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EA: Star Wars: TOR has not cost $300 million

EA: Star Wars: TOR has not cost $300 million

EA has rubbished rumours that Star Wars: The Old Republic has cost $300 million to make.

Electronic Arts has rubbished rumours that upcoming MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic has cost $300 million to make, a figure which came from a supposed ex-EA insider.

Speaking in a conference call to investors, EA CEO John Riccitiello said that the game would become profitable at around 500k users, but that 'anything north of one million subscribers is a very profitable business'.

'Essentially it turns on a dime from being quite sharply negative in terms of its EPS impact to positive the day the product ships,' he continued, according to GI.biz (login required).

'There's been a fair amount of talk on various blogs, describing spends that are vastly higher than anything we've ever put in place. Some of them, they bring a chuckle but they also bring a frustration for those that are being responsible in the management of EA's R&D dollars when they read sort of falsehoods out of the press.'

EA's CFO, Eric Brown, has previously described Star Wars: The Old Republic as 'the largest ever development project, period, in the history of the company.'

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

27 Comments

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Aracos 2nd February 2011, 11:50 Quote
Do they expect 500k users? That's a pretty high number for an MMO is it now? Disregarding the beast that is WoW of course.
Ljs 2nd February 2011, 12:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
Do they expect 500k users? That's a pretty high number for an MMO is it now? Disregarding the beast that is WoW of course.

I expect its achievable.

BW fanboys + SW fanboys + MMO fanboys = lots of fanboys! ;)

Math is cool.
Aracos 2nd February 2011, 12:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljs
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
Do they expect 500k users? That's a pretty high number for an MMO is it now? Disregarding the beast that is WoW of course.

I expect its achievable.

BW fanboys + SW fanboys + MMO fanboys = lots of fanboys! ;)

Math is cool.

I suppose there's a lot of fanboys in the world :P
Tokukachi 2nd February 2011, 12:14 Quote
$300 million is easily believable in this day and age. If it cost $50 million for infinity ward to make a new SP campaign and some map packs then making a whole MMO from scratch with complete voice acting must cost a fortune.

I'm sure they will sell best part of a couple of million copies at launch, unless the beta proves to be terrible. How many long term subscribers they have will depend on the game itself and the end game content/PvP/RvR, if these suck it doesn't matter what license it using or how much it cost to make, it will fail :)

Another import thing to note is what spec it will need, Mass MMO subscription will only work if it will run on any old piece of Junk, that's another reason WoW is so successful, it look good and plays on a mid range machine from 5 years ago.
Florian 2nd February 2011, 12:17 Quote
I don't doubt that they'll hit 500k, the Star Wars brand alone should guarantee that. The real question is whether they can sustain it.
sotu1 2nd February 2011, 12:26 Quote
It'll do the biz. We are talking Bioware and Star Warts here.
culley 2nd February 2011, 12:42 Quote
Even if the gameplay isn't comparable to game like WoW, the fanbase won't care and I'm sure they will play it no matter.

THIS IS FRACKING STAR WARS ^^

So Say We All
mpr 2nd February 2011, 12:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neat69
Another import thing to note is what spec it will need, Mass MMO subscription will only work if it will run on any old piece of Junk, that's another reason WoW is so successful, it look good and plays on a mid range machine from 5 years ago.


There are certain games people will upgrade their rigs to play. Look at Final Fantasy XIV, loads of people even knowing the Beta wasn't up to par dropped thousands on rigs to be able to play it because they couldn't wait for PS3 release. (While that game is slowly improving this post is about SW so I'll stop)

Anyway Star Wars is a huge IP AND BioWare has a pretty outstanding reputation. Pending a fix for the Sandybridge Chipsets a high end PC could be quite affordable with the exception of top tier GPUs. I don't think Suggested specs will hinder the game much if at all.
rollo 2nd February 2011, 12:53 Quote
Star wars galaxies destroyed the MMO brand for star wars, Bioware whilst make great single player games are untried in this area.

If the Open beta is a fail then don't expect a few million sales. If its successful and has endgame content ( pvp RVR PVE ) at launch then it might succeed. If it does a star trek online and releases with nothing then it will fail badly. I also don't want to see a lifetime subscription. the only 2 mmos i know with it have failed big style in recent years ( Star trek which is improving admittedly/ And lord of the rings online which is now free to play.

Ill buy it as i assume Bioware will make a decent game, and if the rumors are true then you can play the entire game alone as you can make computer controlled AI teams which would kinda defeat the point of an mmo but it would be different.

