In my previous examination of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the development budget from various sources ranged from the probably too-low US$80m (plus US$20 for advertising) through to US$300m.
The LA Times has indicated that SWOR’s development cost sits at US$200m, while analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen & Co. suggested that EA’s “total all-in investment in ‘Star Wars’ is probably approaching half a billion dollars”.
It isn’t conclusive by any stretch, but it certainly looks like SWOR could be the most expensive video game launched to date. EA probably doesn’t want that particular record in the Guinness Book of Records though.
There are very few video game companies who can compete with those kind of budgets (even at the lower end). RIFT cost over US$50m to develop, as did DC Universe Online. If you want to build a subscription-based MMO title, apparently you need at least an 8-or-9 figure development budget lined up.