Star Wars: The Old Republic Launch is "Fairly Ambitious"
Back in August there was a great disturbance in the force when EA said it was going to limit the initial sales of the highly anticipated MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. While some viewed it as a scare tactic to get players to pre-order the game, EA insisted it was a cautious approach so that they don't overload servers at launch.
Now it appears EA is going back on it's word, insisting that it's plans for the game's worldwide release on December 20th are ambitious.
“We've taken a very detailed approach to looking at how do we maximize the customer experience when they go online with Star Wars – how to maximize the fun that they're having online, the stability, the quality?” EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau told investors.
“We're using our beta test to inform us of what scale that we can handle. Our pre-order campaign is tailored towards how we're going to do that. We're looking at a rollout plan that is fairly ambitious. We don't feel like we're going to be leading too much demand behind at launch but we definitely are going to be very cautious and thoughtful about how many people we bring on and in what order."
Basically, EA and BioWare are saying that while they want to ensure a smooth launch experience by controlling the amount of people at launch. While no specific numbers were revealed, it's safe to assume that the "ambitious" plans should include plenty of copies of Star Wars: The Old Republic to go around for everyone. You'd think with over 4.8 million testing hours logged in beta, EA would have a pretty good idea of how their servers will hold up.
“It's a very interesting proposition from that standpoint because you have the Star Wars brand that draws in a lot of people. That is a good thing because we think we can sustain the business over a very long time as we grow. There's going to continually be new customer segments that we can open up and bring into the service.”
It seems to me that EA/BioWare are just staying more on the cautious side, which is pretty reasonable given the recent flurry of launch debacles with online play.