EA to limit initial sales of Star Wars The Old Republic

Usually a game developer is happy when it sells lots of copies of a game when it ships to stores. But publisher Electronic Arts has announced that one of the biggest games due out in 2011, Star Wars The Old Republic, will have a limit on the initial number of copies that will be made available for sale. Game Informer is reporting that the sales limit will extend not just to physical boxed copies of the game but also to the downloadable version that EA is selling via its Origin service.

Why limit the available of the game at launch? EA claims that it wants to make sure that the launch of the MMO title, developed by BioWare, is a smooth one. In the past a number of MMO game launches have been hindered by tons of players joining the servers all at once, forcing gamers to deal with long waits to join servers that can last for hours until the developers bring more servers online.

EA has given no indication on exactly how many copies of Star Wars The Old Republic will be sold before the initial limit is hit. However, an article at Gamasutra quotes an EA rep as saying, "All versions of the game -- physical and digital -- are available for pre-order on a limited basis only. Once they are gone, they are gone."  Earlier this year EA said that pre-orders for the game have already broken sales records at the company, but no announcement has been made as to exactly how many copies of the game have been sold. Star Wars The Old Republic is scheduled to be released sometime in the holiday season of 2011, but EA has yet to give a specific release date for the title.

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So, I've been following SWTOR for a long time now, and I have been excited and eager to begin playing this game... until I hear that EA is going off and being stupid yet again.

They screw it up every time they touch something and I was REALLY hoping that they would leave the Midas touch at home when it came to dealing with a potentially great MMO.

They haven't let me down. I wish they would for a change.

After being on for the first day of the Rift release Im kinda happy to hear this. I wont have it on day of release, so that doesnt bother me this time around, BUT Rift was a nightmare on release day! 4hours wait for servers because they were so full, people going to empty servers just so they could play then a week later moving to different ones and leaving entire servers empty.
At the end of the day it will make it better for the people who do get to start, but how do you know you wont be effected? how are they gunna mange it? If i go in and buy the game, after reserving it are they gunna say, "No you cant have it today, EA said so!"

Guys relax most of these people that are dissing this and saying it a bad move etc probably are die wow hard fans and saying yay wow is number one and this is prove that ea cant topple blizzard.This may be a rumor but guessing it not I say just relax EA and Bioware are right about one thing that is this game sold more preorders than they anticipated.Now it very possible the people that preorder the physical copies will get there orders it will be the people that have not preorder that probably wont be able to get the download version or physical copy for a while.This doesn't mean the game is bad of course die hard fans of wow will come and say the game is bad no pvp no end game bad graphics they try to make other people leave the game like they did when other new mmos came out.Also this game will probably have bugs on the day it comes out and wont be perfect and the people that do think it will be well guess what I am pretty sure it wont go off perfect juts like world of warcraft had it problems on launch day and it didn't have all end game stuff when it launch and it had bugs when it launch.

Here's my theory:

They limit the amount of servers they require at launch because deep down, they believe that the game will die out in 6 months time once everyone realises it's a pos.

That's what I'm feeling too. It really just looks like it plays like just another MMO; which is a shame given how much time and money has been spent on it.

People complain when servers get overloaded, but then you all complain when a company shoots themselves in the foot to ensure players get a smooth experience on launch day.
I will never understand the internet.

AFineFrenzy said,
People complain when servers get overloaded, but then you all complain when a company shoots themselves in the foot to ensure players get a smooth experience on launch day.
I will never understand the internet.

Launching new product PROTIP #1: make sure you have 25% more server resources then you expect to be used on day 1 already online.

xendrome said,

Launching new product PROTIP #1: make sure you have 25% more server resources then you expect to be used on day 1 already online.

More like a 1000%. It's also not just about capacity. It's about all the players being concentrated on the starting zones at the same time. As they've said, they do not want to use the phasing technology unless they really have to. The pre-orders have already broken their records so there are such a thing as way too much players in 1 particular zone.

kheldorin said,

More like a 1000%.


