They want to ensure "these services can last a decade," and the deciding factor on a release date is "beta test feedback". EA want to avoid "what happened to WoW".
"We're driving towards a date, but the very issue you raised is why we're not announcing a date yet because you want to make sure that these services can last a decade," said EA Labels head honcho, Frank Gibeau.
"It is definitely tied to the beta test feedback that's ongoing and so far, so good. We feel good about the date that we're heading towards but you're right, you could have a Crazy Ivan show up in the September/October beta test and be like, 'wow, I've got to fix that'."
2 million have registered to get into the beta trial for BioWare's Star Wars MMO. EA want to avoid hitting technological problems like server wait times and sluggish play.
"You've got to have a great launch and as more and more user feedback comes in we make those polishing decisions on what we're going to get right and nail," said Gibeau.
"The other thing is, the technology of standing these things up and then getting all the server farms to work together, talk to one another, store character records... it's extraordinarily complex and so we want a very stable experience."
"We don't want to happen to us what happened to WoW and a couple of other services where in the first week there were queues trying to get on to the servers, the entire service crashed - we don't want that to happen."
"So we need to nail and make sure that it's up 24/7 and it's high quality," he continued. "We're totally focused on quality, so whatever the beta test tells us is what will be the determining variable on when we will hit." It's officially due 'holiday 2011'.
Beta invites are expected to start piling up in email inboxes from this weekend. Retailers have previously nodded toward November for Star Wars: The Old Republic.