That’s right. You read correctly. BioWare’s Star Wars The Old Republic will be the most expensive game ever created by EA. EA’s chief banker Eric Brown says that the new game is the “largest ever development project, period, in the history of the company.” While Blizzard’s World of Warcraft takes in roughly $100 million a month from subscribers, EA is hoping to gain similar results with the release of SWTOR. In a press conference held in New York, Brown also said a normal game costs EA approximately $30 million to make, however “any MMO costs significantly more than that.” With any MMO their will be more costs for server maintenance and expansion packs. Currently EA is gearing for a Spring 2011 release date for SWTOR.
With costs in mind, a recent interview with producer Jake Neri says there is no telling how large the world of SWTOR will be. “I guess it really depends. We would love to imagine this game lasting for years and years and years, so I don’t know how big it could get. I know that at launch we plan on providing a substantial amount of content; stories, planets, adventures, zones, zones that are ripe for conflict and others that are safer for low level players.” He concludes that this is part due to the amount of lore and mythology within Star Wars. EA is expecting over 2 million subscriptions once the game is officially launched. This news comes from analyst, Arvind Bhatia, who says the game will need over one million subscriptions to break even. The subscription methods to be used by BioWare and EA will more than likely be the typical monthly payment however, BioWare boss Ray Muzyka, has hinted at some possible “twists” in pricing. Whatever that means, I hope they make SWTOR affordable for every Star Wars geek out there, including me. The only thing that bothers me about this game so far is EA. I hope to God that they won’t be hosting all of the servers, given their track record with Bad Company 2 and other games. Well here’s hoping for the best.