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Star Wars: The Old Republic Releasing Sometime Before, Uh, March 31, 2012

EA expects the MMO before the end of the year, unless they don't.


Before March 31, 2012, EA and BioWare will (maybe) let you play The Old Republic.
Electronic Arts and BioWare are betting big on Star Wars: The Old Republic, easily the highest-profile competitor to World of Warcraft since Blizzard assumed genre dominance, but nailing down a release date has been a constantly moving target. In discussing its latest fiscal results, publisher EA was just as cagey about when The Old Republic will be released. Their only guarantee? Before March 31, 2012.

"We are preparing the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic," said EA CEO John Riccitiello on today's financial call. "The launch date, while in our fiscal year, is not yet certain."

In EA's own breakdown for the next year, the company "assumes" The Old Republic will ship within the calendar year (read: before the end of 2011), but has baked in the possibility of a slip into 2012. Just today, BioWare and EA announced Mass Effect 3, originally scheduled for holiday 2011, is now early 2012.

"While we fully anticipate launching Star Wars: The Old Republic in Q2 or Q3," said CFO Eric Brown, "the low end of our guidance range assumes the outside possibility of a January launch."

If you're not following EA's explanation so far, here's a summary: The Old Republic's coming this fiscal year and expects it before 2011's end...but there's a chance it won't actually arrive until next year. Okay.

Unsurprisingly, EA believes the launch of The Old Republic will be "the biggest event of the year."

"We currently have over one million double-opt-in beta testers for the world’s first story-driven, fully 
voiced MMO," said EA Games president Frank Gibeau. "Everyone is waiting for us to announce the ship date… Sorry, but that’s not going to happen today. We’re holding the date for two reasons--first, we don't want to tip off the competition; second, we want more data from the beta test to guarantee a spectacular experience at launch."

The wait continues. Ironically, this all comes on Star Wars Day. May the 4th be...oh, nevermind. Patrick Klepek on Google+
78 Comments
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Posted by scarace360

I can wait CAUSE I GOTS BF3!!!!

Posted by Spiritof

Why the hell did Bioware announce this game two years ago?

If they had announced TOR at E3 this year, with a release date of 2012, to quote Chris Grant, my boner would have snapped off.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

2012 is too far off really.  If they don't roll it out before the end of the year they will lose their audience to WoW returners, freemos and Rift/LOTRO hardcores.  Less press noise, more speed to the release Bioware.

Posted by Levio

They're doing exactly what Blizzard always does:  Ignoring requests for release dates so they can just work on their own time.

Posted by MforMaverick

OMG! I can not wait for this game. I'm hoping and crossing my fingers that this will be the first MMO to actually pull me in. 

Edited by CL60
@SeriouslyNow said:

" 2012 is too far off really.  If they don't roll it out before the end of the year they will lose their audience to WoW returners, freemos and Rift/LOTRO hardcores.  Less press noise, more speed to the release Bioware. "

Bioware are smart. Why rush out an MMO? The number 1 reason most MMOs don't do that well is buggy launches. A lot of MMOs right now are actually pretty good, but the majority of people aren't willing to go back because of the terrible buggy launches.
Posted by dagas
@WrathOfBanja said:
" This still isnt KotOR... "
It seems to me you could play it like KotOR if you want to. Fully voiced, story focused and companions for people who don't want to play with other real people. Everything I've read about the game has made me more and more exited. If done well it can be better than KotOR because they can continue to add to the game and your choices will mean more since you cannot load a previous save. If you want to you can play it as a single player game and see the monthly fee as subscribing to free DLC.
Posted by Picard

Sucks,.   But honestly, I don't want them releasing it if it isn't done.

Posted by WrathOfBanja
@dagas:  You could play it like that, except its story is probably going to be watered down crap like any other MMO.
Posted by Brackynews

 We currently have over one million double-opt-in beta testers...

Damn, now I feel dirty for just being a single-opt-in.  Still waiting for that pass...
Regardless, I'll be there on day one bitching about the servers.
Posted by demonknightinuyasha

I'm fine with this continuing to get delayed....I will have no life when it comes out -_-

Posted by outerabiz

funny thing is, in a years time maybe even this year blizzard is proberbly gonna announce the new mmo they've been working on for the last couple of years now, which is gonna be WoW2. Tor will likely not be the WoW killer but WoW 2 will. And if they dont get Tor out the door before blizzard announces WoW 2, Ea is gonna take a serious hit on sales.

Posted by Lufferov

Why is that Jedi wearing Master Chiefs armour?

