It’s official: SWTOR launches in Australia/NZ on March 1st

In what is arguably one of the most tortured processes in MMO history, Oceanic players now have a date from which we’re officially part of the SWTOR playing community. That date is as expected: March 1st.

The date was set in an announcement today from Electronic Arts / BioWare, which is replicated in full below.  Aside from the date, the other big news in the announcement is something we confirmed with BioWare over the weekend: there will be local servers available, with free transfers to those servers for those currently playing the game.

As far as versions of the game, there’ll be no Collector’s edition available for pre-order – you’ll have the choice of the standard edition or the Digital Deluxe, which will be available locally via EA’s origin service. Other notables:

– pre-orders will get an in-game crystal as per US launch
– pre-orders will also get the Founder’s title as per US launch

Surprisingly, Electronics Arts Australia have decided not to hold a large launch event, instead opting for a ‘soft launch;

For those who’ve been following the game throughout its development, beta and US/EU launch, the local launch still has a lot of significance even though copies of SWTOR are already in stores and a lot of locals are playing. The local servers alone show a commitment to the region that many won’t have expected given some of the decisions made by EA prior to now.

Over to you: will you be pre-ordering anything or just looking forward to jumping on a local server? We’ll have more analysis through the day as well.

FULL PRESS RELEASE:

STAR WARS (TM): THE OLD REPUBLICTM LANDS IN AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE ON MARCH 1
SYDNEY, Australia – February 15, 2012 – After a successful release in North America and Europe, BioWare™, a Label of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) announced today that the fastest growing subscription MMO ever, Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, will be officially launching in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore on March 1, 2012. Fans in those regions will be able to play the critically-acclaimed massively multiplayer online game on regional servers, enjoying the story-driven experience that has captivated gamers worldwide. Players in these countries who currently have or have had an active Star Wars: The Old Republic account prior to February 28, 2012 will have the opportunity to request a free character transfer for a limited time to an Asia Pacific server after the launch on March 1, 2012. All players who qualify for a character transfer will be notified in early March with more details.
“Our biggest priority for The Old Republic has always been to deliver a high quality product and high quality service and we are pleased with our results in North America and Europe,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “We appreciate that our fans in these countries have been patient and we are excited to deliver this same great customer experience to players this March.”
BioWare and EA will also be offering players in the region an in-game color crystal to change their weapon effect as a pre-order incentive* for reserving a copy of the Standard Edition from participating local retailers. There are no participating retailers for pre-orders in Hong Kong and Singapore. Finally, players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore will also be eligible for the Founder’s medal**, a distinction given to the early members of The Old Republic community.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a story-driven, massively multiplayer online (MMO) game from BioWare and LucasArts, breaking new ground in online gaming by delivering high quality, fully-voiced storylines with personal choice and consequences. Set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, players are immersed as they team up with friends online to fight in heroic battles reminiscent of the films, exploring a galaxy of vibrant planets, experiencing visceral Star Wars combat, all set to a sweeping musical score. Players are asked to join forces with either the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire and choose one of eight iconic Star Wars characters, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent.

Players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore will be able to choose from the Standard Edition ($79.99 AUD, $89.99 NZD, HK$389.00, S$64.00) and the Digital Deluxe Edition ($89.99 AUD, $99.99 NZD, HK$465.00, S$76.00) of Star Wars: The Old Republic at participating retailers. The Digital Deluxe Edition is exclusive to Origin.com. Included with the purchase of every copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic is 30 days of access to the game, after which players can continue to play by subscribing*** to the ongoing service. Subscribers will also receive ongoing content such as the recently released Game Update 1.1, Rise of the Rakghouls. For more information on Star Wars: The Old Republic, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, follow the game on Twitter® at http://twitter.com/swtor or “Like” Star Wars: The Old Republic on Facebook® at http://facebook.com/starwarstheoldrepublic.

*PRE-ORDER OFFER EXPIRES WHEN PRODUCT RELEASES. CODE EXPIRES DECEMBER 31, 2012. GOOD ONLY FOR NEW PURCHASES OF “STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC” (“PRODUCT”). VALID ONLY AT PARTICIPATING RETAILERS. CODE WILL BE GIVEN WHEN PRODUCT IS RELEASED AND MAY NOT BE SUBSTITUTED, EXCHANGED, TRADED, SOLD OR REDEEMED FOR CASH OR OTHER GOODS OR SERVICES. MAY NOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER, GIFT CARD, REBATE OR DISCOUNT COUPON. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, TAXED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. ACCEPTANCE OF END USER ACCESS AND LICENSE AGREEMENT, PERSISTENT INTERNET CONNECTION, ACCOUNT REGISTRATION (13+ TO REGISTER), PAID SUBSCRIPTION AND VALID AND ACCEPTED PAYMENT METHOD OR PAID GAME TIME CARD (IF AVAILABLE) REQUIRED TO ACCESS GAMEPLAY. GAME INTENDED FOR PLAY ONLY WITHIN NORTH AMERICA EUROPE AND CERTAIN OTHER TERRITORIES. SEE www.swtor.com/info/faq/game#q209655. ; EULAS AND DISCLOSURES CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.EA.COM/1/PRODUCT-EULAS. PAYMENT METHOD AGE RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. SEE PRE-ORDER FAQ’S AT WWW.SWTOR.COM/PREORDER/FAQ FOR DETAILS. SWTOR ONLINE SERVICE MAY BE RETIRED AFTER 30 DAYS NOTICE POSTED ON WWW.SWTOR.COM. SEE EUALA FOR DETAILS. AGREEMENT TO SHARE ACCOUNT INFORMATION WITH LUCASFILM ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LTD. (“LUCASFILM”) IS REQUIRED. PRIVACY POLICY AND TERMS OF SERVICE AVAILABLE AT WWW.SWTOR.COM. THE FIRST 30 DAYS OF SUBSCRIPTION IS INCLUDED IN THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE PRODUCT. SUBSCRIPTIONS MAY BE CANCELLED AT ANY TIME. SEE WWW.SWTOR.COM FOR DETAILS. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. PRE-ORDER QUANTITIES LIMITED.