Sustained subscription requires 2 things

Content and a persistent update schedule. plenty of big MMO releases have thought content comes 2nd to getting it rushed outta the door. Big list of failed MMOs in recent years

The matrix ( had very little content, Company is now bankrupt and the game is no more)
Age of connan ( Was buggy as hell for first 2-3months with people haxing item creations and gems for those items so everyone in most guilds had full raid gear in a week or two of getting the one item as they could make it 10 x over )
Lineage II ( its a bot farm and you need a bot farm to be competitive, Like all ncsoft games btw Aion is identical. )
All points Bulletin ( the company has folded because of this one game )
STO ( content for Klingon on release was just none existent passed level 10 you were expected to pvp great as that was it was advertised as a pve level experience, Content passed level 30 in general was also few and far between Fleet Battles vanished around level 30 mark. And until the Borg was added there was nothing at all to do accept pvp for inferior items than you had from quests.)

I do doubt that star wars cost 300mil to make but i bet its not far from 120-150mil mark
kosch 2nd February 2011, 13:23 Quote
I reckon its close to 150m and thats probably some weird creative accountancy figure too. ABP cost 50m to develop?
Xir 2nd February 2011, 14:01 Quote
...if the braek even point is at 500.000 subscribers, and the development cost was 300 million.
the average subscriber has to spend 600$? :?

That's not counting sustaining costs..

Even at 50 million developmentcost, that would still be 100$ average per subscriber.
Instagib 2nd February 2011, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljs
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
Do they expect 500k users? That's a pretty high number for an MMO is it now? Disregarding the beast that is WoW of course.

I expect its achievable.

BW fanboys + SW fanboys + MMO fanboys = lots of fanboys! ;)

Math is cool.

Bah! Maths fanboy.
Instagib 2nd February 2011, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by culley
Even if the gameplay isn't comparable to game like WoW, the fanbase won't care and I'm sure they will play it no matter.

THIS IS FRACKING STAR WARS ^^

So Say We All

Why have they never made a Battlestar game?
Fizzban 2nd February 2011, 14:54 Quote
If you'd been paying attention you would know it was a disgruntled ex mythic employee spreading rumours. There was never any truth in it what-so-ever. It's probably closer to a 100 - 120 million..though that is just me speculating.

Also this game will easily get 500k subs. In fact it will very likely get 1million upwards no problem. And judging by how the game is progressing I reckon they can sustain that too.
yakyb 2nd February 2011, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
...if the braek even point is at 500.000 subscribers, and the development cost was 300 million.
the average subscriber has to spend 600$? :?

That's not counting sustaining costs..

Even at 50 million developmentcost, that would still be 100$ average per subscriber.


not hard really

game purchase = £30
6 months playing = £60

obviously they need to keep their players 6 months or more to be turning a profit (did i not read there where micro transactions also)
Fizzban 2nd February 2011, 15:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
(did i not read there where micro transactions also)

The subscription model hasn't been officially announced yet and neither has the inclusion/exclusion of micro transactions. They said they will follow the standard model with a twist. What that twist is is the subject of much debate. Expect the sub fee to be the same as WoW. As to the twist, we will have to wait and see..
SaNdCrAwLeR 2nd February 2011, 15:39 Quote
sigh... it seems no one here is following the game's news huh?
pvp, rvr, pve content, all there...
end-game raids? obviously...
$120m?
they're using the same engine (upgraded tho) that they've used for the past years since nwn up to me2 (yes it's the same engine with updated graphics)
and I'm sick and tired of hearing people say "oh it's bioware, they have no idea how to make a proper MMO"
well... Blizzard didn't either... and look at what happened to WoW?
sure WoW is now a crappy sesspool of filth in terms of originality, crappy game design (yes, the whole "Trash mobs shouldn't feel like they're easy to kill" thing... there's a reason they're called TRASH MOBS) and sure I can tell you that Cataclysm was fun, for the first 2 days playing it, after that it's just the same boring crap all over again... grind heroics for gear and points... go to raids, to omg, grind for epic gear and feel that sort of accomplishment of doing everything that millions of other people arround the world have already done...

