Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare’s long awaited MMO, has seen its release window slip yet again, as Electronic Arts announced during its latest report to investors that the Old Republic will now “ship in calendar 2011, but after the close of FY11.” Grab those financial calendar breakdowns, and join me in the next graph, won't you?
EA's 2011 fiscal year ends March 31, putting SWTOR's release firmly in the second half of 2011, which means last week’s September release rumors might end up being true after all. It would also be surprisingly close to EA's release window prediction from last year of spring 2011.
During its investor call, EA downplayed speculations regarding exactly how much SWTOR has cost to make, but the publisher did admit it is “incurring significant development costs.” Leading estimates have the price tag somewhere between $100 and $300 million, which EA CEO John Riccitiello made a point to say is “higher than anything we have ever put in place."
As far as getting some of that money back, Riccitiello said EA would be happy with 1 million subscribers, but it would only need around 500,000 to be profitable. Whether that estimate will be enough to quell the doubts of investors isn’t clear just yet.
[Article edited to reflect changes made to reported FY11 schedule for EA.]