The Old Republic release date to be determined by beta. Bioware "still optimising the servers"
EA's Frank Gibeau has recently told CVG that fan reaction to the beta will determine when the The Old Republic will be released. Gibeau said EA wanted a smooth, problem free launch for the MMO, echoing the sentiment displayed when we discussed Star Wars: The Old Republic pre-orders with Bioware's Dr Greg Zeschuck at Gamescom.
"[The release date] is definitely tied to the beta test feedback that's ongoing and so far, so good." said Gibeau. "We feel good about the date that we're heading towards but... you could have a Crazy Ivan show up in the September/October beta test and be like, 'wow, I've got to fix that'."
EA and Bioware are determined to try and avoid the launch issues that have plagued other MMOs. Gibeau told the website: "We don't want to happen to us what happened to WoW and a couple of other services where in the first week there were queues trying to get on to the servers, the entire service crashed - we don't want that to happen. So we need to nail and make sure that it's up 24/7 and it's high quality."
Pre-orders for the game are limited. An EA representative told Gamasutra they "are limiting launch quantities of Star Wars: The Old Republic to ensure players have a smooth and high quality game experience and service at launch."
We spoken to Bioware creative officer Dr. Greg Zeschuk about Star Wars: The Old Republic pre-orders. He admitted that their servers could be jam-packed come release, saying, "If you don’t pre-order a copy you may not even get in in the first month just because there’s so many people on."
Zeschuk also mentioned that Bioware were doing their best to ensure that The Old Republic avoided the problematic launches of other MMOs but admitted they couldn't rule them out completely: "We’re trying to make sure we don’t have huge queues, I mean that’s something that WoW and other games had, it’s part of life, there’s only so many people get on. I mean if you happen to log on at precisely the wrong time there might be a small queue but it won’t be huge. We’re still optimising the size and the servers to make sure that’s not big experience problem. We don’t want to be plugged in waiting for ten minutes or whatever to play games on time."