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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: On Regional Restrictions & SWTOR

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Novice Member

Joined: 9/04/09
Posts: 136

Excuses are the refuge of the weak.

12/14/11 7:18:29 PM#21
Originally posted by CityHam

I'm quite used to the fact that I live in a non-country Iceland, still it pisses me off, I hope to move away from this festering shit hole one day.

Hey CityHam

                    I live in Australia one of the most gorgeous and liveable countries in the world, guess what, we are also in the red zone. We have no dodgy govt rerstrictions, or a people renowned for gold selling or internet scams. So dont be too harsh on your country, be harsh on EA. I dont believe for one second bioware had a hand in this.


I have been screwed before by EA because I live in Australia, the only explanation i can think why they didnt do it here is the ping. For some reasons Americans think 250 ms - 300ms ping is unplayable, guess what, Americans are wrong about something again. Aussies have played with yanks on yank servers since mmos started, and we have kicked their asses with that so called disadvantage of 250 to 300 ms ping (its bad ping if your on dial up, not so bad on cable ADSl 2+). For a non based twitch game eg MMO the ping is fine and every other mmo company has never had a problem with it. It all boils down to EA asshattery.


Also while im ranting, on a side note, there are 1,000's of posts on SWTOR official forums Aussies complaining about been screwed. Yet they are still pre ordering from Way to show them whinge and buy the product anyway, Justifying EA's stand that they dont have to provide any customer support or  satisfaction for us dumb Aussies, for us to go buy their product. Which if it happens to not work (not likely but there is always one) you will get no product support because you are in a red zone.

SIGH screw it lets swap countries :P CityHam


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1147

12/14/11 7:19:24 PM#22

I think the bigger issue is not that why some regions and countries are red zoned, but the fact that they are red zoning the WRONG COUNTRIES.


Australia and NZ has one of the biggest Star Wars fanbase (due to both of the fact that they are an English speking country AND a region that accepts American pop culture) then the rest of the world and should've never been red zoned. On top of that, Aus and NZ region has one of the strongest economic growth in the developed countries right now. It is not hard to guess who can afford to play the game and spend money more?


I can never understand why countries like Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal get green zone while Aus and NZ got red. Those countries don't even speak English and it is unlikely they have a larger fanbase per capita regardless of whether they have more population combined compare to Aus/NZ or not. On top of that, they have unemployment in the double digits and a negative economy - and regardless of that, somehow EA thinks it is wise and they can make more money there than in Aus/NZ?? :/


As to the point of performance, I think people who generally lives in red zone expected MMO's to be a bit less smooth compare to the US or Europe, so that entire point is moot.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/10
Posts: 29

12/14/11 7:55:36 PM#23

"unspoken rule" ???? are you shitting me? dont mince words this is DOWNRIGHT DISCRIMINATION, they gave us preorder options and then early access, but now they had the idea to discriminate us by giving only americans early access, giving them a headstart because they are "superior" (no one said that but they sure think so, you guys still discriminate latinos and other races even after you ended slavery and the mockery of nigros having their own bathrooms etc at bars), so what I have to buy the game later when they want me to just so all those jocks from USA can pk me whenever they want with their silly 1 week headstart?

edit: forget the 1 week headstart, they never said they are going to take off the region locking at launch, they might even give the americans a 1 month headstart or worse.

Seriously how the hell is it an "unspoken rule" and not a case of preferential treatment?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?


The truth is the part about not ip locking is just a publicity move, for most people obtaining the code is as hard as impossible if they are blocked from buying it. Get serious if you dont have family in the US who the hell are you going to ask to buy the code for you? a friend? ur going to make a paypal transaction with an online friend? he is gonna trust you? you are gonna trust him? i wouldnt trust anyone online with my money much less my credit card, and neither would anyone who gave it a second thought. This isnt something personal because I'm the one geting screwed, its personal because they are bordering on what is and isnt acceptable as a respectable gaming company, region blocking is for tards, if i have friends who moved to another country and like playing a region blocked game then that makes them obssess over a game i wont be able to join, this was the case for me with a friend and Vindictus, i had to fool the shit with proxy settings which were a pain since it made my game lag a bit and they always disconected every hour or so.

