news\ Jan 23, 2012 at 10:09 am

New estimates suggest SWTOR development cost $200 million


Last week, we reported that EA might have spent close to $500 million to publish massive multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic, according to an estimate by Cowen & Co analyst Doug Creutz.

While we don't know how accurate that number is, a new estimate from the LA Times blog Hero Complex speculates the game cost around $200 million to develop, thanks to its "800 people on four continents" working on the game for around "six years".  Included in that are "nearly 1,000 actors" who have voiced-over "4,000 characters in three languages" for a story that runs around "1,600 hours, with hundreds of additional hours still being written" as BioWare works to keep the game content fresh and up-to-date. 

The article estimates that SWTOR's publisher, Electronic Arts Inc., would have to have more than one million customers playing the game for a full-year to recoup its massive investment.  While Star Wars: The Old Republic had no problems getting people to initially purchase the game, keeping them there might be a problem. 

A recent open-world PvP glitch on the planet Ilum allowed hundreds of players to power-level their Valor, or PvP rank, in just a few hours.  BioWare has since fixed the glitch, but many players are upset that they chose not to rollback the Valor gains.  BioWare has promised it was looking into the problems and "evaluating" the possibility of taking action against individuals who took "extreme advantage" of the exploit.  Many players have threatened to cancel their subscription action is not taken.

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