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EA to limit The Old Republic sales at release

EA to limit The Old Republic sales at release

EA has said it will limit initial sales of The Old Republic to help ensure server stability.

At GamesCom 2011 in Cologne today Electronic Arts has said it will limit the initial sales of upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The unusual move is required to help ensure server stability, an EA spokesperson told GameInformer.

Sales will be limited both at retail and on digital platforms, said the EA rep. Once the servers have been scaled up to meet initial demand, the restraints on sales will then start to be lifted, ensuring a steady influx of new players that makes for a more enjoyable and stable launch for the game.

No cut-off points were exactly specified though, nor was EA keen to enter into discussion about the release date - which remains unknown.

We saw Star Wars: The Old Republic a few months ago and weren't very impressed, however.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Check our GamesCom 2011 news hub for all the information from Cologne this year.

Here's a trailer for The Old Republic, though it doesn't seem very representative of the actual gameplay we've seen. Or maybe you think it is - take a look and let us know:

24 Comments

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Porkins' Wingman 19th August 2011, 01:08 Quote
Bit-tech are gonna limit the sales more based on everything published so far...
Claave 19th August 2011, 01:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porkins' Wingman
Bit-tech are gonna limit the sales more based on everything published so far...

It ain't just us...
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/18/new-for-old-old-republic-battle-footage/
Redsh1rt 19th August 2011, 02:27 Quote
Are they really doing this to increase server stability at launch or trying to get as many people to pre-order as possible to ensure that they get in at launch? As much as I want this game I can't really believe them after they said that the collector's edition digital download wasn't far off selling out. I've never heard Steam or Impulse say that they've sold out on a particular game!

If they really are worried about launch they should take a look at Rift. EA have a lot more resources than Trion so they should be able to cope (one would think!).
Kiytan 19th August 2011, 02:45 Quote
WoW that link was..... disappointing, the combat just looked....dull.
knuck 19th August 2011, 02:51 Quote
So... They'll stop some unfortunate gamers from downloading/playing the game in order to make this a more enjoyable launch ? I understand they want to avoid a disaster but now they're just creating one on purpose and by themselves
Draksis 19th August 2011, 08:41 Quote
Well, I really couldn't be bothered anymore....
Jezcentral 19th August 2011, 08:50 Quote
I know we are supposed to hate both EA and the game, but how is this anything other than good and responsible behavior from EA?
DragunovHUN 19th August 2011, 08:50 Quote
Translation: We're too cheap to bring some extra servers online so we'll just **** you over if you didn't pay us fast enough.
Tris 19th August 2011, 09:17 Quote
I think this is a good call. It's not viable for them to set up hundreds of servers to handle the peak day one demand (which then will almost certainly trail off rapidly until/unless the game becomes popular).

So many MMO launches have been crippled by poor experiences early on due to queues and lag, that kind of thing undoubtedly damages the image of a game.

It's not ideal, but in practical terms it's the best way (imo) to handle it.
Sentinel-R1 19th August 2011, 09:41 Quote
Whether the gameplay leaves a little to be desired or not, there's a huge SW fanbase out there and the chance to play an MMO with hundreds of thousands of other fans will be too much to resist... me included.

Even if I only play for a couple of months, it still costs less than a night on the town, so I'll be making my own judgement on release day.
proxess 19th August 2011, 10:43 Quote
Why don't they just concentrate on a new UO. It's about time they did.
MjFrosty 19th August 2011, 10:53 Quote
No disrespect to those involved, but I couldn't give two singular plops about this game.

That's not to say it'll be rubbish or more of the same, it's just...

Ok I'm lying that's exactly what I'm saying



Limit away, limit to your hearts content!!
2bdetermine 19th August 2011, 11:06 Quote
Seriously The Secret World is a lot more interesting than this dull looking SWTOR. I'm not sure what kind of graphic engine they're using, but it looks more like devolution.
rollo 19th August 2011, 11:36 Quote
Star wars has millions of fans who are waiting to play this, EA are been smart for once
impar 19th August 2011, 11:48 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:

Old Republic Looks As Interesting As a Naboo Trade Blockade
...
BioWare is going out of its way to tell the world how Old Republic will revolutionise the MMO. That line was thrown out at least twice during my showing.

But this game? What I saw today isn't doing it for me. It's telling me that it's revolutionising the genre, but all I'm seeing is just another MMO.
...
Trefarm 19th August 2011, 12:08 Quote
Every Media outlet on the net has slammed the game as rubbish, plus the usual haters are out in force, plus the pissed off fans who will pick apart the lore for errors.

Initial sales projections are probably looking low at EA HQ... this seems like a quick fix.

My cynical translation...

