CEO Bobby Kotick told Gamasutra
that his company explored avenues by which it might enter the MMO industry, but decided that the only sure way to succeed was to join forces with Blizzard.
That reality was a driving force behind the merger. "We kept looking at it, and realizing that even if we put hundreds of millions of dollars of capital towards it, and had the very best intellectual property, we still would very likely be unsuccessful," he said. "So the merger was really our mechanism to get access to Blizzard's talent, Blizzard's capability, their infrastructure."
Kotick has already said in the past that taking on World of Warcraft
directly would be next-to-impossible even with virtually unlimited coffers.
But others, such as EA Mythic's Mark jacobs,
believe there's room for more than one 800 pound gorilla in the market. Perhaps the problem isn't so much competition as it is the fact that the production values bar has been set so high that MMOs have become too risky. They cost more to produce than most other games, and their success rate is uninspiring.