Electronic Arts isn’t pushing Star Wars: The Old Republic out of the door until mid-2011 at the earliest.
With the end of 2010 rapidly approaching, it’s pretty obvious that Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t coming out anytime soon. EA still doesn’t have a specific release date for the highly anticipated BioWare Star Wars MMO, but the company has at least revealed an official release window.
At the recent Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference, EA CFO Eric Brown went on record with what he says is the first official target ship date for The Old Republic. That ship date is the very wide fiscal year 2012, which sounds later than anticipated, but is really the time period between April 2011 and onward.
In January, EA CEO John Riccitiello said the company had a “major new MMO” planned for release in spring 2011, which was presumed to be The Old Republic and jibes with the figure released by Brown. Sadly, this means that the game won’t be released in early 2011 as many fans had anticipated, but it makes perfect sense considering that BioWare only recently opened applications for further testing this week.
Depending on the MMO, the start of closed, but public beta testing is an indication that a game is still a good 3-6 months or longer from the point where it’ll be ready for release. For example, World of Warcraft‘s closed beta test ran for about 7 months.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has been compared to World of Warcraft in scope, so it’ll probably need just as much time. The game is EA’s most expensive project ever and rumored to have cost over $300 million, so the publisher is likely not releasing this one until it’s fully baked and ready to earn some of that money back.