"QUICK! QUICK! You need to pre-order our game it's LIMITED! don't read those bad previews, don't wait for reviewss. You need to give us your MONEY!"

Plus if the sales figures are low, EA can save face and claim that they planned it that way...
Paradigm Shifter 19th August 2011, 12:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Translation: We're too cheap to bring some extra servers online so we'll just **** you over if you didn't pay us fast enough.

Funny, that's exactly what i was thinking.

How long will it take to "scale up"?

Because if I had this game on pre-order, or bought it on release day, and got told I couldn't play it for a couple of weeks simply so they don't have to spend lots on initial server rental, I'd take it back in disgust.

Which actually presents a very interesting problem: you can't return opened PC software. Except the EULA instructs you to, if you do not agree with the terms and conditions set out within it. And retailers are obliged to refund you for items "not fit for purpose". Round and round it goes, where it stops...
Krikkit 19th August 2011, 12:56 Quote
Aside from the issues above, does anyone else think the graphics for this are rather... Awful? I know MMO's aren't the last word in amazing graphics to make sure you can keep the playerbase nice and wide, but that looks truly terrible.
Claave 19th August 2011, 13:44 Quote
Poor graphics are the least of its problems imo...
cubixxx 19th August 2011, 14:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Translation: We're too cheap to bring some extra servers online so we'll just **** you over if you didn't pay us fast enough.

Funny, that's exactly what i was thinking.

How long will it take to "scale up"?

Because if I had this game on pre-order, or bought it on release day, and got told I couldn't play it for a couple of weeks simply so they don't have to spend lots on initial server rental, I'd take it back in disgust.

Which actually presents a very interesting problem: you can't return opened PC software. Except the EULA instructs you to, if you do not agree with the terms and conditions set out within it. And retailers are obliged to refund you for items "not fit for purpose". Round and round it goes, where it stops...

I think if you bought it they'd let you in, the number of copies sold will be limited, unless I've misunderstood?

Interesting that they would do this, I guess it will help with launch stability and they can ensure a steady stream of new players for the first few months(maybe even a year?). Which I guess is a steady flow of revenue rather than an initial burst followed by declining increase in subscriptions.

Now I think about it this is a smart move the focus is on maintaining the interest rather than focussing on just getting the game on the shelf which is not what an MMO needs.
John_T 19th August 2011, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Because if I had this game on pre-order, or bought it on release day, and got told I couldn't play it for a couple of weeks simply so they don't have to spend lots on initial server rental, I'd take it back in disgust.

In fairness, that scenario is the complete and total opposite of what they're talking about. Whether the reasons for (saying they will) limit the release are genuine or not, they're saying they'll do it to stop player problems like that.

I'm sure they're got numbers in their heads as to how many they think they'll sell compared to how many they think they can cope with on day one - they just want to be sure. I think Tris was right, this is probably not a bad idea. Star Wars the game is a bit like Star Wars the films - it almost doesn't matter how bad the reviews are, there'll be a glut of people determined to find out for themselves anyway.

How many people here heard bad reviews of the 'prequel' films?
And how many went to see them regardless?
Sensei 19th August 2011, 15:33 Quote
That was one really dull trailer. They should have spent their budget on making a full length film likethe trailers they made which were absolutely stunning, especially the one with the Jedi babe with the twin sabre that managed to stop the SIths blade with her hand. Shockingly awesome.
They should also stuck to their best working formula and simply made Kotor 3 with an online jedi battle mode for this that want to play online withtheir mates. No need for monthly fees and scaled down graphics then.
Paradigm Shifter 19th August 2011, 21:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
In fairness, that scenario is the complete and total opposite of what they're talking about. Whether the reasons for (saying they will) limit the release are genuine or not, they're saying they'll do it to stop player problems like that.

If too many have pre-ordered, I'm half expecting "not enough" copies of the game to ship to places like Amazon, Game, Gamestop etc.

Will be interesting to see when/if places stop taking pre-orders before the release of the game, and if they've already gone over that limit, how long it takes to fulfill all the back orders before they can actually start selling them properly.

Yes, I'm cynical.

Very few things have proved my cynicism wrong in recent years. ;)
Paradigm Shifter 24th August 2011, 11:20 Quote
Hm, why do I get the feeling I was right about difficulties with playing this game, even with pre-orders?

Source
Quote:
"We are limiting launch quantities of 'Star Wars: The Old Republic' to ensure players have a smooth and high quality game experience and service at launch," a representative for EA and the game's developer BioWare told Gamasutra. "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."

The company has not said what the exact limit will be. But according to the rumor mill, EA is going to restrict pre-orders to 500,000, and will only guarantee the first 50,000 get immediate access to the online game.
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