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EA executive says they have no influence over The9's WoW contract

Michael Zenke

N'Gai Croal, of the Newsweek games blog Level Up, recently sent a few questions in the direction of Electronic Arts. He was following up on the war of words that has been developing between the enormous software publisher and up-and-coming heavyweight Activision/Blizzard. Numerous comments have been dropped by ActiBlizz's Bobby Kotick, slamming everything from EA's interest in Take-Two to their habit of 'stripping the soul' from purchases.

Jeff Brown, EA's vice president of corporate communications, responded to N'Gai's questions and touched twice on Blizzard's World of Warcraft. Croal very directly asked about EA's investment in The9, World of Warcraft's Chinese publisher, and how that relationship would be affected by company friction. Said Brown, "We've got a small equity state in The9 and no real influence over their management. Their plans for non-EA titles don't involve us and we don't have any insight on what they plan to do." He was more direct (and snarky) when asked how he feels Activision/Blizzard is handling their studio as a whole: "No strong opinion. They've got three great franchises [presumably referring to World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty 4--Ed.]--it's great that one of them was actually developed at Activision."

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