Region locking is a manner of shameless disrespect towards users, not just the ones who wish to play and are region locked, but the ones that can play but have friends or family in another country which are locked out, luckly that is not the case with SWOR, but what they are doing is nontheless a disrespectful, stupid and bothersome way of making bussiness.

Klyern Xfire Miniprofile

Novice Member

Joined: 6/19/10
Posts: 106

12/15/11 12:58:24 AM#24

Originally posted by aRtFuLThinG

I think the bigger issue is not that why some regions and countries are red zoned, but the fact that they are red zoning the WRONG COUNTRIES.

Oh? Then only the US and Western Europe should be Red Zoned?? Ya know, those 2 zones have a huge concentration of gamers... much more than 2 isolated islands in the middle of the pacific that still has the Queen of England as their Head of State, infact you should take your complaints to The Sovereign of Australia, currently Queen Elizabeth II.


Australia and NZ has one of the biggest Star Wars fanbase (due to both of the fact that they are an English speking country AND a region that accepts American pop culture) then the rest of the world and should've never been red zoned.

Heh, that argument "My country has more SW fans than any other" is so childish that anyone saying it can only be laughed at. You many be unaware but SWG has been a WORLDWIDE phenomena for many decades... it's not only in your crummy country. And calling Star Wars of "American Pop Culture" just makes all of us point at you while we laught about you :p


On top of that, Aus and NZ region has one of the strongest economic growth in the developed countries right now. It is not hard to guess who can afford to play the game and spend money more?


How cute... you are worried about world economic growth... then any Chinese should better than you by compairason?? They have a bigger rating in economic growth, so clearly every Chinese has more money than you... that should be a fact... oh wait...


 We're touched by your worry about what we can or cannot afford to play or even where we can spend out money but in all honesty... it's not your call to make. Plain and Simple.

I can never understand why countries like Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal get green zone while Aus and NZ got red. Those countries don't even speak English

Weeell... sometimes i wish i couldn't speak English, or even Français, or even Espanõl or even a bit of Italiano (sorry, no Greek) atop my native language, Português, that way i wouldn't have to read trully retarded posts by ignorant ppl that are often too lazy to learn anything else then their native tongue.

and it is unlikely they have a larger fanbase per capita regardless of whether they have more population combined compare to Aus/NZ or not.

Soooo... Europe has less SWG fans than Australia??? Ya know, pulling numbers from yer arse aren't considered facts and here's a proof... "99.9% of Aussies already have boned a 'roo", see?? Blowing numbers from the arse is nothing but hot (and usually smelly) wind :p

On top of that, they have unemployment in the double digits

Portugal has 12,4%, Italy has 8,5% , Australia has 5,2%... shockingly high...  USA has 8,6% and England has 8,3%...  China has 4,3% Cuba has 1,6% ;)

and a negative economy

Actually we don't have negative economy. All was working well (and still is) until the FINANCIAL MARKETS got scared with Greece, and now these guys are the ones ruining every other country in Europe, and even worse... in their Panic'ed Stampede no measures will be enough to bring them to their senses, sadly.

- and regardless of that, somehow EA thinks it is wise and they can make more money there than in Aus/NZ?? :/

Hah, you surelly are either too young or relativelly new at Online Gaming... else you would already know that EA is not known to "think wise", specially regarding Space Themed games (they are the ones that bought and canceled Earth & Beyond, along multitudes of Wing Comander/Privateer projects just to focus on their Sims branch)


As to the point of performance, I think people who generally lives in red zone expected MMO's to be a bit less smooth compare to the US or Europe, so that entire point is moot.

So your point is "Don't call us Red Zones, we prefer Ping Challenged Zones"??? ...ok by me...




Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 20

12/15/11 1:06:38 AM#25

Ok first I must say I have no real interest in playing SW:TOR, but after reading this article I had to load up Steam and check for it's availability ...guess what nada. Then I went to the Origin website to make sure it wasn't just some other mess up from EA that the game simply wasn't available on Steam and to my suprise the Origin site clearly states that I'm locked out from buying the game.

What to me is so hilarious about this is that I live in frickin Luxembourg, a country where VG's are always readily available and where we, the people, are accustomed to laughing on other countries silly regulations regarding modern medias, be it VG's, movies w/e, especially zee Germans xD.

