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Lars Buttler isn’t shy in this story in GameDaily. The CEO of Redwood City, Calif.-based Trion World Network says that Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision (whose merger with Vivendi’s game unit is pending), was really just trying to scare away rivals when he said recently that it would take $500 million for a competitor to dislodge World of Warcraft from its No. 1 position in the massively multiplayer (MMO) online game market.
Buttler’s own start-up is focused on creating original online games. He previously served as head of online gaming at Electronic Arts and so far has proven adept at raising large sums for his startup. EA itself is going to take on World of Warcraft with the upcoming launch of its Warhammer Online MMO.
“Nice try Mr. Kotick. We understand that Activision has to defend its merger and scare competition — but I have to call his bluff,” Buttler told GameDaily BIZ. It’s not entirely clear how Buttler will compete with WoW, which has 10 million paying subscribers. But he has been building up his arsenal.