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Electronic Arts Spent Almost $200 Million Building Star Wars: The Old Republic

"I spared no expense," said John Riccitiello, asked about space dinosaurs.

The Old Republic may be the biggest challenge to World of Warcraft yet, but it's no guarantee.
The Old Republic may be the biggest challenge to World of Warcraft yet, but it's no guarantee.

We knew Electronic Arts had spent a truck of money developing Star Wars: The Old Republic, but a report from the LA Times pegs the cost of BioWare’s MMO debut at almost $200 million.

That number is still rising, obviously, as the sprawling development staff (at times, as many as 800 people) continues work on the game.

The Old Republic launched on December 20, and represents a massive gamble for the publisher. You don’t spent $200 million on a project that’s not expected to perform, but we won’t know for a few months yet whether The Old Republic has paid off. Plenty of MMOs have experienced spectacular starts, only to wither on the vine, as genre fans go back to their old haunts, like World of Warcraft.

There are plenty of other interesting bits about BioWare’s process, too, including that BioWare tried to pick up Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones and various Marvel properties at one point.

Maybe it all happened in a parallel universe. In any case, you should read the whole story.

Patrick Klepek on Google+