This is truly a first for my country and I'm quite speechless about it, we hav a strong SW fan base here, especially considering that we're quite small, we have top notch internet access (our major operator who also controls all hard connections upgraded to fiber about a year ago), heck alot of online distributors have their european operating center here due to our fairly low tax we impose on buisnesses and VAT compared to the rest of the EU.

Quite frankly I'm LMAO atm and still can't really believe EA went thru with this move. I'm just glad I have no interest to play SW:TOR since I doesn't appeal to my gaming needs but still I am in support of all the red zoners and think this is just outrageous.



Novice Member

Joined: 6/19/10
Posts: 106

12/15/11 1:57:53 AM#26

Originally posted by JackyD30


Yep Jacky, good Ol' EA :)


Btw, TOR won't be on Steam because EA in their "wisdom" decided that having Valve as the main Digital Distributor of games was a big no-no and also because they wanted a piece of the action (u know them Business Suits... greedy greedy greedy and don't know jack about games), so they launched their own crappy version of digital distribution platform, called it ORIGIN (which was kickass game developing company back in the day, which created games like the Ultima series, Wing Commander series along many others... until they closed all the projects and eventually the company itself) and started dreaming about how much $$$$$ they are going to make...


Being an online gamer since 94, i played many game on all sides of the globe... but that was before gaming companies started getting full of "business suits" that just went there to suck money out of the users and fill the company with useless bureucratic deadweight.


Forced Region Server Separation was one such "great ideas" someone had (I had to buy an US version to play with my long time US friends of old EverQuest times and had to buy an EU version when i changed to a job which prevented me to even log in on their times for some years) that pretty much rear-ended the gamers everywhere... and without lube! :p


Aaaaah i miss the freedom of old days... you had a Computer, a Dial-Up modem and you could go to places... anywhere, everywhere and with anyone. Now u can't go Asian, often u can't go American and sometimes u can't even do Yurpeen...


...goddamn Online Bureaucrats!!! :p


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/03/06
Posts: 41

12/15/11 3:49:36 AM#27

If you're working in the industry, things get even more complicated. You see, not only did they ban certain countries from entering the game at launch, they've even managed to screw the ban itself up.

I work for Croatia's only licensed dealer and official distributor of EA titles. We work with plenty of videogame publishers and EA is one of our most trusted partners. Or was. When we got their official announcement that Croatia won't be getting the game on day one, we were prepared to go along with it.

We got a poorly worded e-mail saying that Croatia's been redzoned, we won't get the game, our journalists won't get keys or any kind of access to the game, they don't know when will the game be available in Croatia and so forth. Okay. It's their decision. It's company politics.

Only they messed it up. They can't really enforce it. The only thing this redzoning is doing really efficiently is screwing over the official distributors in the redzoned countries. We get our games through legal channels, through EA Greece, who in turn works for the EA UK. We have no other means of getting the game to our thirteen stores throughout Croatia. They pulled the plug on that. We try to play it by the numbers, and we don't get any kind of protection from our business partners.  

But a number of smaller, under-the-radar Croatian stores jumped at the opportunity. Since they're not bound with any kind of EA contract, through god knows which channels they acquired the games, and they'll sell them on day one for a very steep price. We would sell the game for some 40€, they'll be selling it for at least 55-60€.

Bottom line is, the holy trinity of EA / Bioware / Lucas Arts stopped nothing. People will be playing the game even in the redzoned countries. But they were forced to pay more, get their games from stores that don't have customer support in the case something goes wrong, and the publishers antagonised the gaming community worldwide and their licensed partners in the process.  

When you add it all up, the reduction of the strain on their servers will be negligible. If they wanted good PR and positive fan base attitude, they really could've done without this half-assed redzoning. And by doing it half-way, they pissed the players off without really doing what they set out to do.









Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/11
Posts: 7

12/15/11 4:39:23 AM#28

There are still quite a few problems, such as will they ip ban the servers eventually? And that buying it is possible but really really difficult for some of us, I already had difficulty saving up money for the game itself, and I don't have friends that are able to help me. Also the beta had me downloading the game itself the whole period, I cannot get into the game itself. I know it's my fault and not theirs but a weekend is not really enough for the most of us. And the game itself seems interesting....*sigh*


Novice Member

Joined: 11/12/10
Posts: 89

Depth and more Depth is what drives games.

