Star Wars: The Old Republic started its first closed beta testing period last weekend as previously announced. Now the schedule of future weekend beta events for the long awaited MMO is up in the air. In a post on the game's official message boards, its senior online community manager Stephen Reid said, "There is no Beta Testing Weekend scheduled for this weekend. There may be further Beta Testing Weekends during September, but we're not going to guarantee it. The weekend that just finished was really our first dry run of Beta Testing Weekends as a whole, and we have plenty of data to crunch, and decisions to make before we start things up again."
One of the reasons behind the delay is that the game's developer BioWare is about to complete a major new build of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Reid states, "As with any new build of the game, we need to get feedback from internal testing and our ongoing Game Testing program before rolling it out to a massive audience. That process takes a while, and that time varies depending on how testing goes."
Any delay for the game's closed beta testing puts the final release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic in question. At the moment publisher Electronic Arts has said that the game will be released sometime in the fourth quarter of 2011. However, as reported by Gamasutra, EA's chief financial officer Eric Brown admitted at the Citi Technology Conference this week that the company's financial guidance does take into account that the game could be delayed into the first quarter of 2012.