Sony Online Entertainment has delayed the release of DC Universe Online, its upcoming PC and PlayStation 3 MMORPG based on superheroes and settings from DC comic books (e.g. Batman, Superman), from November 2 to early 2011.
A rep for SOE confirmed to Gamasutra that the delay applies to both the PC and PS3 version of the MMO. SOE's Austin branch has been developing the project since at least mid-2008, and is working closely with renown comic book artist Jim Lee, who serves as executive creative director on the project.
SOE president John Smedley said that the developer is taking the extra development time "to address community feedback in a meaningful way." He added that the game is entering external beta. "When we get deeper into external beta, we'll be able to share more information regarding the new launch date," he said.
Though fans won't be able to buy the subscription-based game until 2011, those who have received and registered VIP key codes (given out at the game's San Diego Comic-Con panel last July) will have access on a priority basis to DCUO's external beta testing program as early as next week.
SOE will give anyone in North America that has preordered the game or reserves it before November 15 guaranteed beta access by November 30th. Gamers preordering after November 15 will gain beta access a week prior to DCUO's launch date. Consumers can join a general queue for the beta without preordering, too (access not guaranteed).
All participants who receive early access will be able to take part in a beta ending event called "Battle of the Legends." They will also receive a bonus in the form a of a special emblem given to their character once DCUO is live.
Along with these announcements, SOE revealed a Collector's Edition for the PS3 version of DCUO in North America, which will include the same items bundled with its PC counterpart: a DCUO Batman statue, a limited edition art book, a DCUO Legends Issue #0 comic book (Jim Lee variant cover), and more.