The Timeline of The Old Republic

October 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Posted in mmorpg, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 17 Comments
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Nomi Sunrider

Star Wars: The Old Republic began releasing Timeline videos over a year ago in March of 2009. Today they released their 10th Timeline video, this one about Exar Kun.

I first remember Exar Kun from Jedi Search, but later, Tales of the Jedi comic book series, which the Timeline briefly summarizes. The series itself is a pretty good read and covers much of the era’s history. Ever wonder why Onderon in KOTOR 2 felt like it had a deeper history than the game led you to? That’s because of the comic book series. Ever wonder where all the history of ancient Sith Lords comes from? A lot of it comes from the comic book series.

The Timeline itself isn’t particularly informative to someone familiar with Exar Kun or Ulic Qel-Droma, said the huge Star Wars nerd. I was a little disappointed to not see Nomi Sunrider, he continued.

Today’s video also got me thinking about future Timelines. There are 9 marked points which presumably note future editions of the videos. After a year and a half, they’re only halfway through. Surely they’ll have to start releasing these much faster at some point?

Some of the marks seem to indicate videos that go way back. So far as to focus on the very discovery of the force, the founding of the Jedi Order and the schism with the Sith. None of which have ever been covered very much to my knowledge.

Side Note. I didn’t really feel like making an entire post about EA Louse. For one he’s an anonymous guy with a grudge, who, if real, has certainly been fired. A lot of the inaccuracies in his post seem off kilter, which throws doubt onto everything he says. Warhammer didn’t have enough marketing? There was huge buzz and they sold 1 million boxes. They had marketing. He authoritatively offers his opinion on Sanya Weathers, and is rebuked by Sanya Weathers.

I just see way too many people taking his word for it. Or they’ve already got a TOR effigy going and this is just one more thing to throw on the bonfire.

300 million dollars is ridiculous and would never happen. Even EA isn’t stupid enough to throw that much money on a single game, stop using it as a figure. The gaming industry is about profit, and there is no way to make a profit on a figure like that. You know what else? I like voice over work and sound. It’s one of the best things about Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age, and Knights of the Old Republic.

In summary, Bioware Austin is a new studio, so maybe SWTOR will be a disaster, but in absence of proof that the game sucks, all I have to go on is other Bioware games. And those games pretty much kick ass.



  1. I also trust BioWare in not making a total disaster. With the Star Wars IP they will do fine if they dont NGE it. $300mil is nice number to throw out there. It gives the trolls a “OMG FAIL” and people like me “OMG WIN WIN!”
    the facts are, this is most money spent on game EA has funded. Question is, what was the previous record holder’s amount?

    • the one thing they’ve said for sure is that they need 1 million subscribers to break even. if we take the box sales, $60 and add that to 1 month of subscriptions, $15 and multiply them both by 1 million, 60 million and 15 million. thats only 75 million to break even. maybe they need several months of subs or something i don’t know.

      i just read your comments and you said they confirmed the 300 mil number, where’d you see that?

  2. I’m surprised they didn’t mention Nomi either, even if they just dropped her name for a sec considering she has a novel coming out in 2011.

    But I’m really excited to see the founding of the jedi order timelines and all that early stuff.I’ve never seen anything about that period before either. The furthest back in history I’ve read was the Lost Tribe of the Sith ebooks.

    • Oh right i totally forgot about the nomi book. Its not like she wasn’t powerful in her own right, she became the head of the order and played a major role.

      yeah i’m not even sure what I would look into to find stuff before the lost tribe stuff. comic books mostly i’m sure.

  3. The $300 million budget isn’t exactly out of the question, don’t forget so soon that Avatar was $237 million to create. Couple in the extensive amount of voice acting and the quality big name actors therein that alone is a budget for most lesser known titles.

    Also don’t underestimate the Pandora’s Box that Blizzard unleashed with WoW. EA wants a slice of that MMO pie and they know Bioware unlike others out there can truly deliver on their promises and they will drop every drop of money they can to make sure Bioware can sell millions of subscriptions. No, the real question should be: “Will they break even?”

    • I just noticed the crack on Avatar in the blog, looks like we had the same train of thought.

    • i really can’t agree with you on this one. I think 300 mil is out of the question. It just wouldn’t make sense from a business perspective.

      Also there are no big name voice overs in swtor, all just well known voice over actors. Lance Hendrickson who does the timelines is the only name i konw of.

    • Ok fine but even still if we go to a more conservative number of $100 million it will still take a while to turn a profit.

      • i suppose. But its not the impossibility that making a profit on the $300 million budget would be.

  4. I really enjoyed the new timeline, it was a bit different than the others, more detailed perhaps. And the concept art looked different, like it was done by another artist or better animated.

  5. Oh, and I believe one of the devs have said that they will release the game before all the timelines are out. So there will be updates to watch for on the website even when we’re playing the game.

    • ahhh that makes much more sense. I wonder why they’re playing them out like that though. Sounds like they’re trying to coincide these timelines with in game events of some kind? or not.

  6. […] with one of the more relevant storylines of this era. One thing of note (that I’m surprised Hunter hasn’t mentioned since he has as much at stake in planet reveals as I do) is I wonder if […]

  7. Kind of late to comment on this, but I would point out a few things I know about profits in the computer software industry.

    First, boxed sales often only bring in 25% to 30% of the actual retail price if you have good deals in place and lots of sales. It used to be up to 50% or more, but now there are more middle men and the big chains demand huge discounts. Also, you now have to pay for shelf space. Don’t pay and you’re lucky if they even put your game out. WoW pays quite a bit to have those massive displays everywhere. Add in marketing costs, CGI trailers, etc., and I think you’re looking more at 10% to 15% profit on boxed sales for most MMO games.

    At $60 retail, give them say 15% profit and they could very easily push 3 million boxes over the first year. Be generous and say that is $30 million profit. Figure they do get the 1 million subs, that is another $15 million, for $45 million profit the first year.

    I’d bet, despite what any of their people might say (everyone inflates their ‘dev costs’ to make the game sound like a big deal to attract more players and retailers) that the total budget was at most $50 million, if that. Unless they paid a fortune for the licensing rights, which is possible, it is Star Wars.

    I’ve worked on various software projects and the actual costs were nothing like what marketing and the guys in charge were claiming in public.

    • thats pretty insightful yarr, thanks for the comment. Yeah this is just another example of clear reasoning why the game would never have a budget of 300 million let alone 200 or anything above 100. Hell the only reason I’ve used the 100 million mark is that scott jennings at broken toys guesstimated that was as high as the budget could possibly go.

      • I need to amend my figures upward quite a bit, I only factored $15 for 1 year per sub, which should have been $150. So…. actually maybe they did spend over $100 million to make it, they might even be able to manage $200 million profit for the first year if it does well! Wow, that is a bunch of money! Time to get working on my own MMO, I think. World of Yarrcraft? Yarr Wars? 🙂

        • yeah i noticed that but its still a good case for bringing the budget in at a much lower number.

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