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  (Source: nerdjunkies.com)
"Star Wars: The Old Republic" may not be released until January 2012

Analysts announced earlier this week that EA has invested over $80 million in the development of BioWare's first MMO "Star Wars: The Old Republic." 

"Star Wars: The Old Republic" is a new massively multiplayer online (MMO) game that is currently under development by BioWare and LucasArts. The game takes place 300 years after the events of "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" and thousands of years before Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, which is a fairly unexplored era of "Star Wars" chronology. 

Users will be able to choose from many different character roles such as Jedi or Sith, and give context to their personal story with the option to follow the light or the dark side of the Force. In addition, players can join friends through the game's battles.  

Now, EA has reported that its total investment in the "Star Wars" MMO has reached $80 million in development alone. 

"The contribution from the 'Star Wars' MMO is significant," said Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities analyst. "Under the terms of its deals with LucasArts, EA is required to pay a royalty, but was required to front all of the development, marketing and distribution costs, as well as the costs of building out servers for the game. We estimate that LucasArts’ share is 33 percent of revenues, after EA recoups its investment in game development. Given that the game was in development for over four years, with an estimated 200 full-time developers working on it, we estimate that EA's investment exceeds $80 million.

"Fortunately for investors, the company expenses R&D spending, meaning that its revenues on sales of the 'Star Wars' MMO DVD will be pure profit. EA will be required to spend marketing dollars on the game, and we estimate total manufacturing, marketing and distribution spending will total around $20 million, meaning that at two million units sold, EA will generate $60 million of operating profit on the DVD sales." 

Pachter also noted that EA will not need a certain number of subscribers for "Star Wars: The Old Republic" to make a profit. 

"We estimate that EA will cover its direct operating costs and break even at 500,000 subscribers (actual number is closer to 350,000 subscribers), meaning that with 1.5 million paying subscribers, EA will have 1 million profitable subs," said Pachter. "We estimate that the incremental operating cost for each subscriber above break even is around $5 per month, so if the revenue split is 33 percent to LucasArts ($5 per subscriber per month), EA will be left with $5 per subscriber per month in operating profit. At 1 million profitable subscribers over the last six months of its fiscal year, EA should generate $30 million in operating profit from subscribers." 

EA also announced this week that the launch of "Star Wars: The Old Republic" may be delayed until January 2012. 



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RE: Another fail MMO?
By StevoLincolnite on 5/6/2011 8:35:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If EA has a hand in it, it is going to bomb. Sony tried to throw money at SWG and it was an abysmal game.


I dunno, Bioware is at the helm... The creators of Boulders Gate, Neverwinter Nights, StarWars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age just to name a few.

If any developer is going to take on WoW, then Bioware is probably the best developer to do it.


RE: Another fail MMO?
By chmilz on 5/6/2011 10:14:19 PM , Rating: 4
The only company to take on a company that's continually producing better and better games is a company who sold out and is shoveling out worse and worse games?


RE: Another fail MMO?
By vpr on 5/7/2011 5:30:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I dunno, Bioware is at the helm... The creators of Boulders Gate, Neverwinter Nights, StarWars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age just to name a few.


Need not forget Jade Empire, and MDK2

Although we need to mention that not all of Bioware's games are great... NWN was a let down to me, NWN2 wasn't worth my time. Lots of people didn't like Jade Empire although I enjoyed it, possibly because I'm into Chinese Mythology. KOTOR2 wasn't as good as KOTOR1 - Dragon Age II was a huge disappointment compared to Dragon Age Origins, etc.

Like a poster below said, their trend is that their games are getting worse and worse. I'd even argue that Mass Effect 2 wasn't as good as the first...sure it had better combat and graphics, but what happened to the RPG nature of that game. Scanning the planets was mind-numbingly boring (I'd rather drive the mako) and the weapon customization was lost.

Compared to Blizzard who's games seem to only get better possibly because they have a small portfolio and they take years to complete a game. Diablo -> Diablo 2 -> Diablo 3 (unreleased at this time). Warcraft -> Warcraft 2 -> Warcraft 3 -- Progressed instead of regressed. Starcraft -> Starcraft II (I never played the first very long, but I just finished 2 and it was pretty amazing in my book). Let's not forget that Blizzard has announced they've been working on another MMO as well - who knows what that'll be.


RE: Another fail MMO?
By Targon on 5/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Another fail MMO?
By SPOOFE on 5/8/2011 5:05:07 PM , Rating: 3
Diablo 2 is awesome, and is representative of Blizzard's tendency to not only release great games, but to keep them excellently supported for years to come.


RE: Another fail MMO?
By mcnabney on 5/8/2011 5:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
Don't post unless you know what you are talking about.

Both Neverwinter Nights 2 and KOTOR2 were created by Obsidian, NOT Bioware. However, I enjoyed both of them even though they were not as awesome as the original.

But the fail that is DA2 is concerning. Bioware rushed a very short sequel out and only created about 1/3 of the maps that would be needed due to constant recycling. I liked the eye-candy, but everything that made DA:O special was deleted in the complete consolification of DA2. It just felt like a big expansion, not a whole new game. Yeah, and chargin $60 for it. I feel ripped off now.

That said, the development cycle for SW:TOR is about the same as DA:O, so this could be a win and a sign of Bioware getting back to their strengths. If not, you can probably scratch that developer off the list of must-buys and consider them to be more EA shovelware.


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