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The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that Electronic Arts will acquire Mythic Entertainment in order to gain an “expanded presence” in online multiplayer games. Chip Lange, vice president of online at EA, explained, “What Warcraft is showcasing is this isn’t a niche business. I think if you look at the
tremendous growth of this category has had, it’s a platform to be
reckoned with.” The deal calls for the formation of a new game-development studio called EA Mythic, a studio focusing only on online games.
World of Warcraft now has more than 5.5 million subscribers and is expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue just for this year. The success has taken the industry by storm causing companies like EA to want a piece of the pie. On one hand, some analysts and industry insiders think Warcraft is a springboard for bigger and better revenue streams via online gaming. On the other hand, skeptics say it’s a fad that got lucky. Either way, more are to come, not less.