12/15/11 5:23:33 AM#29

Lolz just play rift , you can choose which side of the atlantic you wanna play on , there are no restrictions, a grown up comunity and the best netcode ever. I hate pressing an ability and waiting half a sec b4 it hapnz anywyz, and i did play the tor beta, was like epic lag.  Play rift till orgin finally wakez up then but and play the game for the story. when youre done with that come and play rift for real pvp!



Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/15/09
Posts: 1236

Tumbling down the rabbit hole?

12/15/11 5:32:30 AM#30

It's been an interesting experience. As in 'we live in interesting times.'


Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5274

12/15/11 5:51:19 AM#31

I speculate the red zone has more to do with contractural obligations than quality of game experience. Lucas Arts, the publisher, has an ongoing relationship with Activision-Blizzard for distribution outside th United States for most of their games. That might just be a paranoid conspiracy theory but one does wonder.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/23/10
Posts: 38

Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.

12/15/11 9:14:11 AM#32

A few more thought on retailing in the EU. In theory, you could bring the issue ot the European Commission, either to the Consumer Protection DG or to the Competition one. If I remember correctly, Amazon had problems with its delivery policies, as for quite a long time it had limited certain types of goods to only a part of the EU, but the EC ultimately forced it to offer equal options to each EU state.

The thing is that I don't think many people will bother in this case, certainly not me. The main point is that the policy of regional restrictions in general is harming free markets, making them anything but free. The real goal, in my view, is that publishers can make more money through fixing prices for certain regions. For example, it has been an unspoken rule that for the purpose of pricing hi-tech products (including software), the exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro is always 1:1, and in recent years this has hurt European consumers, who always pay more (even if the US is supposed to have higher living standards than most EU countries).

However, it becomes extremely difficult to justify this with digital distribution, as you no longer have delivery costs, and it doesn't matter where you download the product from. Yet, instead of embracing the opportunity to have the entire planet as your customer base, you decide to keep on the centuries-old game of fixing prices and reaping the profits (which become even bigger). Anyways, a lot can be written whether it's fair or not, and I don't want to delve into that; I only would like to reiterate that in my view, what EA is currently doing is simply bad business.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/28/05
Posts: 107

12/15/11 9:55:41 AM#33

Originally posted by TheCrow2k

To my fellow redzoners. I Bought my copy from Amazon and am playing the Early Access currently.



Well, what finally made me give up and give them the finger is that Amazon has region blocked delivery of the product to my country AS WELL. So honestly, short of flying to a country that sells them in stores, I am not going to be able to play the game.

As such, in the future, I will take serious consideration before purchasing any other EA/Lucasarts games. They obviously do not want my money, and I have no guarantees that a product I buy will be continued to be supported in the future by them.


Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 17684

12/15/11 10:32:06 AM#34

 never understood this regional restrictions, I think it hurts the community.

The best thing with MMOs is that you learn to know people from all over the world instead of just the people you would otherwise meet. 

Sure, I might get worse ping on a US server (but I actually had a lot better in EQ2 for some reason) but that is my choice.

As for customer support, most people handle that by mail or in game, it does not matter where the player are for that. It is as easy to reach a neighbor as a guy working in the McMurdoch polar base in Antarctica.

SOE, ANET and many others let you choose this when you log on, others like Turbine at least allow you to download a different client if you want to.The net and our love for games should bring us closer together, not be separated.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6402

12/15/11 4:12:40 PM#35
Using WoW for example, Blizzard loves money. But they don't even run WoW in china. Another company does. Many of you forget that. Remember what happen to WoTlk being banned in china. That takes extra money for legal matters.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/08
Posts: 23

12/15/11 10:54:21 PM#36
Originally posted by Dave3216
Originally posted by CityHam

I'm quite used to the fact that I live in a non-country Iceland, still it pisses me off, I hope to move away from this festering shit hole one day.

Hey CityHam

                    I live in Australia one of the most gorgeous and liveable countries in the world, guess what, we are also in the red zone. We have no dodgy govt rerstrictions, or a people renowned for gold selling or internet scams. So dont be too harsh on your country, be harsh on EA. I dont believe for one second bioware had a hand in this.


EA in the recent past has had some serious issues with Server hosting in Australia.  I know Ultima Online's one Australian Server was down for over a week due to lack of ability to get the server there supported.  They might have made the call to lay off  that region until they can be assured of a reliable host, and quite frankly I understand that.  Sure you might be fine with the idea of 200+ms ping times, but the Brass at EA might find that unacceptable. 