**GOOD ONLY FOR PURCHASES OF STAR WARS™: THE OLD REPUBLIC™ WITH REDEMPTION OF A PURCHASED GAME TIME CODE OR BILLING OF AN ACTIVE GAME RECURRING SUBSCRIPTION WITH AN APPROVED PAYMENT METHOD. VALID WHEREVER GAME IS SOLD. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, TAXED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. CUSTOMERS WILL ACCESS THE ITEM IN-GAME. VIRTUAL ITEM ONLY. ITEM WILL BE APPLIED TO ALL CHARACTERS UNDER USER’S ACCOUNT. PLEASE ALLOW 7 DAYS FOR NOTIFICATION OF DELIVERABLES.
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND – OFFER EXPIRES APRIL 30, 2012 AT 12:01AM EDT; 2:00AM NZDT
HONG KONG and SINGAPORE – OFFER EXPIRES APRIL 29, 2012 AT 9:01PM HKT, 9:01PM SGT

*** Subscription pricing in Australia,New Zealand, HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE will be $14.99 USD per month, $41.97 USD for three months ($13.99 USD per month) or $77.94 for six months ($12.99 USD per month).

Comments

  1. Anyone notice that the press release continues to produce the rip-off in game purchase pricing?

    $AU79.99 for a Standard Edition when you can buy the exact same Standard Edition off Amazon for $US38.00.  Add in a few dollars more for shipping and you’re still going to be ahead of the purchase from Game, EB, JB or Big W.

    • Of course we’re getting ripped off on retail prices. This is nothing new to us and, sadly, is not going to change. Even if the AUS dollar stays strong for a whole year, the people in charge will continue to give us rubbish excuses for outrageous prices.
      Frankly, $80 Aus off the shelf would be a decent price in this country. For the last 2 years the average price of new PC releases has slipped up to $110, with EA releases leading that trend. (i.e. Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 2, etc)

    •  Hi,

      But If I buy from Amazon, I will be able to select Oceania Servers?

  2. Yup, noticed that too.

    Even the Origin standard verion is $59 US, and with the current exchange rate that would make it around $AU 57.00.

    I smell rip off on pricing.

    Nice to see local servers though.

  3. I also, sadly note, that the Collector’s Edition is not being sold. There are some of us Gamers who really like getting all that extra crap in a Collector’s Edition. I have one because I imported at launch, but the fact it’s not available here for gamers at Oceania launch is disappointing.  

  4. Top tier MMO with local servers?  I can live without the CE.

  5. Hopefully a RP or RP-PvP server will be included in those listings. 2 PvP servers, 2 PvE, a RP and a RP-PvP would be nice.

    •  Yeah. I will be rolling RP-PvP myself. Looking at the current population figures I reckon 1 server of each or 2 PvP, 2 PvE and 1 RP-PvE and 1 RP-PvP would help toward having some balance on the Oceanics,

      • No RP-PvP though at this stage unfortunately

        • Really? Well I think that is a bit daft.

          If they have 4 server types in US & EU regions why not have it here? Now I have to choose between PvP (my preferred enviroment ruleset) and RP-PvE (my least favourite ruleset but my preferres community).

          Dont see where the difficulty would be in having just 1 RP-PvP server.

  6. Any word on whether we will be offered Guild transfers? Or will we have to do things the old fashioned way?

  7. man i have 2 50’s and 30+ did they say u can only transfer 1 toon or all

    • Only one toon, which is unfortunate. I hope they allow you to transfer more than one toon even if you have to pay for it as I also have multiple high level toons for both factions.

  8. Icommented says:

    This launch thing is garbage .. many oceanics I know will not transfer off their servers now … many also worried if they transfer they will walk into ghost towns on aussie servers.. Other I know who wanted to play initially will not due to feeling slapped in the face by bioware. I understand there was some concern for server populations on the initial release of SWTOR but the handling of Oceanics was just nasty 

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