Star Wars: The Old Republic is EA's Most Expensive Project in History

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Star Wars: The Old Republic is EA's Most Expensive Project in History



Star Wars: The Old Republic isn't just a huge project, it's EA's most colossal of all time.

Electronic Arts has been around for nearly 20 years, and with revenue in the billions is one of the world's largest videogame developers and publishers. However, the company's biggest game is still in the works, as it's has come to light that BioWare MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic is EA's most expensive project of all time.

EA Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown gave an indication that this was the case back around the time of GDC 2010, but reiterated the claim recently to Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28710/Star_Wars_The_Old_Republic_Is_EAs_Biggest_Spend_In_History.php]. "It is the largest R&D project EA has ever undertaken in terms of total dollars that we expect to spend bringing the title to market," he said of The Old Republic.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is an MMORPG set thousands of years before the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, but hundreds of years after BioWare and Obsidian's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic single-player RPGs. EA appears to be aligning it to seriously compete with World of Warcraft, or to at least pull in a similarly successful subscriber base. expected to grow [http://www.amazon.com/World-Warcraft-Battle-Chest-Mac/dp/B000H96C9M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1276624120&sr=1-2] later this year.

Brown admits that the most popular MMOGs are those based in fantasy universes, but doesn't think The Old Republic has a disadvantage there. "Star Wars is analogous to that -- instead of the swords, you have the lightsabers; instead of the knights you have the Jedi -- we think it's a fiction that does very well, we think it's a fiction that spans the decades," he believes. "We think is has a very broad appeal."

If anyone can pull in 10 million subscribers, EA knows it'd be BioWare, and the likely tens of millions of dollars minimum EA is putting into The Old Republic seem to reflect that. EA wants a World of Warcraft of its own, but thankfully realizes at this point in time that a project has to be funded and developed correctly for that to even become a remote possibility. The Old Republic will be given all the time it needs, with Brown stating: "We're not expecting it to ship in fiscal 2010, nor have we given a specific ship date thereafter. We're intentionally being nonspecific on the ship date."

It'll be done "when it's done?" Where have I heard that before?

Source: Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28710/Star_Wars_The_Old_Republic_Is_EAs_Biggest_Spend_In_History.php]

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Matt_LRR

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Nov 30, 2009
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Well, at least they have the right attitude and philosophy regarding the development of this game.

-m
 

GonzoGamer

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Apr 9, 2008
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Well. In that case, I hope (for their sake) that this game is as lucrative as the previous kotor games and doesn't bomb like previous star wars mmorpgs.
 

Simalacrum

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Apr 17, 2008
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Oooooooh boy, just imagine EA's disappointment when (sorry, "if") it tanks like every other MMORPG that tries to cross WoW's path...

edit: I'm going to be frank, I don't think SW:TOR stands a single chance against the Blizzard monolith... and I think I have a reason to believe so, too:

Think about it this way - EA is trying to directly compete with Blizzard, and that means that they're gona have to try and detract some of the WoW gamers to SW:TOR instead. Yes, some players will also be attracted by the Star Wars universe and all, but EA are still gona have to take a chunk of Blizzard's cake if they stand any chance of competing.

Now, lets think about this for a minute: since WoW has recently stopped growing at 11.5 million subscribers or whatever, we can assume that they're not having a large number of players leaving/joining at any one time, i.e. the consumer base is fairly consistent. This means that a relatively significant portion of those WoW players have already established themselves in the community, joined guilds, levelled up, etc.

Aaaaaand they will leave all of that history, experience, etc, with WoW, and start all over again with SW:TOR, at the beginning level, with no contacts, no experience, and a new control scheme? Bear in mind also that its unlikely that players will subscribe to both at the same time, due to the monthly payment nature of MMO's.

So, lets sum up here: EA really needs to pull some portion of WoW's audience away from the MMO, when many of them will already have levelled up characters, built friendships, etc, within that game.

My guess is a lot of them will be reluctant to leave all that behind...

