I wouldn't be surprised if the cost/return ratio for DA2 was significantly higher even with considerably lower numbers of product sold, just due to the fact that DAO had been in production for, what 5-8 years
That would be true for Bioware the Independant Company, not so much for Bioware the Wholly Owned Subsidiary. Previous development time and time to shipping for DA(O) would have been factored into the purchase price. The cost to EA would only be the ~ 2 years from buy out to shipping.
18 months seems a fair estimate. They brought in a 3rd party to do the console ports so presumably the Bioware DA team did not sit around twiddling their thumbs for six months from April 09; otoh (presumably) some Bioware people were helping them out and Awakenings took time and man hours too.
while DA2 had a full crew on it for ~a year, year and a half depending on what they did while the console ports were underway.
I'm still of the opinion that they had enough time for a expandalone type game and that the problems with DA2 largely result from factors other than shortness of 'raw' time. Time would fix some of the more egregious issues (copypasta dungeons) but a number of its problems stem from production issues that suggest it was just poorly managed in some respects.
Overall it seems likely that Bioware simply could not cope well with being told that they had to get the game out the door in March to make financial Q4.