First of all, you quoted Lynk and proceeded to piss and moan about him editing your post, well....
"Last edited by Astor; Yesterday at 10:50 PM. Reason: merged triple post"
Also, while maybe not explicitly a rule double/triple/quadruple/etc. posting has always been frowned upon, it's like masturbating on an airplane.
I can't be arsed to read through an entire thread of nonsensical bickering, by both sides, but from what I've gathered this entire debate seems to stem from the disbelief that the development of The Old Republic could have actually costed this estimated $100-$300 million USD. However, from what I understand after reading the original post, that $100-$300 million estimate is for the game's entire budget not just its development costs. So that will include things like marketing, an example of which are those fancy-pants CG E3 trailers we've been seeing every year, which are far from cheap.
Just to give a bit of perspective to the development cost vs. a game's budget, Modern Warfare 2 has an estimated development cost of $40-$50 million but it had a budget of around $200 million
. Granted we're talking about Call of Duty which demands a high marketing budget, but it is also an annual release (with bi-annual developer cycles) while on the other hand TOR has been in development for quite a bit longer. TOR was officially announced in Fall 08, but no doubt it was in development for quite a while prior to that.
So regardless of personal opinions on whether or not the development alone for TOR could have cost upwards of $100 million, the budget with marketing included I think easily eclipses that mark. Personally though I don't have a hard time believing the development costs for TOR alone could eclipse $100 million, but it's not like I've ever managed a game's development budget, so I wouldn't honestly know. But for argument's sake let's do some simple math...
Average United States employee works 2000 hours a year - 2000
We'll play it stupid safe and say on average they make $10 an hour - 2000 x 10 = 20000
That's $20,000 a year for each employee (Game Industry mag has estimated that the average game developer makes closer to $73,000 just fyi)
We'll play it safe again and say BioWare Austin has 100 employees - $20,000 x 100 = $2,000,000 per year
2008 - 2011 = 4 years, we'll say they developed for 1 year prior to announcing so 5 years of 2 mil equals, $10 million for employee wages alone... at an extremely safe estimate.
Don't question my math, I'm Asian, I own 3 abacuses that the government knows about.
So at basically a slavery level of employment estimate we're looking at $10 million spent alone, 10% of that fabled $100 million. (if I were to make an actual estimate though I would guess during its entire development cycle the team alone has earned over $50 million in wages). That doesn't count the cost of these horrific unknown voice actors. Doesn't count the bills they have to pay to keep their crap computers that reuse assets running, doesn't even count the cost of electricity in general. Nor does it include the cost of running and maintaining the beta servers that they refuse to let me participate in.
TL;DR version, **** adds up.