electronic Arts today announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire the Virginia-based development studio Mythic Entertainment. The new studio will be renamed EA Mythic, and it will focus on producing MMORPGs. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mythic is best known for its Dark Age of Camelot series, the medieval-themed MMORPG that first hit the market in 2001. It has since secured the license to make an MMORPG based on the Warhammer series, called Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. The game is scheduled to hit PCs in late 2007, and it did not have a publisher before today.

The acquisition of the studio could mean a foothold in the fledgling console MMORPG market as well. At E3 last month, Mythic let the press know that Warhammer Online was running on an Xbox 360. The game has not yet been announced for the 360, but would face little in the way of competition if it were. Currently, the only MMORPG for the platform is an HD-remastered, 3-year-old version of Final Fantasy XI, which has only seen moderate sales and tepid reviews since its release in April.

As far as management goes, Mythic CEO Mark Jacobs will stay on board, but will take the new position of vice president and general manager of the studio. Mythic cofounder and COO Rob Denton will stay on as vice president and COO of EA Mythic. The acquisition is expected to be finalized during EA's second quarter of its 2007 fiscal year, which runs from July to September 2006.

[UPDATE] For their part, analysts believe the deal is indeed a maneuver to take a bite out of the massive WOW pie. "Everyone's salivating at the cash VUG is generating," said Parks Associates' Michael Cai, who added, "It's all part of portfolio diversification efforts, similar to the [mobile publisher] Jamdat acquisition." Cai also said the buyout was also part of a "geographical diversification effort." "EA wants to get more revenue out of Asia and online gaming is the way to go," he said.

However, just because EA has bought Mythic doesn't mean it will make hundreds of millions of dollars off RPGs. "EA does not equal success," said Cai, "They've had their share of failures in the online gaming space like Sims Online, Earth and Beyond, and Motor City Online. They definitely want to try, though."

Discussion

141 comments
RoboWizard
RoboWizard

The lamest argument I've ever seen in the gaming community is, "This game isn't nearly as hardcore as 'X.' This lame game is what all t3h n00bz0rz plays!!!!!" Please... If a game is fun it's fun. I'm not going to sit around wasting away hours of my life telling my character to use "generic attack 23" on a skeleton so I can continue to rehash that magic again and again as I level up in EverQuest or RuneScape. I don't play WoW anymore, but it was fun while it lasted and hardly what I would call "easy" (PvP, raids, etc.). Keep your "hardcore" games, I'd rather have some fun.

Ziendigo
Ziendigo

WoW is only popular because of a few reasons 1) Its hella easy to pickup and master. No Skill required 2) Established fanbase of kiddies fro SC and WC Now I admit WoW can be fun to play. But its hardly a challenging game and definately not a game for people who want a more serious, mature atmosphere. For everybody who isnt a total kiss ass, they know WoW isn't the place for serious PvP or challenging and meaningful PvE. WoW is a easy game to pick up and play, thats why its popular and thats it. And you know what the funny thing is? its a game based on the lore of a Strategy game where you destroy each other's towns but in WoW there is none of that, at all. You get to steal a flag and gather some resources, and on occasion gank the occasional noob. How hardcore :P Im hoping Warhammer is a success and even if it doesnt garner the popularity of WoW who cares. Thats less idiots and inmature people to deal with.

FFfReAk320
FFfReAk320

Forget Warhammer...please please please please PLEASE bring back Imperator!!! That was the coolest MMO idea ever!

Modorcea
Modorcea

Really hope this will be very good. I play the true Warhammer for almost 7 years now and i`m a huge fan of the lore and mechanics of that game, not speaking of the universe and environment, both fantasy and 40k. Blizzard stole almost all their ideas from Warhammer guys, they really destroyed almost everything making "great games" that look cartoonish and have a 12 y./o gameplay ( i`ve tried out WOW for quite a while and can say that i know what i`m talking about). Really hope Warhammer will be for over 20 y/o who can understand more than instances that are almost exactly the same (although they do not appear, clever blizzard), repetitive pvp and Tier 2 set... EA IS COMMERCIAL, BUT BLIZZARD IS DISGUSTING. I really hope i get replies for that from pre-teens who would defend their gnome warlock to the death :)))

sly_demon
sly_demon

ARGH another rpg I have to pay monthly for... Does anyone else feel ripped off?

