For fans of science fiction MMOs, some good news has come your way. After avoiding the question of a solid release window for the game for the past year, Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown recently told the audience at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be arriving sometime in the company's fiscal year of 2012.
What does this mean for gamers? It may not be much, but fans can now be sure that TOR will be playable sometime after April 2011.
The wait is still too long for the hardcore Star Wars community, but developer BioWare has definitely been hard at work from the brief glimpses that have been given. Gamasutra reports that while the announced release window still covers a span of nine months, it is the most detailed description of a launch window that either the developer or the publisher have given.
Following Brown's announcement in May that the game was unlikely to see a release in 2010, a post on the BioWare forums led fans to believe that the evidence was stacking up for a spring 2011 release. While Brown's most recent dating doesn't exclude that possibility, it does prepare fans for a much longer wait.
The project has gotten the triple-A treatment by all parties to this point, and while the release of the breathtaking cinematics that BioWare loves are great to have, most fans would agree that it just makes the wait even more unbearable.
There is little fear the game is being given a healthy amount of work by the development team, and their thoughts on the 'MMO grind' and the planets of the Star Wars universe should be music to the ears for every fan. BioWare can show all of the looks at space combat and class specializations they like, but until The Old Republic is given an open beta or some kind of public display on a large scale the doubts will continue to linger.
Why the doubts? Because whether BioWare comes out and says it, The Old Republic is aiming straight at World of Warcraft. For those who don't already know of the at-times-unhealthy rivalry between the publishing giants Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, let us simply say this: it provides some interesting reading. So while Electronic Arts and BioWare's new MMO may mean taking on the newly expanded WoW, that is definitely something that the company won't be shying away from. Not publicly, anyway.
While the launch day may still be up in the air, fans now have a better idea of when they'll be picking up front row seats to what could very well be the biggest showdown between the two corporate juggernauts to date.
The results are still to be decided, but what we do know is that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be arriving sometime after April of 2011.