EA Games label boss Frank Gibeau says they're "very confident" of getting a "solid launch." The publisher admits that "so much is hanging on the first week" of the Star Wars MMO.
The BioWare MMO title has already scored EA the highest level of pre-orders "ever had on a PC game", and they're royally stoked for the "momentum and consumer demand" it's getting at this early stage.
“It’s a PC-only configuration and one that we have full control over,” said Frank Gibeau during an investors call, “and we’re very confident that Star Wars will be a solid launch.” It's got "a very different configuration" than Battlefield 3. Server outages rocked DICE's shooter during launch on the Xbox 360, and PC versions couldn't authenticate.
"Star Wars is already in beta and will be getting the amount of units we put in this channel to match our capacity,” added CEO John Riccitiello. “We take a slightly different approach with a Packaged Goods game where so much is hanging on the first week sell-through.”
"They’re the highest preorders that we’ve ever had on a PC game so we’re feeling very good about the momentum and consumer demand out there,” continued Gibeau. “In addition to that, we really haven’t set the expectations for what the subscriber levels are going to be. We’re very excited about the potential of the game coupled with the mass-market license like Star Wars. But as we get closer, that will be information that we can communicate further."
"We’ve taken a very detailed approach to looking at, how do we maximize the customer experience when they go online with Star Wars, to maximize the fun that they’re having online, the stability, the quality, the experience, and we’re using our beta test to inform us of what scale that we can handle."
“So our pre-order campaign is tailored towards how we’re going to do that. And we’re looking at a rollout plan that is fairly ambitious. We don’t feel like we’re going to be leading too much demand behind at launch but we definitely are going to be very cautious and thoughtful about how many people we bring on and in what order," Gibeau explained.
"It’s a very interesting proposition from that standpoint because you have the Star Wars brand that draws in a lot of people. And that is a good thing because we think we can sustain the business over a very long time as we grow. There’s going to continually be new customer segments that we can open up and bring into the service.”
Star Wars: The Old Republic releases on PC December 20th. Those who pre-order early are allowed into the game ahead of everyone else although EA and BioWare are yet to reveal a timetable.