SWTOR in Australia and NZ: delay rumours (updated)

As we’ve discussed quite a bit, the speculation on Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s release date continues to increase in intensity. In that respect it’s been a very interesting recent few days, all thanks to one tweet. It came from Good Game co-host Hex:

Within an hour or so of that the enquiries started coming in to TOROZ, asking if it was true. Hex did tweet two more pieces of info – the first in reponse to a thread on the SWTOR forums discussing her original tweet:

and then:

After the initial tweet, TOROZ contacted David Bass at Bioware to get some clarification, with David responding that Bioware don’t comment on rumours and that “launch regions” haven’t been announced yet. We’ve sought clarification on the launch regions aspect but haven’t received a response to that as yet (and given it’s the weekend it’s not fair to expect one either).

So what does this all mean? Not a lot that can be verified really. There’s really a number of combinations, and one of them will be likely be the reality:

Worst case: delayed oceanic release with lockdown on game purchases and server access

I just can’t see this happening as it would be an overt indication of contempt for oceanic players. It makes no business sense and would create a whole lot of bad feeling that’s not required. I’d be gobsmacked if this came to pass. The truly dedicated could potentially work around it by using a US credit card and a proxy service for playing, but it’d be a mighty pain on a day-to-day basis.

Next worst case: delayed oceanic release with ability to buy from the US

Although this to would garner (rightfully) some significant backlash, it would be partially offset by the ability to purchase online from the US. There’d be complaints around lag and it would still be seen as a bad start for the region, but at least there’d be some access.

Bearable case: short delay then full access

This would arise whereby Bioware, for infrastructure / load balancing issues announce a staggered release schedule with oceanic areas able to access the game a month or two after launch. There would still be plenty of frustration but it wouldn’t be the PR disaster the two worse options would create.

Rightful case: simultaneous worldwide launch

This is what most people have assumed would be the reality until it has been called into question over recent days. This approach provides a smoother start to proceedings and although the potential for lag issues / server queues are increased, even that can garner some good PR from the viewpoint that the game is popular. As much as I still hope this is the planned approach, the fact that launch regions are even being mentioned places some doubt on it.

Best case: Oceanic launches first

I had to put this in as an option even though I’d argue it’s as silly as the worst case option.

The Sum Up

I tend to take the view that the tweets that have caused the debate are at least partially misinformed. If an Electronic Arts PR rep from Australia is the source, then I tend to assume they’re not really in the know. If the information is correct and Bioware have been caught on the hop, it’s a fairly stark illumination of how the EA / Bioware relationship works.

I think a simultaneous release is still on the cards but I don’t think it’s guaranteed by any stretch. There’s been nothing to date to suggest Oceanic areas have been given a great deal of thought in context of the large European and US markets. It’s a flawed strategy though: World of Warcraft is partially where it is today through it’s support of a worldwide audience. Bioware is already behind the eight-ball in that with its PC-only approach. Geographic segregation would be a further retrograde step, but it’s not something set in stone. Three tweets do not a company policy make.

You can discuss it more in the comments here, on our forums or on the SWTOR forum thread (which has now been closed with no response from Bioware except to say there’s an Aussie Guild listing thread already – a furphy of a rationale IMO).

Over to you: are you angry, bemused or indifferent?

UPDATE: Jason Wood James Dominguez over at The Age has also made a mention of a potential delay:

The bad news is that the Australian release looks like it will be pushed back, but I’ll get more news from EA when they know more.

James also alludes to EA PR being the source of the information. It’s now just a matter of whether the EA PR contact is on the money. A big thanks to Cameron for the heads-up.

Comments

  1. I desperately hope that they mean no Oceanic servers for a year, I could live with that otherwise I will be nerd raging.

  2. It is a tad frustrating to have that thread closed and directed to the other Oceanic thread which, in my opinion does not fit the discussion that was taking place. The other thread is more for the organisation of guilds to help with phase 2 of the Guild HQ system.

    The lack of clarity here isn’t the best. I wouldn’t say I’m angry, I’d say I’m a tad frustrated. Surely this far along they should know how they’re going to handle it. I’ll finish with a pointy out tongue 😛 and with…

    WHO THE F$%K WAS THAT! BIOWARE WHAT THE FUCK! OCEANICS LEFT SIDE! EVEN SIDE MANY OCEANICS! NOW HANDLE IT! F$%K!!! THATS A F$%KING 50 DKP MINUS!

