Analyst: The Old Republic "Highly Derivative" of World of Warcraft

I'm personally not sure how much stock you should put in this kind of analysis, but Games Industry is reporting that analyst firm Cowen and Company called EA and BioWare's MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic "highly derivative" of Blizzard's king of the market, World of Warcraft. They also interpret EA's silence as a sign that the game will be delayed to 2012. Here's what they had to say:
"We got hands-on time with the game, and were largely unimpressed," stated Doug Creutz, senior research analyst covering the media and entertainment sector, in the firm's E3 report.

"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."

Creutz also described the PC game's visuals as "competent but hardly breathtaking," but makes allowances for the landscape in which the demo was set. "Granted, we were playing in a desert area, so other areas may be more impressive-looking... on the other hand we question why EA chose a desert level to showcase the title."

It goes on to interpret EA's silence on a release date as a sign the game will be delayed until 2012, and cites this as the reason for the recent drop in EA's share price. The game was originally planned for a spring 2010 launch, and will be developer Bioware's first MMORPG.