It's hard to untangle whether it's a media creation or born of the competitive natures of gaming and business, but according to at least one newspaper the war between Activision and Electronic Arts continues to simmer.
"With Star Wars EA is taking aim at Activision's World of Warcraft game," the Wall Street Journal reports. It is the second major strike, the newspaper says, against Activision.
Drawing a battle line between Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and EA's Battlefield 3, with its "Above and Beyond the Call" marketing, is pretty obvious.
But does Electronic Arts see itself taking on Activision's World of Warcraft with Star Wars: The Old Republic? Sure, on some level that makes sense. Any massively multiplayer game that enters that market can't help but acknowledge the night elf in the room. But drawing a direct connection seems a little much.
In his recent conversations with the Doctors Bioware, our own Evan Narcisse says that they didn't seem to view the game as a direct competitor.
Still, perhaps publisher EA has a different take on the matter. The Wall Street Journal piece says "EA executives said their titles would compete against Activision's twin juggernauts but acknowledged they wouldn't overtake them."
The story goes on to quote EA's head of studios Frank Gibeau saying that half a million subscribers would be approaching profitability and a million would be a good investment.
World of Warcraft, which has had and continues to have tremendous successes, is eventually going to wind down. Blizzard already seems to be preparing for that, but I don't see that game exiting the marketplace any way other than under their own terms.
There's no such thing as a World of Warcraft killer, not until Blizzard decides there is. Trying to take the game on directly is the easiest route to the land of games that quickly, sometimes surprisingly went free-to-play.