  3. Same thing now being reported by The Age gaming journalist who was at E3.

    http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/games/blogs/screenplay/e3-diary-day-4-20110613-1fzn6.html

    “The bad news is that the Australian release looks like it will be pushed back, but I’ll get more news from EA when they know more.”

    Two separate journalists being told the same thing by EA. Starting to get concerned now.

  4. This whole situation is horrible. Been waiting for this game for YEARS.

    • Just buy a US or European copy of the game. Big whoop.

      • They could region lock it. Block Australian credit cards from buying it. Block Australian IP’s from playing it etc….

        • paladinite says:

          there is still ways even around that quite simple really, there will be private servers within a year after release dont count on it to be pure NA/EU servers

  5. Toroz please keep pursuing clarification on this issue. I’ve been watching the threat in the TOR forums go from zero posts to 1000 in under 48 hours – and Bioware is saying nothing. People are concerned. Be good to get some answers.

    • paladinite says:

      well good luck with that david bass is good with not responding to rumours, and thats all this will remain

      why has Hex and jason wood not even provided us with a name of this EA PR, it just shows how much truth there is to this rumour, until we are provided with a Name of this EA PR rep we cannot take this seriously.
      if either one of them took the name down the name maybe we could of gotten more clarification, really professional!

  6. paladinite says:

    even i have taken names let me provide you with one Tammy Schachter who is one of the EA PR team members, its not hard for them to that or even follow it up with a email if they where bothered about pursuing it just go check either of there twitters it is piled with random rubbish,
    it goes to show you how concerned either of them really are, they make these accusations and dont back them up or follow them up…dam attention seekers

    • paladinite says:

      well just for me to fix one mistake i made James “DexX” Dominguez from the age article did happen to chase it up on June the 14th via reply to his own article down the bottom with no sucess, it appears Hex provided no follow up or update.
      EA and Bioware cannot provide anyone with this type of information, if australia is confirmed to be released on the same day as US then other countries will wont confirmation also and they will be releasing to much information to early.
      also there may be a simple misunderstanding such as if the EA PR they spoke to was thinking they where asking about a same time release in australia and for example
      If it was due to release on Oct the 5th and she was aware of a time difference she could assume we would have a 1 day delay and get it released on the 6th seeming we are ahead by so many hours for it to be released on the exact same day.
      also to clarify a comment James “DexX” Dominguez made on his own article:
      “Sorry, that’s all I was told, and I get the feeling the staff weren’t completely sure about it either. I was simply told that the Australian release was probably going to be later than North America’s, and no date had been announced as yet. I’ll look into it and see if I can get a more solid comment.”
      he mentioned they where not completely sure about it either! and they only said “probably going to be later than NA”

  7. So what if Australiasia’s release was post-poned a month to afford Oceanic servers? Would you be fine with it? My biggest concern to be perfectly honest, would be that we play the American version, and then if they later revealed Oceanic servers, everyone would stay on the American servers and not populate them. If they do stall the Australian release, I’m hoping REALLY badly that I’ll be able to find a pirated private server to play on until Aus release.

    • paladinite says:

      they should offer a free character transfer, but if everyone made friends and wish to stay there then yeah…

  8. GIMMY MA FUCKING STARWARS THE OLD REPUBLIC BRO!

  9. screw that, if i have to be a month behind fucking U.S players im just gonna stick with wow…

  10. THIS is just simply fucked up and the fuckin us can go fuck themselves fuckin stick this game up every fuckin ass hole who works at fuckin bioware

  11. boycott the game
    tell swtor if they snub australin then we will snub them
    dirty septic tanks [yanks] will have an advatage against australia in all arears pvp or game related
    tell them to go fuck themselvs

Trackbacks

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    […] a delayed release for our region. ABC TV Australia’s Good Game set off that little firestorm with some tweets from the E3 games expo in the United States. It was backed up by a Fairfax gaming journalist […]

  4. […] the few weeks since the rumours surfaced of a delayed oceanic release for SWTOR, there’s been no shortage of debate, with some lengthy threads still discussing the issue on the official […]

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