I'd like to point out that $30 million dollars was a lot of fucking money in game development at the time. For reference: Half-Life 2 cost around $40 million to make in 2004.That doesn't make him wrong. How many games, in that time period, got more funding than Vanguard, it wasn't just SWTOR. His biggest complaint was not having the money to hire enough talented programmers. No money, no talent. Followed by the scope of the game. What would Vanguard have been like with 30 more million, and a bunch of more programmers, who knows. 100 million didn't seem like a big deal at that time. It's not like Microsoft didn't have the money.
So there was money to hire programmers, it was just allocated to hire their buddies. Maybe leadership was arrogant to think that programmers should not earn as much money as the game designers with the "vision" do, so they couldn't find anyone decent? Maybe he didn't want to hire people from outside of established game development circles? Who knows? Brad has always been described as a guy loyal to his friends, so it is at least somewhat plausible that this was a factor to cloud his judgement.
The point I'm trying to make here is: This whole stab-in-the-back myth of how Microsoft forced them to crawl back to Smedley (of all the people) and release the game in an unfinished state is most likely just that. And no one will easily admit the full truth of their own mistakes. Which makes Jeff an unreliable source at best.
And to be fair to Microsoft, at the time they were a bit conservative in investments, as the whole IT sector was after the dotcom bubble burst. They even cancelled their Halo MMO around 2007/2008 after they sunk around $90 million dollars into it. So it is highly unlikely that it was personal.