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EA: WOW is like "doing a shopping list"

Talks up more story-driven SWTOR.

Playing hugely successful MMO World of Warcraft is like making a shopping list, reckons EA Games boss Frank Gibeau.

His assertion came during a chat with IndustryGamers about how EA's forthcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO stacks up against Blizzard's genre juggernaut.

Although admitting he was a big fan of Warcraft, Gibeau argued that The Old Republic offered gamers a deeper, more immersive experience.

"When I play World of Warcraft, you go and get your quests, and you go and do your quests, but it feels more like doing a shopping list at times," he explained.

"[Our game] is more about talking to characters, learning what's going on, investing in it, getting emotionally attached to it. You can still go in accessible ways and grind out quests if you want, but at the same time there's a higher-level story that's carrying you through The Old Republic.

"It operates across multiple classes, from Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitors, bounty hunters, spies, troopers, to Jedis... it's a really fantastic world."

Elsewhere in the interview, Gibeau went on to address rumours of spiraling development costs and missed deadlines, explaining that developer BioWare was concentrating on producing the best game possible.

"One of the things that we're doing at EA, specifically in my division, is we're trying to become a fully digital, fully online organisation. We will use retail to distribute product, but frankly we want to connect with people in an online way, because that's the way they're playing games," he said.

"An MMO bet is a logical thing to do for us. Yes, it's late, and it's expensive, but these are tough games, and you've got to get them right. You don't want to ship the game prematurely. It has to be BioWare quality; it will be."

At the last estimate, Star Wars: The Old Republic will launch on PC some time in the second half of 2011.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.