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

What's EA got to be jealous of? They make enough money as it is. Talk about GREED....

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator moderator

"I think there are too many mmog coming out now. I wish companies would go back to making good single player and in house multiplayer games. I guess I'm one of the few who feel this way." Sooty...you aren't alone. I despise MMORPG games and also think the resources could be better spent on traditional RPG games.

Tiefster
Tiefster

EA buys another...what a suprise

Grendel_Prime
Grendel_Prime

People keep going on about how the market fo MMOs is saturated. What matters most is not how many MMO titles are out there, but the quality of the games. Just releasing an MMO game does not guaranty massive revenues, saturated market or not. In the end what sells a game is its quality, it sells if it is good. What changes in a market so full of titles is what defines a game as being good. Innovation has to be the key, always, and it gets harder and harder to make a good innovative game when there are games coming out constantly for that market.

eljono
eljono

If anyone thinks this or any decision by any game developer doesnt have all to do with money then think again. I dont blame EA for wanting a piece of the pie. theyre a business. they want money. same thing with vivendi. they just got lucky and dropped a game that ALREADY had a following years before WOW was even concieved. I am tired of people talking about how EA is gonna ruin mythic or how there are too many mmos. stfu. everything has to do with making money and youd do the exact same thing if it was your company.

-Aegis-
-Aegis-

I don't think EA can create a game as successful as WoW. EA may be a huge publisher, but it isn't exactly the name that comes to mind when you think of quality. Blizzard, on the other hand, has perhaps the largest fanbase of any PC game developer.

irish8
irish8

EA and SoE are plagued by the same problem- they don't listen to what the community wants and do what they think people SHOULD want. Just look at the way SoE talks about EQ changes in patches- the community could be screaming for it, but SoE goes "Well ummm you don't really ummm want that of course... because... uhhh... we said so". And EA's case Battlefield 2- most people wanted a game that could run on their computer and EA said "Errr ummm... uhhh.... upgrade your computer?" and to the people who put (First) in front of their posts/... honestly... who the hell cares.

nikeportugal
nikeportugal

Don't treat EA like SOE guys... SOE kills MMO's ... EA has done alright as far as I'm concerned.. EARTH & BEYOND!! .. was my first MMO game and IT WAS AMAZING!! I LOVED that game! MotorCity Online was also a good game.. very original but just didn't pick up.. So I think EA is smart enough to let Mythic do their thing.. back them up with whatever resources they need and reap the rewards later.. because so far WAR looks like the best MMO game coming out.. period... To people who hate MMO's anyway.. ok.. great.. your opinions don't really apply to the topic does it 8) BUT.. there ARE tons of great single player games still out so i'm not sure what you are crying about.. Just now I watched a review for Dreamfall which seems like a great story... then there is that little game called OBLIVION.. etc.. it's not like there aren't single player games anymore.. So ya, my main point.. I haven't personally seen EA mess up MMO's .. especially EARTH & BEYOND which I loved so much.. Now SOE!! They are a PLAGUE set on destroying MMO's... EQ2 isn't a TERRIBLE game i guess.. I've seen worse.. but.. we all know what SOE is about 8) So.. I'll wait until I play the game before I start thinking of EA and SOE in the same light. My guess is that it will kick ass .. !! 8) Ciao!! PS Ok well technically my first MMO game.. sorta... was SUBSPACE!!! WOOT!! Anybody remember that game!!? 8)

Prosercunus
Prosercunus

You all say there are to many MMO's out, yet after playing some of the more well known ones and a few obscure ones here I sit typing to you all with no MMO that meets up to my standards. WoW met my standards for the first 1 1/2 years but it just got repetitive.

overcode
overcode

EDIT: @ lkthog. MMO Middleware? Oh, there's TONS of that out there already. Here's just one: www.bigworldtech.com

overcode
overcode

Hmm, hasn't been too much quality from EA. Hopefully they leave the Mythic team to their own devices. Warhammer Online looks great. I don't mind this outburst of MMO's. Online games are the future. It's safe to say that alot of people just like playing with other people. I still love single player games, but I'd rather play online. I like what Phantasy Star Universe is doing: full 40+ hour single player game with a huge online mode as well.

