BioWare has hit back at analyst criticism of upcoming Star Wars MMO The Old Republic.
After an E3 2011 hands-on Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz slammed the game, calling it "highly derivative" of World of Warcraft.
"Despite promises from EA/Bioware that the title represents a major step forward in MMO design, what we saw was essentially a World of Warcraft clone with Star Wars character skins and the BioWare RPG nice/nasty dialogue tree mechanism bolted on for non-player character conversations," he said.
But BioWare bosses Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk insisted the game is shaping up nicely, and its E3 hands-on showing sparked positive feedback.
"Things are tracking well," CEO Ray Muzyka told Eurogamer. "We're progressing well. The fact we're showing it hands-on on the show floor is an indication of our confidence in the quality. We're getting a lot of positive feedback on that.
"We know how critical it is to launch as a solid game and then have really high quality service afterwards, too.
"We have plans to do follow-on content and things that'll keep our players engaged and active for years to come."
Fellow BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk echoed Muzyka's comments.
"The content's getting there," he said. "We're pretty happy with what we're showing. There's always a lot of refining and polishing.
"We've pretty well announced the whole range of features. There's such an incredibly large range of things, like crafting, heroic combat, PVP, war zones, end game content – what we call operations, which are basically raids, companion characters, there's all this stuff.
"All those things all together are looking good.
"It's not just enough to make the game great. You have to give great service and you have to be able to support the game on a long-term basis. So we've devoted a lot of effort and thinking towards how we do that.
"The beta testing really is a validation of that stuff. At some point we'll be ready to go."
Creutz predicted that the game will be delayed into 2012 – EA has officially pegged it for release this year. "In a formal sense EA's guided towards this calendar year," Zeschuk said.
"That is what the big men have said.
"At the end of the day quality also matters. And quality of service just as much as quality of game."