During EA's Q3 earnings call last night, the publisher confirmed that BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMO will not make the publisher's next financial year. This means that fans will not see the game until sometime after March 31, 2011. The call verifies a previous forecast laid out by EA and LucasArts that Star Wars: The Old Republic was slated for an April or May 2011 release.
"We are not assuming that we bring a major new MMO to market in fiscal '11," said EA Chief financial Officer Eric Brown. "We will continue to increase significant development cost as we prepare this title for launch."
According to VG247, EA CEO John Riccitiello added that the MMO is a huge investment for the publisher, claiming that the costs involved are "gigantic." Gamers should brace themselves for the possibility that the game could be pushed back to the latter part of 2011 due to the significant cost. "MMOs can cost as much as two to six, seven times as much as a front-line title, if they’re done right," he said.
Despite the costs, Brown reassured the callers that the game will be repaid in full. "I think the important point here is you ask that title goes live, and we’re not giving any specific date, we’ll move from a net OpEx investment mode to a highly profitable op-income contributor," he said. "So it's a pretty important step change, when you compare a year with the MMO active versus the development stage that we’re currently in this fiscal year."
Let's hope the financial burden doesn't cause the publisher to implode before Q4 2011.