665 people worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic

Storytelling so good players can't go back to WOW, says BioWare.

A whopping 665 people worked on gargantuan massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare has revealed.

And that's not including voice actors.

The EA-owned developer broke the number down during a GDC panel attended by IGN.

Here it is:

  • 30 Production
  • 75 Designers
  • 80 Engineers
  • 40 Platform
  • 10 Localization
  • 10 Audio
  • 140 Artists (Both internal and outsourced)
  • 280 QA (Both internal and outsourced)

Director of production Dallas Dickinson and vice president of production Richard Vogel said SWTOR has over 321 actors voicing more than 4094 characters. The game features more voice over work than every single other BioWare game combined.

There's 200 hours of gameplay on offer for each of the game's eight classes, spread across 20 planets.

SWTOR reportedly cost upwards of $200 million to make - a huge number for any game. But BioWare reckons it was all worth it.

The development team is keen to never let players see what it describes as "the horizon" - or, the point at which content runs dry. A dedicated team is hard at work making new content, BioWare said.

According to Vogel and Dickinson, BioWare set out to create an MMO with one million or more active subscribers. Its starting point was Blizzard's behemoth World of Warcraft. The team then asked itself: how can we innovate without alienating our core audience? That's where the focus on storytelling, cinematic combat and the companion system came from - essential for any Star Wars game, the pair said.

Apparently the storytelling in SWTOR is so good players tell BioWare they can't go back to WOW.

Last month BioWare revealed the average play session for The Old Republic is between four and six hours long.

In January publisher EA announced the MMO had picked up nearly two million active subscribers since its December launch.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Jedi Consular footage

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