Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has estimated that Electronic Arts invested more than $80 million in BioWare's upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic
"Given that the game was in development for over four years, with an estimated 200 full-time developers working on it, we estimate that EA's investment exceeds $80 million," Pachter said in an investor note this Thursday.
In addition to the game's development costs, Pachter predicted that EA will spend around $20 million on manufacturing, marketing and distribution for the highly-anticipated title.
Pachter also reaffirmed EA's previous claims
, noting that The Old Republic
will easily make back its investment costs even with a modest number of subscribers.
"We estimate that EA will cover its direct operating costs and break even at 500,000 subscribers (this is exceedingly conservative, and the actual figure is probably closer to 350,000)," Pachter said.
Pachter said he still believes that the BioWare-developed MMO will launch by the end of the 2011 calendar year, and that the title will contribute roughly $150 million for EA's top line in fiscal 2012.