I'm hoping for Bioware to bring in a refreshing view on how an MMO should be done... just because Blizzard's recipe works for their game, doesn't mean that the same should be used by every other MMO (which imo is what's making them all fail, look at eve, completelly different and hey, guess what, it's still alive)...

on other news...
I'll be one of the few millions of users that will be playing TOR on release... and yes... MILLIONS, not just 500k
Fizzban 2nd February 2011, 15:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaNdCrAwLeR
sigh... it seems no one here is following the game's news huh?
pvp, rvr, pve content, all there...
end-game raids? obviously...
$120m?
they're using the same engine (upgraded tho) that they've used for the past years since nwn up to me2 (yes it's the same engine with updated graphics)

Erm two things. Firstly, I'm following the game big time even if no one else here is. Second and most importantly, they are NOT using the same engine they have used before. They are using the Hero Engine which they have modified to suit there needs, such as adding support for some DX 11 features which Hero doesn't natively support. Get ya facts right.
chelseascum 2nd February 2011, 15:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
...if the braek even point is at 500.000 subscribers, and the development cost was 300 million.
the average subscriber has to spend 600$? :?

That's not counting sustaining costs..

Even at 50 million developmentcost, that would still be 100$ average per subscriber.

At $50 for the initial game then $15 a month that's not really that outrageous an expectation.
DriftCarl 2nd February 2011, 15:59 Quote
I CANNOT WAIT for this game to come out. I have been following it for ages and am dissapointed that we dont have a release date, as this means that it could still be years away.

I loved SWG before some idiot at SOE decided to completly mess the game up. I am still waiting for an MMO with dynamic crafting and player housing. I actually hardly ever got into big combat in SWG since I was a mayor and an architect.

TOR should be amazing, the videos and updates I have seen have been impressive and I do think that bioware are going to release a very complete product from the start.
Fizzban 2nd February 2011, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
I CANNOT WAIT for this game to come out. I have been following it for ages and am dissapointed that we dont have a release date, as this means that it could still be years away.

It's not years away. Bioware are aiming for a spring 2011 release. And EA have stated that the game will ship in the fiscal year of 2012 - which is between April 1st 2011 and March 31st 2012. In fact I think fairly recently EA stated the game will ship in 2011. So that means it will be between April and December this year.

Realistically May is the earliest you can expect it. There is a good chance Bioware will announce the date at Pax-East next month - at least that is what we are all hoping they will do.
DrGonzo 2nd February 2011, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaNdCrAwLeR

they're using the same engine (upgraded tho) that they've used for the past years since nwn up to me2 (yes it's the same engine with updated graphics)


Where did you get the idea that was the case? It's not, Mass Effect 1 and 2 run on the Unreal Engine. However, The Witcher did run on the Neverwinter Nights 2 engine, maybe that's where you are getting confused. Not even Dragon Age runs on the Neverwinter Nights engine. The last Bioware game to use it was Jade Empire.
DrGonzo 2nd February 2011, 17:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Instagib
Why have they never made a Battlestar game?

They have, and they are.
Valinor 2nd February 2011, 17:59 Quote
I can just imagine an advert for this with Yoda in, going "buy this game, you will" in that forcey voice...
SMIFFYDUDE 2nd February 2011, 22:32 Quote
uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh not another Star Wars product.

Star Wars: This Is Getting Really Old Republic
Penfolduk01 3rd February 2011, 03:24 Quote
Hey. If this allows you to kill Jar Jar Binks repeatedly, like in Lego Star Wars, I think they will more than break even! :-)

Whilst they are developing a Battlestar Online game (currently open for beta testers?), BSG doesn't have the sheer numbers of fans that Star Wars does. I doubt the BSG universe allows for the same variety of achievement upgrades or micro-transactions Star Wars does either. For example, I think BSG may be able to offer the odd custom paint job, or the chance to fly a "Blackbird" Stealth Viper. Star Wars has various Force Powers you could build-up. Or cool equipment and ships to obtain. Hell you could even buy a Mace Windu style purple lightsaber!

I think the lack of a bigger fanbase may have also caused the Stargate MMO to fold before it started. Or that Babylon 5 game that started development being cancelled. Don't get me wrong. Both BSG and Stargate have incredibly loyal fanbases. Just not as many as Star Wars. Or even Star Trek.
Kiytan 3rd February 2011, 04:15 Quote
I bet it cost easily half that (I wouldn't be surprised if it was around 200m mark)
Most of the "non-successful" wow killers (AoC, WAR e.t.c) sit at around 100k subscribers supposedly, eve is around 300k iirc, so I have no doubt that this will manage 500k (at least for the first 6months-year)

Also, NWN and ME are on very different engines. NWN is on the aurora engine, and ME is built around unreal (which is why the whole "ps3 version uses the new engine" hype pisses me off, it uses an UPDATED engine, not a new engine, it's still UE3.5)
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