BioWare’s new MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a big game. The L.A. Times states that “the story runs 1,600 hours, with hundreds of additional hours still being written. Nearly 1,000 actors have recorded dialogue for 4,000 characters in three languages.” Maybe that’s why it cost the company $200 million to make.
Now, that’s an insane amount of money. But here’s the kicker; SWTOR is an MMO. That means to keep people playing, there needs to be more content released throughout the year. That equals millions more a year in maintaining a strong customer base. And that is something BioWare has to do, because according to the L.A. Times, the game will need, “More than a 1 million customers willing to spend $60 to buy the game and an additional $15 a month to play for years on end,” in order to turn a profit.
BioWare has already succeeded in the first task, to the tune of 1.7 million copies sold; now they just have to keep people coming back to the various worlds that it took six years and “more than 800 people on four continents” to create.