Giant Bomb News

269 Comments

Star Wars: The Old Republic Will Actually Ship This Year

SWTOR scoots in just under the wire with a late December release date.

The three founders of BioWare: Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Dr. Ray Muzyka, and Dr. Anakin Skywalker

Electronic Arts has issued a press release confirming a late December release for BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game will become widely available on December 20 in North America (five days after the shutdown of Star Wars: Galaxies), with the European release trailing a bit on December 22. Previously, word from EA was that the company was hoping to get the game on shelves this year, but that it would definitely be out before the end of March.

The company also took the time to reiterate the game's pricing structure, which follows the classic formula of $14.99/month with discounts for paying in advance for three- or six-month chunks. Pre-ordering players will also get "Early Game Access." That seems like a weird thing for them to capitalize like that, but the main point is that there don't appear to be any details just yet about when that access begins. Over on the game's official boards, where people are wondering the same thing, the response from Senior Community Coordinator Allison Berryman is as follows:

"We don’t have any new information regarding Early Game Access to share at this time. We know everyone is very excited about the release date announcement (we are, too!) and that you can’t wait to get in the game! The beginning of Early Game Access will depend on a number of factors, including results from our Game Testing Program and Pre-Orders, but there will be multiple days of access."

A quick scan of those message boards also makes it look like there are still plenty of people clamoring to get into the game's beta testing program, with more news about another wave of invites--which are likely to include European players--coming in what I imagine will have to be the relatively near future.

As for us, I'd like to do a series of regular videos that involve us playing the game for a somewhat extended period of time, sort of like we did for Star Trek Online. We'll have to see how that goes, because a December 20 release date puts it pretty close to our crazy Game of the Year process as well as, you know, Christmas and stuff.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
269 Comments
Posted by Jeff
The three founders of BioWare: Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Dr. Ray Muzyka, and Dr. Anakin Skywalker

Electronic Arts has issued a press release confirming a late December release for BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game will become widely available on December 20 in North America (five days after the shutdown of Star Wars: Galaxies), with the European release trailing a bit on December 22. Previously, word from EA was that the company was hoping to get the game on shelves this year, but that it would definitely be out before the end of March.

The company also took the time to reiterate the game's pricing structure, which follows the classic formula of $14.99/month with discounts for paying in advance for three- or six-month chunks. Pre-ordering players will also get "Early Game Access." That seems like a weird thing for them to capitalize like that, but the main point is that there don't appear to be any details just yet about when that access begins. Over on the game's official boards, where people are wondering the same thing, the response from Senior Community Coordinator Allison Berryman is as follows:

"We don’t have any new information regarding Early Game Access to share at this time. We know everyone is very excited about the release date announcement (we are, too!) and that you can’t wait to get in the game! The beginning of Early Game Access will depend on a number of factors, including results from our Game Testing Program and Pre-Orders, but there will be multiple days of access."

A quick scan of those message boards also makes it look like there are still plenty of people clamoring to get into the game's beta testing program, with more news about another wave of invites--which are likely to include European players--coming in what I imagine will have to be the relatively near future.

As for us, I'd like to do a series of regular videos that involve us playing the game for a somewhat extended period of time, sort of like we did for Star Trek Online. We'll have to see how that goes, because a December 20 release date puts it pretty close to our crazy Game of the Year process as well as, you know, Christmas and stuff.

Edited by Sankis

Wow. Color me surprised.

When does their fiscal year end? Is this one of those pushes to get it out right before it ends? The 20th is an odd date.

Posted by Sorasha

I played in the beta and I can say I am legitimately excited for this game.

Posted by Redbullet685

Meh. I don't like MMO's.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

I'd love to see some videos on the game, especially after whatever zaniness you guys have planned for Star Wars Galaxies.

Moderator
Posted by JCTango

I'm probably gonna wait and see how it turns out. Got bored/burnt out on too many MMO's to want to seriously dive into another one.

Posted by Pr1mus

Will wait for the inevitable switch to f2p. No subscription based MMOs will be successful ever again. Not on the scale EA needs this one to be at least.

Posted by rjayb89

Oh, so that's what that e-mail I just deleted was about.

Posted by White

They announced the subscription fees for the game but I am very certain that somewhere in the past there was an interview or something on Kotaku that claiming they didn't want to have a subscription model and was exploring other options.

Posted by Cincaid

@Jeff said:

As for us, I'd like to do a series of regular videos that involve us playing the game for a somewhat extended period of time, sort of like we did for Star Trek Online.

Oh dear. Soon incoming "ENDURANCE RUN CONFIRMED" comments, heh.

Posted by TadThuggish

Love BioWare, love Star Wars, hate me some Origin. It's a battle, for sure.

Posted by JCTango

@Pr1mus said:

Will wait for the inevitable switch to f2p. No subscription based MMOs will be successful ever again. Not on the scale EA needs this one to be at least.

Yeah, I'm really wondering if they will do this too. I highly doubt it though, judging by how much they invested into this project. We'll wait and see.

Posted by lockwoodx

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL the gameplay is soooo not ready yet. I pity the early adopters.