PackersRock
PackersRock

Goodbye Mythic, perhaps one day you'll be from of EA again.

garhart
garhart

MMORPG are great as long as they are free to play. Why should I pay $15 a month for something that was free (and with better communities) 2 years ago?

Ikthog
Ikthog

One has to wonder how much Mythic's own situation played into this... they cancelled Imperator after significant development, and now they face the prospect of completing another MMRPG from scratch, in the face of WoW, and with the pressure of faithfully translating a well-known license... I'd rather see Mythic gobbled up than shut down. It's unfortunate that it's EA, but that doesn't say anything about whether or not this will be a good game. It's too bad MMRPGs are so damn expensive to make these days... the publishers are now going to be disappointed with anything less than millions of subscribers, and anything that falls outside the same well-worn path is unlikely to achieve that. Which means... some publishers will avoid them entirely, and those that do create them will be looking to pump out WoW clones as quickly as humanly possible. Someone needs to develop some high-quality MMO middleware to make it easier and cheaper to produce new games...

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

There are too many MMO's out now, it will mean that players will be spread out on each MMO making them each deserted and less fun to play :(. I hate EA! They steal ideas from other companies or they just take them over like they did with C&C (command and conquer). A company that only cares about money. They make really awesome graphics but FFS! Warhammer online --> WOW See a resemblance in graphics and style? They have obviously stolen idea from WoW and are trying to make it better!!! Jerks, pigs, gits, greedy son of a &^*&%&@!

geebus
geebus

MOTOR CITY ONLINE was not a failure... it was underrated and had no advertisting. I played it to launch to end. R.I.P. MCO.

Tboy_Dragon1
Tboy_Dragon1

If Mythic was good before, they just began to suck. It they were bad before, they just got worse.

Campion68
Campion68

I work for EA, because I worked for a company that EA bought. Since we were already successful, they've left us alone as an organization, plus we have access to new resources and the ability to increase/improve our staffing in the future if needed. Maybe they won't stay hands-off forever; there's no way to know that. But if Mythic is treated the way we've been treated, they'll come out okay.

buzzguy
buzzguy

As long as EA leaves ALL the programming up to the Mythic guys, the game may be pretty good.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

Well if EA gets Mythic I will never buy Warhammer Online. Lets all pray to the game gods that EA does not get their claws Mythic.

Surllio
Surllio

Oh boy, the MMO bandwagon has begun. Here we go. Bury your consoles, games are no longer solo.

unesalope
unesalope

These type of games take up to much of my life. Whatever happened to killing Nazis like the good old days

bigelf72
bigelf72

I'll be playing World of Warcraft till the day the servers close. Daggerspine-Horde

dante777a
dante777a

damn you EA YOU BLEW IT ALL UP YOU BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!

Erebus
Erebus

This marks the second time one of my favorite Game Developers was bought out by EA. First Origin, now Mythic. Dark Age of Camelot was the most fun I have ever had playing a game, and hence is my favorite game of all-time. I guess the only good news is that Warhammer production must be going well or EA would have never touched it with their online failure track-record. It takes more than greed to get people to pay you monthly to play the same game....... Mythic Entertainment, now EA Mythic......... [chain of explitives removed, though still implied, by origional poster.]

