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EA Confirms Limited Number Of  Old Republic  Digital, Retail Launch Copies
EA Confirms Limited Number Of Old Republic Digital, Retail Launch Copies
August 19, 2011 | By Kris Graft

August 19, 2011 | By Kris Graft
More: Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Electronic Arts confirmed reports that it will be limiting the number of digital and physical launch copies for BioWare's upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, as a precaution against traffic-related launch issues.

"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 rep for EA and 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," he added.

The rep was confirming a report on Game Informer, which said that once digital sales hit a certain limit, EA will shut down the ability to download the MMO until it can sufficiently ramp up capacity. The digital version of the game will be sold exclusively on EA's Origin download service.

On launching the pre-order program for the game last month, EA said pre-order supplies would be limited "to ensure a great user experience" and "a thriving online environment" at launch.

The company did not reveal its self-imposed sales limits. Analyst Doug Creutz with Cowen and Company recently forecast that the game would sell roughly 3 million units in its first year, and have around 2 million subscribers total during the first year of sale.

High volumes of players on a major MMO's launch have led to poor first impressions in the past. When Sony Online Entertainment's Star Wars: Galaxies launched in 2003, the highly-anticipated game's registration system was over capacity, leaving many first-day adopters unable to initially access the game. Galaxies will go offline in December this year.

EA and developer BioWare Austin are aiming for a holiday 2011 release for The Old Republic, and those who pre-order the title will have access before regular purchasers.

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Tim Hesse
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DAoC did it and it was one of the smartest and smoothest launches I've been through (Rift comes a close second but wasn't as anticipated as SWTOR).

Kudos to Bioware/Mythic (of DAoC's launch fame) and EA. Looking forward to a smooth launch and hopefully proper server loads and amounts!