Posted by smikey

Actually why don't you just put up videos of you playing STO? Let people see what the recent changes in the game are actually like.

Posted by rmanthorp

@TadThuggish said:

Love BioWare, love Star Wars, hate me some Origin. It's a battle, for sure.

They have said before you will not need to launch Origin to launch The Old Republic so that is something.

On the other hand: HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPEEEEEEE!!!

Moderator
Edited by MachoFantastico

Finally a release date.

Smart release date, hopefully heavy beta testing will begin now. But great to finally get some sort of date after years. Actually been impressed with what I've seen of the game this past few months.

Posted by outerabiz

i just finished kotor 1 and 2 again, and im pretty hyped to play this one, but it seems a weird design choice to put a million npcs into the main town areas just standing there or dancing... o-well atleast it autosaves constantly.

Oo man how sweet it would be if they had just used all that money on single player kotor games...

Posted by iAmJohn

This game is going to tank.

Edited by Atomicvideohead

@Sankis: Fiscal year end is March. I think this is just to try to get the Christmas season advantage + vacation time players.

Posted by TheMasterDS

@Pr1mus said:

Will wait for the inevitable switch to f2p. No subscription based MMOs will be successful ever again. Not on the scale EA needs this one to be at least.

This. I agree with everything said on the Giant Bombcast on that topic. The worst part of MMOs is the double jeopardy that comes from being charged annually on a game you buy for 60 dollars and I do think they've lost an opportunity to come out swinging not starting Free to Play.

Posted by familyphotoshoot

This game is doomed.

Posted by HarryDemeanor

Can't wait! Just 3 more months.

Posted by Hailinel

@iAmJohn said:

This game is going to tank.

Yep. There's nothing new it honestly offers other than hey bro, voice acting!

The only thing I'm left wondering is if it will be an Age of Conan-style tanking, a Star Trek Online style of bombing, or The Matrix Online, where in it lasts under the radar for years and becomes populated by hardcore players that spend their time either dancing or fighting or dance fighting.

Posted by Rirse

No Steam, No Sale.

Posted by SpartanAmbrose

Hooray! I'm so excited for this game.

Posted by crusader8463

@Hailinel said:

@iAmJohn said:

This game is going to tank.

Yep. There's nothing new it honestly offers other than hey bro, voice acting!

The only thing I'm left wondering is if it will be an Age of Conan-style tanking, a Star Trek Online style of bombing, or The Matrix Online, where in it lasts under the radar for years and becomes populated by hardcore players that spend their time either dancing or fighting or dance fighting.

I love reading comments like this. They always make me laugh.

Posted by Maitimo

And the world collectively shrugs. I don't know many people who're even aware it's still a thing and no one who's excited for it, despite having friends who are Bioware diehards willing to excuse even DA2. If you can't get your base excited, why even bother?

Posted by Elusionar

EA is outright lying, they just wants people to pre-order for this Christmas. They think that no one can sue them anymore so they can steal food off poor people Xmas table by selling them false hope.

Posted by Sooty

I'm waiting for Guild Wars 2 myself. That way if I don't like it at first, I can later try it again further down the line without having to pay money to re-subscribe!

Posted by Dragonblade

An odd release date, but I'll take it.

I know sub-based MMO's are about almost phased out, and there's so much love/hate for MMOs in general by folks, but myself and some really good friends are extremely excited about the game. Even thinking of it as a co-op KOTOR sequel makes me all tingly in places I dare not speak of.

Posted by Zaph

Was in the beta, seriously disappointed and bored by what I played and was hoping they'd decide to delay it by another year or so. Such a shame because, along with a few friends of mine, I've been looking forward to this game for years.

I don't know if it's a sign of lack of faith in their own product but after beta testing we received a handful of supplemental surveys. One was asking us what price we were prepared to pay for SWTOR (I voted $0 in it's current state) and another was if we think the 'Space Combat' should be cut from the launch of the game (I voted a big 'Yes' as it's currently a horrible flash game quality, on-rails shooter). So I wonder if we should expect an announcement on that somewhere between now and December.

Posted by phrosnite

I will definitely buy it but when my free month ends I don't think I'll continue. I'm kind of over MMOs. DOTA 2 for me as a long term game.

Posted by Phonics

@Elusionar: This is the dumbest thing I've read. Poor people not eating on christmas because they had to get a fucking MMORPG?

Posted by Cincaid

@Hailinel said:

dance fighting

Oooh lord, it's on!

Posted by iAmJohn
@TrueEnglishGent

Finally a release date.

Smart release date, hopefully heavy beta testing will begin now. But great to finally get some sort of date after years. Actually been impressed with what I've seen of the game this past few months.

How is five days before Christmas a smart release date? Who is going to buy this?
Posted by Elusionar

@Phonics said:

@Elusionar: This is the dumbest thing I've read. Poor people not eating on christmas because they had to get a fucking MMORPG?

Don’t take it so literally.

Posted by GUTBOMB

I would love to play this game. I would also like to graduate from college with a decent GPA, and these 2 things are mutually exclusive.