Posted by SeriouslyNow
@Lufferov said:
" Why is that Jedi wearing Master Chiefs armour? "
Coz, you know Bioware have an awesomely original art department.  I know people think they are beyond reproach but Dragon Age 2 screams otherwise.
Edited by BonOrbitz

That's fine. My "MMORPG" for this year will be Skyrim. I'm buying a new rig for it anyways, so it'll be primed when TOR drops.

Edited by StrikeALight

Any chance of this bombing after release, like most other MMOs? (and more importantly - what would it mean for MMO-land if it does)

 I just wonder how they can recoup the £100,000,000 + they have spent developing it.

Posted by BonOrbitz
@StrikeALight said:
" Any chance of this bombing after release, like most other MMOs? (and more importantly - what would it mean for MMO-land if it does) I just wonder how they can recoup the £100,000,000 + they have spent developing it. "
If EA doesn't get their "500,000" subscribers like they mentioned, then they'll consider it a bomb?
Posted by StrikeALight

Exactly, no other western MMO (except WoW) has been able to retain 500k subscribers - month in, month out.

SWOTR will be the first to successfully accomplish this, but they'll need more to recoup from launch and on-going development costs.

Posted by Warchief

My guess is it will launch in September this year along with the blu-ray release of the "origional" movies and the  prequels. 

Posted by sephirm87
@WrathOfBanja said:
" @dagas:  You could play it like that, except its story is probably going to be watered down crap like any other MMO. "
did you forget... BIOWARE is doing this game.  The story will far and away be the single best thing about this game.
Posted by Pinworm45
@Pop said:
" "  Star Wars: The Old Republic, easily the highest-profile competitor to World of Warcraft sinceBlizzard assumed genre dominance" yea sure, nothing will take wow down, it's pretty impossible IMO. "
It said nothing about "taking wow down". It said it's the highest profile competitor to WoW.

Which is entirely true.
Posted by WrathOfBanja
@sephirm87 said:
" @WrathOfBanja said:
" @dagas:  You could play it like that, except its story is probably going to be watered down crap like any other MMO. "
did you forget... BIOWARE is doing this game.  The story will far and away be the single best thing about this game. "
You mean the people that made that one game where you wandered around collecting party members for five hours and then fought a giant terminator?
Posted by DeviantJoker
@WrathOfBanja said:
" @sephirm87 said:
" @WrathOfBanja said:
" @dagas:  You could play it like that, except its story is probably going to be watered down crap like any other MMO. "
did you forget... BIOWARE is doing this game.  The story will far and away be the single best thing about this game. "
You mean the people that made that one game where you wandered around collecting party members for five hours and then fought a giant terminator? "
SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!
Posted by Draken

 "We currently have over one million double-opt-in beta testers for the world’s first story-driven, fully 
voiced MMO," said EA Games president Frank Gibeau. "Everyone is waiting for us to announce the ship date… Sorry, but that’s not going to happen today. We’re holding the date for two reasons--first, we don't want to tip off the competition; second, we want more data from the beta test to guarantee a spectacular experience at launch."

I hope the "fully voiced MMO" wont be as generic as this bs.

Posted by Leeroi

I work at the company that is building the servers that TOR is being housed on. I built one of them yesterday. This game must be close to coming out soon. They must be just about done if they are setting up the Physical network it will reside in. I am very excited.

Posted by Ethan_Raiden

@Leeroi:Has your company set up game servers in the past, would you know around how long it would be from when the servers are installed to when the game is released? It has to be soon right or they're paying for the server space and not making any money?

Posted by Leeroi

@Ethan_Raiden: I have never before seen any game servers come through, but there are only two companies that make rack mounted cabinet servers in the US that I know of so I imagine they probably had a few MMO clients in the past.  Beyond that I have no information to give. All I know is we built another 6 of those guys last shift, and I expect to see more when I get to work tonight.  I really really really hope this means that they will be starting up soon, but who knows how long that will take. 

Edited by DeviantJoker
@Leeroi: Interesting news - and very amusing connection to find out on GB. Hopefully you are right. According to the recent EA's E3 Analyst Conference Call (6/8/11) they are still aiming for FY Q2/Q3 which translates into Q2 = July - Sept and Q3 = Oct - December. Someone mentioned Late Q2/Early Q3 as well... also here's the "expected roadmap" presented... 
 
 

As always, this is subject to change - but as they have addressed their investors twice over with this prediction and have noted they'll likely lose X cents per share should it deviate later, I hope they stick to it as well as put out a finished quality game.