It's a lot of work to transport electronic data. To get Titanfall to the UK, Respawn will presumably have to manually print every line of code, pack it into a secure, waterproof crate, and then sail it over the Atlantic. Once it arrives, all that data must then be typed into the UK's internet, probably by Johnny Lee Miller's fictional character from the movie Hackers.
At least, that's the only sensible scenario for having staggered international release dates. And yet, Titanfall pre-loading is now available for pre-ordered digital copies. It suggests that, rather than some tricky infrastructural hurdle, the reason many countries won't be able to play the game until later this week is down to the usual prioritisation of physical media, and the unwillingness of brick and mortar stores to deviate from their traditional release window.
Release dates and times have now been clarified by EA in a blog post accompanying their pre-load announcement. If you live somewhere in the world, this is when you'll be able to play the game:
- Central Asia: (Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand) 3/11 12:00 KST
- North America (United States, Mexico, Canada, Brazil) 3/11 12:00 AM EST
- Russia: 3/11 11:00 MSK
- Australia: 3/12 13:00 UTC
- Japan: 3/12 15:00 UTC
- Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland): 3/12 23:00 UTC
- New Zealand: 3/13 12:00 UTC
- India: 3/13 18:30 UTC
- United Kingdom: 3/13 23:00 UTC
- Ireland: 3/13 23:00 UTC
- Portugal: 3/13 23:00 UTC
Of course, such a staggered launch isn't unusual. For big games that still have a physical presence, it's only the very biggest that can pull off a day-and-date international launch. Still, it's a constant irritation, as - thanks to the connectedness of the internet - many countries will get to spend tomorrow hearing from people enjoying the game, while unable to play their own copies.