Surprise! Major MMOs cost batty-bonkers-cuckoo amounts of money to produce. Eurogamer reports that Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown said as much today, describing Star Wars: The Old Republic as the "largest ever development project, period, in the history of the company." EA is apparently betting big on having something like Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft with The Old Republic. Brown guesstimates that WoW cost about $100 million to launch back in 2004 -- the game makes something like that now in a month.

The executive explained that the average game costs about $30 million to produce, but that "any MMO costs significantly more than that." With an expected spring 2011 release, hopefully EA will start making a return at that time on its investment in a galaxy far, far away. Otherwise, the gaping maw of the Rancor would be preferable to what investors will do.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.