Yes, because buying 10 times as many servers as you need always makes financian sense.

This just makes me hate EA more.. yes i get the whole "initial jump on the band wagon" but they already looked like the game is more of a screw up than it should be. Much like excalpius, i wont use EA's online service (and im all for competition) simply because it sucks to much to care about it. Steam is awesome and way better than anything else out there IMO, i dont need 30 online market services to run all of my games, i prefer one and steam is it.

NiteJammin said,
This just makes me hate EA more.. yes i get the whole "initial jump on the band wagon" but they already looked like the game is more of a screw up than it should be. Much like excalpius, i wont use EA's online service (and im all for competition) simply because it sucks to much to care about it. Steam is awesome and way better than anything else out there IMO, i dont need 30 online market services to run all of my games, i prefer one and steam is it.

Steam and Origin only makes 2. Idk where you get the other 28 from.

SharpGreen said,

Steam and Origin only makes 2. Idk where you get the other 28 from.

I was asking myself the same question lol. I can only think of a handful.
Steam, Impulse, Origin, DirectToDrive, erm....

TCLN Ryster said,

I was asking myself the same question lol. I can only think of a handful.
Steam, Impulse, Origin, DirectToDrive, erm....

The point the poster is trying to make is that you shouldn't need to have more than one and it should be their choice on it, not something you are forced into. If you want to use a specific one, you should be able to do so, like a one stop shop.

This is a smart move. There is nothing to say they won't have copies ready to go day 1 once they have made it through the pre-launch play. Not to mention limit could mean 2,3,4 million copies. I don't think anyone wants a 7 hour que like Aion and Rift both went though and then wait as the company scrambles to get new servers running. This is a smart approach and will help it go smoothly.

Yes, this is ENTIRELY about the servers they need.

I also suspect that they have tested the game enough internally to know that they will have a HUGE initial adoption interest with a quick turnover/falloff and they want to avoid not only the initial disappointment of weak/broken network services under load, but the expense of buying/setting up 2 or 3 times as many servers as they will actually need over the long term, just to cover early initial interest.

As for me, I am not buying an EA products until they are back on Steam. A lot of people feel the same way.

excalpius said,
Yes, this is ENTIRELY about the servers they need.

I also suspect that they have tested the game enough internally to know that they will have a HUGE initial adoption interest with a quick turnover/falloff and they want to avoid not only the initial disappointment of weak/broken network services under load, but the expense of buying/setting up 2 or 3 times as many servers as they will actually need over the long term, just to cover early initial interest.

As for me, I am not buying an EA products until they are back on Steam. A lot of people feel the same way.

No, it just means that they want to stagger the amount of people that can play the game at the starting location. There are already doing this by allowing people who pre-order play earlier.But they probably choose to limit the sales rather than let people buy and then say you can only start playing at this particular day. It has nothing to do with "quick turnover/falloff".

BlueDraGon said,
That's why they should do an Open/Closed Beta to test these kind of things....

See this would make sense, what they should do is make it if you preorder digital, you get to play a week before retail/offical launch, that way they can sell tons of pre-orders, and then iron out bugs before offical day, when the slaves to brick and mortar actually buy stuff...but who knows what is going on in their heads up top at EA.

BlueDraGon said,
That's why they should do an Open/Closed Beta to test these kind of things....

What would a beta tell them? This is a capacity issue, not a bug issue. There is a lag time for installing new servers to cope with demand, and they're not going to buy hundreds of servers just IN CASE they're needed.

Assuming they do hit a capacity limit with the initial batch, more copies will be sold as and when new servers are brought online.

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
whaaaa

did EA get hit in the head and made stupid or something


They got hit a while back, when console sports games required online activation codes for XBL etc. Later, when (not 100% but likely) they forced DICE to use Origin/ external server search for BF3. EA is retarded.