Yes, EA will be able to get an audience from Star War's fan too, but lets remember that Star Trek: Online had a huge Trekkie fanbase to pool from too... did that really help it?
 

daftalchemist

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Aug 6, 2008
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I'm really hoping this game manages to do well for a long time. I'm a WoW player and I love WoW, but I also love MMORPGs in general, and am always looking for something new, shiny, and fun to play.
 

xavierxenon

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Aug 10, 2009
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I for one am hoping it'll fail just so I can laught at EA, Bioware and all the stupid fanboys.

I'm pretty certain there will be a giant wave of people sunscribing to begin with then after a few weeks to a month it'll slowly wittle down like every other MMO.
 

Rainboq

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Nov 19, 2009
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Is there jet packs?

[sub]I won't leave Global Agenda unless it has jet packs...[/sub]
 

Feriluce

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Apr 1, 2010
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And yet the graphics looks like something from 2005? What the hell are they pouring all those money into?

Rainboq said:
Is there jet packs?

[sub]I won't leave Global Agenda unless it has jet packs...[/sub]
The bounty hunter has jet packs I believe.
 

Shycte

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Mar 10, 2009
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I'm pretty hyped for it.

Hopefully, it'll gain loads of subs from SW fans who noarmally wouldn't play MMOs.
 

USSR

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Oct 4, 2008
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Hmph.

If only they could use all this money for a side project..

Maybe they could call it Knight of the Old Republic 3, huh?

*massive death glare.*
 

More Fun To Compute

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Nov 18, 2008
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I don't think that Bioware have had anything like a ten million selling game as those are numbers only seen by Maxis, Valve and Blizzard before WoW was launched. If they can get all the people who buy Bioware games to buy it they could get a couple of million sales, that is if most of the people who buy single player RPGs also want an online game. I guess the plan is to suck all of those people in with a story then the MMO grind is revealed. Mwa haha, another single player gamer who is new to MMO grinding, stay a while, stay forever!
 

Rainboq

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Feriluce said:
And yet the graphics looks like something from 2005? What the hell are they pouring all those money into?

Rainboq said:
Is there jet packs?

[sub]I won't leave Global Agenda unless it has jet packs...[/sub]
The bounty hunter has jet packs I believe.
Then I'm in!

Also, I think the money is going to simply creating a MASSIVE play area.
 

Slaanax

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Oct 28, 2009
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I hope its good, would love a Sci-fi MMO tired playing Fantasy Games. They are probably spending quite a bit of money on all the voice acting they are putting in the game and making MMO's to graphically intense basically is deny a portion of your wanted costumer base the ability to play a game.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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From what I've seen so far this looks good, though I am somewhat concerned about of the amount of content so far, and it seems like there aren't all that many playable character types.

Still, while checking things out not too long ago I seem to remember seeing a TBA: Q2 2011. So it seems like it's still got a year or so in development to go. I just hope I have time for MMORPGs then, because as it is I've had some difficulty doing my stuff in WoW of late.
 

Marowit

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Nov 7, 2006
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So long as they don't push the game out before it's ready, *cough* Warhammer *cough* I'll be picking this game up. I really want to play a sci-fi MMO that doesn't involve just being a ship...EvE I'm looking at you!...and has a huge area to explore
 

Kmadden2004

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Feb 13, 2010
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Rainboq: Love the Cinema Snob avatar, man! :D

OT: If the game comes out on the Mac, and the monthly subscription isn't too steep, this will be a day one purchase for me. Hell, even if it doesn't come out on the mac, I would actually consider buying a PC specifically for this game.
 

DividedUnity

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Oct 19, 2009
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Its about time for another round of good MMOs. I really hope this turns out well because if it doesn't then no one will be trying new settings for MMOs and we will be stuck in fantasy grind-fests for the rest of our lives.
 

Rainboq

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Nov 19, 2009
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Kmadden2004 said:
Rainboq: Love the Cinema Snob avatar, man! :D
It's yours if you want it!

Also, note the handy quote button, it PM's whoever you quote so they don't have to search the thread!
 

Arkhangelsk

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Mar 1, 2009
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As someone once said, what stands in the way of good games is limited time and money. Get rid of those problems, and the only possible problem is in yourself, and that's more easily solvable. I hold high hopes for this game.