I envy those who will get to enjoy it with friends, which to me is the best part of MMO's, even more important than the game play itself for me.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@iAmJohn said:

@TrueEnglishGent

Finally a release date.

Smart release date, hopefully heavy beta testing will begin now. But great to finally get some sort of date after years. Actually been impressed with what I've seen of the game this past few months.

How is five days before Christmas a smart release date? Who is going to buy this?

Not me!

But that's mostly because I think the game is trash though.

Posted by Kamizzle

Well, now I know what to get Jesus Christ for his birthday.

Posted by JohnDudebro

Five days after the end of Galaxies!

Watch a bad Star Wars MMO end, then watch a (hopefully!) good one begin.

Posted by AnotherSomebody

I thought they had already announced October 4th as the release date... Not that I care about this game in the slightest, but I could have sworn that they had publicly and officially stated October 4th as the day. Am I imagining this?

Posted by Soulblitz

You forgot to mention that December 20th is also very soon after the end of Star Wars Galaxies, so I can imagine the whole office being on a massive downer when playing SWTOR.

Edited by Elusionar

My 10 years old stepson loves star wars, if he learns of this game he will bug the shit out of his mom to get it at Christmas, and when it gets postponed on the 20th all he

is going to get is a T-shirt saying: I nearly gat to play Star wars this Christmas... thanks EA!

Posted by RazielCuts

I watched my friend play it in the beta and I really liked it, I just don't want to pay 15 quid a month. Guild Wars 2 might be for me.

Posted by crusader8463

@Elusionar said:

My 10 years old stepson loves star wars, if he learns of this game he will bug the shit out of his mom to get it at Christmas, and when it gets postponed on the 20th all he

is going to get is a T-shirt saying: I nearly gat to play Star wars this Christmas... thanks EA!

Then you might want to preorder it because they are only making a limited supply for launch so if you don't preorder you probably won't be able to get it. They are even limiting the number of copies they sell online.

Posted by Dustpan

I crapped myself when I saw the news (figuratively).

Posted by Zaph

@Dragonblade said:

An odd release date, but I'll take it.

I know sub-based MMO's are about almost phased out, and there's so much love/hate for MMOs in general by folks, but myself and some really good friends are extremely excited about the game. Even thinking of it as a co-op KOTOR sequel makes me all tingly in places I dare not speak of.

The idea of a co-op KOTOR (with occasional ganking) is exactly what got myself and a few other friends so interested in SWTOR back when it was first announced. However, against all odds, they've somehow managed to even mess that up.

We were surprised to find out that the only missions you can do together are side quests (which usually involve very little story and superficial decision making). When partaking in your class quest (which are often huge chunks of gameplay) you have to continue alone as the area is 'zoned off' only to you. So your friends can never see what choices you're making or watch your cut-scenes with you. And because the different class quests are often spread over great distances, it makes teaming back up far more frustrating than it should be.

Dungeons (similar to WoW's 5 mans) play out quite well, however, there are very, very few scattered throughout the game and you'll be grinding them so often that after the 3rd visit or so, you can't care less about the story and you'll all be vote-skipping the cut-scenes.

As I said above, as someone who has been following the game for years, I was really hoping there was no release date yet because they were going to announce a long delay to seriously improve the game. Now, come Christmas, there are going to be a lot of disappointed fans wondering where all the years of dev time and hundreds of millions of dollars went. :(

Posted by Frostwolf

@Zaph said:

@Dragonblade said:

An odd release date, but I'll take it.

I know sub-based MMO's are about almost phased out, and there's so much love/hate for MMOs in general by folks, but myself and some really good friends are extremely excited about the game. Even thinking of it as a co-op KOTOR sequel makes me all tingly in places I dare not speak of.

The idea of a co-op KOTOR (with occasional ganking) is exactly what got myself and a few other friends so interested in SWTOR back when it was first announced. However, against all odds, they've somehow managed to even mess that up.

We were surprised to find out that the only missions you can do together are side quests (which usually involve very little story and superficial decision making). When partaking in your class quest (which are often huge chunks of gameplay) you have to continue alone as the area is 'zoned off' only to you. So your friends can never see what choices you're making or watch your cut-scenes with you. And because the different class quests are often spread over great distances, it makes teaming back up far more frustrating than it should be.

Dungeons (similar to WoW's 5 mans) play out quite well, however, there are very, very few scattered throughout the game and you'll be grinding them so often that after the 3rd visit or so, you can't care less about the story and you'll all be vote-skipping the cut-scenes.

As I said above, as someone who has been following the game for years, I was really hoping there was no release date yet because they were going to announce a long delay to seriously improve the game. Now, come Christmas, there are going to be a lot of disappointed fans wondering where all the years of dev time and hundreds of millions of dollars went. :(

None of this is true/accurate

Posted by dvdhaus

Hopefully the guys get into the beta to do the videos otherwise @Jeff you could always do a look after the first of the year for that series of videos. When you guys have time.

Posted by Lotus

I hope in the 5 days trial my blue color human bounty hunter get to kiss space wife, also on that, whats the deal on the future trial? is there gonna be one at release?