EA: Star Wars: The Old Republic Release Could "Possibly" Launch Next Year
BioWare and Electronic Arts can release all the trailers they want. They can talk about the features in Star Wars: The Old Republic until they are blue in the face. But at this point, fans only care about one thing: the release date. With each passing day, Star Wars fans biggest fear comes closer to becoming a reality. That is, that Star Wars: The Old Republic might, in fact, not launch until next year.
BioWare and Electronic Arts have both been very careful not to talk too specifically about the release date of their highly-anticipated MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, but that hasn't stopped fans (and news outlets) from hounding the first time MMORPG developers for a release date. Well, fans may not have gotten a firm release date, but they got an update about when they might actually learn the launch date. In a recent investor update by EA CFO Eric Brown, he said that a firm release date was unlikely to be revealed before the end of October.
EA has explained that they are aiming for the smoothest possible launch, even going so far as to limit the amount of Star Wars: The Old Republic copies sold on launch date. Of course, some saw this as just a marketing ploy to encourage fans to pre-order out of fear of being left out at launch. Although the publisher is forecasting an October release-date announcement, the actual release of the eagerly-awaited MMORPG might not occur until next year.
"We did hold out a slight possibility that it could slip to our March quarter," Brown said. "And the factors that would cause a slip is, for example, us not being completely satisfied with the scalability testing, and wanting to tune it for several extra weeks."
This is probably the last news fans wanted to hear come out of EA, and fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic let the publishers and developers hear it (or actually read it on the forums). So much that BioWare's Stephen Reid logged onto the SWTOR forum to further explain why there is a possibility of a delayed release.
"Just as [Eric Brown] didn't promise that you would get a release date announcement in September, he isn't promising a release date before the next earnings call," Reid clarified. "It could happen, but it's not a promise."
"However, as with any large and complex game project, there's always the possibility of slippage. Always. That is why we have always said we're aiming for that window, because it's possible that unforeseen issues may push the date. Eric Brown is doing what he's paid to do - letting investors know that the possibility exists. A possibility doesn't mean a certainty."
Fans hope in a 2011 launch was renewed by the fact that BioWare and EA sent out beta invites to a lucky group of gamers, but this has probably shattered all hope of a release this year.
Reid further noted that a "2011 holiday window" is still being targeted for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Hopefully, it's before the holidays, and not after. Either way, BioWare and EA are pushing fans to the edge with their lack of a detailed release date, and hopefully it doesn't come back to bite them in the butt. Continued delays might build up fans anticipation so much to the point that BioWare can't deliver to what fans expect. If that happens, well then Obi-Wan will be our only hope.
There's only so much teasing BioWare can do before fans start to riot in the streets. I want to play some Huttball!
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