For the past few months, a lot has been said about the staggering amount of money that Electronic Arts spent on the development of their later massively multiplayer online game. Nevertheless an approximate figure was difficult to calculate for analysts and the company never officially announce it, but a report on the LA Times states that the cost of Bioware’s Star Wars game is almost $200 million, making it the most expensive video game ever created.
It should also be noted that this number is still rising as the developers (the staff has around 800 people on four continents) are actively working on the game and in subsequent updates. The game took six years to develop and according to BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk, coordinating all the different teams proved to be extremely difficult. $200 million is not something you hear every day in the video game industry, and it’s only comparable to some of Rockstar games, as that company in particular is well known for spending $100 million on each title in the Grand Theft Auto series. Of course, for companies like Electronic Arts, creating a game like this is a huge risk as they really need to be sure that the title that they are investing so much money and effort on must be one of the greatest.
The response of fans of both Star Wars and the MMO genre has been extremely positive and The Old Republic was able to draw 1 million users a few days after its official release on December 1. Electronic Arts said in February that the game would be considered profitable with at least 500,000 subscribers. In any case, most analysts are indicating that The Old Republic will surpass that number considerably as it has the potential to have a couple of millions of subscribers, especially considering that World of Warcraft’s number of subscribers has been declining for a while and fans of Blizzard’s MMO have been craving for a new title in the genre.
Star Wars games have always been both ambitious and successful, and titles like Knights of the Old Republic or newer ones like The Force Unleashed featured rich worlds and deep characters that were ultimately really entertaining. But not only does this MMO intend to create an engaging game that is fun to play, but also a groundbreaking experience that revolutionizes the way in which players experience online titles. Of course the fact that The Old Republic belongs to one of the most recognizable franchises ever created probably helps a little bit.