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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:33PM Thac0 said

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Oh yeah i forgot it might not be released until Dec2011... Man that sucks I can't think of a single MMO bieng released anytime before then that looks interesting. Maybe its time to quit MMOs theres nothing new coming down the line and not much out now thats holding my imagination.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:38PM Aquaryon said

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Great article! Only thing I am a bit nervous with the release date is Bioware has 3 MASSIVE games coming out this year. March = Dragon Age 2, November / Holiday 2011 = Mass Effect 3. So where does SWTOR fit in?? Spring? Summer? or that September? Like everyone else, I am not sure except one thing... I want ALL 3 of those games!!

THROWING MONEY AT YOU BIOWARE!

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:47PM rev2k6 said

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@Aquaryon there made by different teams.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:49PM Caliber said

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@rev2k6

Doesn't matter. They still don't want to overlap their games too much.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 4:26PM rev2k6 said

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@Caliber yeah i really meant about game being developed not marketing part of it.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:39PM Bramen said

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The force is strong with the $100 million estimate.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:56PM Pojoh said

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Going to be an epic year for Bioware. *drool* mass effect 3 .. now if only that were an mmo :)

Looking forward to SWTOR.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:59PM Mystal said

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I want to correct one common error when people discuss video games, costs, and profits.

Just because YOU pay 50 dollars for a game, that does not mean that the maker of the game gets 50 dollars. In fact, simple common sense should tell you that's not true. How could businesses such as Gamestop or Amazon possibly stay in business if they resold games without any markup? How could distributors possibly stay in business if they didn't charge a markup? How could publishers stay in business if THEY didn't charge a markup?

The develop of a video game typically gets between 6 and 12 dollars per retail unit sold for a game. Of the 50-60 dollars you spend, they see 10-20% of it, and the rest goes to retailers, publishers and distributors.

So assuming 500,000 boxes sold, Bioware would see roughly 5-6 million dollars. Let's call Bioware and EA a single entity (EA is the publisher and Bioware is the developer, but EA is investing much of the cost of development and Bioware is owned or partnered with EA. So let's go ahead and double that estimate. On 500,000 boxes, let's say they make a profit of 12 million dollars (they probably get more than that, but remember there are actual costs to making and shipping the physical product).

The bottom line is, physical boxes sold have very little impact on the bottom line for a game that probably costs some where between 50 and 100 million dollars to make. Even if they sell 2 million boxes (which is not out of the question, both WAR and AOC sold around a million boxes, and SWTOR should do better) you're still looking at a net loss unless and until they can convince a lot of those people to stick around long term.

The only thing that really matters when it comes to MMOs are the paid subscription numbers. Sell 5 million copies, and you can still lose money. Sell 500,000 copies and keep them all around for several years, and you can make a lot of money.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 4:37PM vinnypop said

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@Mystal while you are right, in that not all of the profits go to ea/bioware you are wrong in the amount of the profit lost and i assure you the money gamestop and other places make come from non game sales. the mark up on a game is only around 5% on a sixty dollar game, and yes there is plenty for the stores to make cash off of, to off set that cost.
so i think the estimate presented in the article is actuate. I worked in a big box retailer for 3 years. during my time i saw those numbers, its the reason that used games are such a big deal for a store like Gamestop.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 7:58PM Jade Effect said

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@vinnypop

5% markup? Yeah, suuuure you worked for a "big box retailer". Heh.

I can understand comments from people with zero real life working experience, who thinks somehow EA pockets just about everything from a SW:ToR box sale. However, I would have expected better from a Massively.com article.

http://games.ign.com/articles/708/708972p1.html
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 4:35PM (Unverified) said

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ok so lets say 2 millions copies at 20$ profit?
40 millions
We're pretty sure at least 500k will retain for 3 months(4 months total with free month)
15*500 000 = 7 500 000 per month
7 500 000 *3 = 225 000 00
total = 62 millions in 3 months, not bad eh?

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 5:40PM doublerainbow said

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I believe the 300 million amount could be correct. Film studios have spent up to that on Blockbuster Movies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_films

Scroll down to check out that list. If EA can pull in at least 500k then that would be great, but I wouldn't doubt that they have the money to spend. It was rumored once that you would have to spend up to half a billion just to make an MMO as big as WoW these days.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6186905.html

If EA wants to get serious about pulling the crowds with their game, then they need to pull in all the talent, genious techies, and industry experts they can. They also need to make their starting areas so damn fun that you won't be able to walk away for an hour and loose track of time.

But most of all, and I can't emphasize this enough, choice is the King in the world of MMO's. The more choice you have, the better in these games. So, if they feel they need to spend up to $300 million or more, then by all means let them. People in this genre are STARVED for something new that is polished on release and tons of fun.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 6:41PM Beltyra said

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I find it so fun how much blind praise is going around the MMO world for RIFT and all the mad nerd rage at anything/everything SW:TOR.


Oh well. Haters be hating.

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 11:36AM Epiny said

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@Beltyra
People have actually played Rift to be fair.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 7:30PM tristanius said

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I think it's telling that the official line is no longer Spring 2011. Even the most recent forum post by Stephen Reid says fiscal 2012, not Spring 2011.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 10:47PM Stellar25 said

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@tristanius The most recent post
"Star Wars: The Old Republic is expected to launch this year after the close of EA's fiscal 2011 (which ends March 31st, 2011)."

April is still spring of 2011.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 10:51PM tristanius said

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@Stellar25

The simple fact of the matter is if they mean Spring 2011, why not just say Spring 2011? I would bet you money it's not coming out Spring 2011.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 9:09PM Jwheeler said

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Definitely liked your article, the way you think is how I would interpret of how things have been going on with SWTOR; the release window, the money put into it by EA and Bioware's budget, and what are truly creditable sources. Keep posting stuff like this!

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 12:38AM Chapstarr said

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May the 4th be with you!!! *Puts on tin foil hat*

Posted: Feb 9th 2011 7:42AM CypherDiez said

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EA stated in their February 1st Shareholder conference call that OVERALL profits were down from an $82million loss last year to $322million the same time this year (Q3), and they said 'significant development costs' but never stated an ACTUAL figure for losses regarding SW:TOR as Larry points out in his above article.

It seems to me like people tend to highlight figures and then quote them out of context as fact, and as for a release date? UK online retailers have had a 'soft' release date of 25th March 2011 on their sites since late last year, and following the conference call Curse.com report that September seems more likely, while others report June/July...but with PAX EAST coming between 11th and 13th March and Bioware announcing that they'll be attending with TOR, how about we wait and see when the release date will be?

Because; while I'd like SW:TOR to be out NOW...I'd prefer to get an actual finished product rather than a glitch-ridden partial knock-together which is what it could be if they release the game before it's ready.

CypherDiez - darksidersrevenge.blogspot.com
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