PatIsStuupidd
PatIsStuupidd

Dude fenriz275, I would totally play a Pacman MMO! Just think about, it could be a PVP game where all the Packmen have to run from the ghost players in fear of getting PK'ed...that is untill they eat a giant power pellet! Epic Level Fruid FTW!!!1one!

nikeportugal
nikeportugal

There are too many MMORPG's out there.. true... but that's not what makes these games suck... they do that on their own.. all the games out there right now are crap. For me.. I'm just not playing this garbage.. like from NCSOFT .. BLAH.. look i just puked out another game.. BLAH.. oh there is another one... But Warhammer Online will be my next game and until then I just won't play any... Just cus there will be a ton out there when Warhammer comes out doesn't mean it won't kick ass.. everything so far leads me to believe Warhammer will be a GREAT game.. and I think people will notice the difference between a good solid MMO and this half assed CRAP that's been coming out of late.. Beyond Warhammer the only thing to really excite me is Star Trek online cus if somebody can do that genre .. so to speak.. right... it could be very fun indeed. Having said that... Please EA don't kill my game!! 8)

zanetanos
zanetanos

And yet ANOTHER studio gets taken over by EA. The last time they tried to do a real MMORPG was with Westwood (Earth and Beyond), but they shut it down to use the servers for the Sims 2 files...

JFFHawke
JFFHawke

My perspective... I currently play WoW, and started MMO's with Ultima Online. A question was raised about the impact MMO's have on the gaming industry, wether it's good or bad. I remember when I purchased WoW, I was already playing Half-life 2 and Rome: TW, once I installed WoW, the other games became nothing but Coasters for my drinks, why? Hell I don't know, maybe because WoW offered something unique that neither HL2 or Rome could offer. Simply put I did not purchase another game for at least 6 months while playing WoW. Not only did it knock off the current games I was playing but it completely knocked most games coming out off my too purchase list. Now that means one guy not buying games of any kind for six months. Generally I would purchase a new game every three months. That means two games did not get purchased during that time... Not much of a dent in the Billion dollar industry, but if you multiply that by 5 million.... I guess you can see why the PC market is but a fraction of the gaming industry on the whole.

hakkafixi
hakkafixi

Why has everything to be buisness?? Now every company wants its MMO nad multiplayers is getting more focus than single player in game making. Hope this trend stops soon.

mareaper
mareaper

Whatever happened to the standard single player RPGs. i see so few of those lately. Instead I see a bunch of MMORPGs being released and only a few of them being good.

quietcool72
quietcool72

Sometimes the "smaller, creative companies" WANT to get bought, boys and girls. Sometimes those smaller companies have no marketing muscle and very little cash to do exectly what they want. If EA pimps out W.O. and Mythic's people design it, and have access to EA's deep pockets in the process, we win. I don't think a license like "Warhammer" deserves the lame, almost non-existent amount of marketing that Dark Age Of Camelot got. EA won't let that happen. There's good and bad about EA. They only scare me in terms of movie licenses. And for those of you who post to say you hate MMORPGs, that's nice - but -this just in- fans of the PC MMORPG genre don't care what you think. Go play your cute little console games and STFU.

Demandred24
Demandred24

well after seeing what EA has done to uo, and their wonderful lack of suppot of stuff they release now I could cause less about EA making an mmorpg. Its all about the bottum dollar

keinuveye
keinuveye

CPM Basic Interesting point. How funny would that be if video games declining (profits-wise) is not due to next generation transition but to...... people already spending on WoW fees! haha, but may be a contributing factor, along with other mmo's.

DrakeWindwalker
DrakeWindwalker

Well there is one less MMO I have to worry about... SO going to get rushed to "kill" WoW and so will be junk

RevernedICE
RevernedICE

I don't get what everyone is so worried about.

aussinator
aussinator

...not that the content updates will be any good

aussinator
aussinator

you know what...all these MMOGs are killing my bandwidth! time to blame some1! I blame neopets for inventing this gay-ass genre DAOC was a sweet mmog, it's a shame that a mass-producing company like EA took it over, i can see them totally wrecking wat Mythic created :( when i look into my crystal ball i see everyone hating EA once again, however MMOG might be their cup'a'tea since they bring out new games like twice a month, you can expect regular content updates, makin' for a good mmog!!!

BLaZe462
BLaZe462

EA sucks. mmorpg's suck. pefect combo imo.