The replacement and successor to Star Wars Galaxies is on the verge of release, taking MMO gamers to the Star Wars universe established in BioWare’s pair of high acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic games. While BioWare has stated that they need at least half a million paying subscribers to profit on on the project, some analysts predict that Star Wars: The Old Republic could sell as much as 3 million units in its first year.
If The Old Republic is as popular as some hope, there’s a chance some eager gamers may not get to jump into the game right off the bat… if the game sells out. But how can a game that’s available digitally as well as through retail sell out?
This odd question was addressed during Gamescom 2011 when a representative explained during a demo of the game that Electronic Arts and BioWare decided that they will limit the amount of copies sold at launch. While this may seem like a shockingly strange decision to intentionally limit sales of a potentially high-in-demand and lucrative video game release, the reason behind has to do with guaranteeing a quality experience right off that bat for the early adopters.
Many MMOs see their peak in player counts upon release as MMO gamers typically try out each new major launch for the first few months then head back to their MMO choice if it fails to keep their interest and/or community. Often this reason is due to MMOs having troublesome start-ups caused connection and server issues.
By setting a limit on how many players can jump into Star Wars: The Old Republic at launch, EA and BioWare hope to ensure that their servers can properly support the player counts, adjusting accordingly if there’s high enough demand.
What that magically mysterious subscriber number is, we do not know, nor do we expect to find out unless it happens, but we can say that this is also a PR stint in hopes to lure more interested gamers into pre-ordering the game to guarantee their spot in this artificial limitation.
Having over 1.5 million beta registrations already, we expect Star Wars: The Old Republic to take off to a strong start for a variety of reasons – Galaxies ending and World of Warcraft slightly diminishing in numbers – but the real question is whether or not those numbers stick months later.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to release this holiday season for the PC.
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Source: Game Informer