Other countries that have been brought up for being in the red-zone...


Germany:  All the other MMO's I can think of and all of those listed by other people here do not have the "Romance" options that SWTOR does, not to mention the plans to allow homosexual romances in game between characters and their companions.

Iceland:  Honestly I have no clue I don't know enough about that countries views and restrictions on Media to make a judgement.

China:  You know it might not just be the concept of Gold Sellers,  it might also be that China is a country known for a low respect for intellectual property rights.  Look at the knock off goods market, all the phoney iPads, iPhones, and even business' like McDonalds getting "Cloned".  For a title that has the hype that SW:TOR does laying off a while and letting the edge wear off makes some sense.  After all they eventually let Warhammer Online go to China.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/09
Posts: 3

12/16/11 3:52:03 AM#37

Meh, I would have bought two copies and played two accounts, but EA don't want my australian dollars and I'm not stupid enough to throw fists of dollars at a company that could not give a shit about me as a customer.

I'll just give some other company my money and enjoy their products instead, it's not my loss.




Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/16/11
Posts: 1

12/16/11 6:28:25 AM#38

Good article, and some good comments. But I think no one touched one of the problems, the way they handled it.

FIrst, let me just say that I used to follow this game since 2008, always reading the news, forums and listening to several podcasts. So I'm not creating information from thin air.

Let's say they did everything with the right reason and that this is the right choice. Very well. Still I think they did a very poor job at marketing and communicating with their customers. You see, the main problem in my opinion is the way they handled it. Let me elaborate:

- They never announced that they would region lock this game.

- They always used say how they wanted to build a "global community".

- They inivted to the "Fan Summit" events, fansites that are now on the Red Zone.

So, one day, they announce the pre-orders. People like me, waiting the game for several years receive the e-mail with the big "Pre-Order Now" button, and only then, after clicking it excitedly, they are informed that their countries are region locked. No post on the forums, no warning e-mails, nothing. Only hours later they responded on the forums, with no information at all.

The Origin website in many "Red Zone" countries, had the huge pre-order announcement. False advertising the product, since only after clicking it, they informed you it was a lie.

After all the initial ruckus, I think about a month later. They issue another e-mail, also to Red Zone users, saying to "Pre-Order Now!". And then, they even send an e-mail announcing something like "The Old Republic Global Launch!", that was in reality launching on the chosen EU countries 2 days earlier, on the same date as the US release. And you could only know that after clicking happilly on the "Global Launch" announcement and only then reading on the small letters bellow the announcement on the site that "by Global we mean the initial announced release countries"

So, you see, for so much "quality of service" they brag about, I can't see how so many follies can be called "quality of service". They should have communicated with the player base. Hell, they should at the minimum have the answers at hand when all this happened. And not make the already startled fans waiting for answers, some which never were given until now! I can't believe they never had knowledge that there would be a region lock. And if they didn't know, what can i expect from them? It's not good either way.

So, my question to you guys is, putting all the merits of "region locking" aside, do you really think this was well handled? I see many people talking about how the region lock can make sense, and creating several theories of why they did it, and why it can be good (even not knowing either, as the article says at the beginning, they never explained what "quality of service" means! Not even why it makes region locking the only choice). But its very rare to see anyone touch the "how it was handled" topic.

In my opinion, much if not all of the problems and hurt feelings caused could be avoided if they handled it properly. Like, announcing earlier that the game would not launch on all countries. Most of all, they should not lie about this release being Global, it is a lie. Even so they still use "Global" and "Worldwide" release, which just offends people in the Red Zone. It's like saying they are not part of the world, don't you agree? I will not even touch the problem of Stephen Reid saying multiple times that there would be a grace period, then going back on their word and saying that there wasn't going to be a grace period. And only after thousands of players feeling wronged, they now go back to having a meekly 2 days grace period. Another folly!

Get my meaning? I'm not totally against region blocking, maybe they even have a good reason, ok... I'm in the Red Zone, but frankly, I lost interest in the game by watching folly upon folly. That's what really bothers me! For all their talk of "High Quality of Service", all these things do not bold well... =/

Don't you agree? What do you think?

Well, I really hope those who can play it can have fun. I will not buy this game on principle though, it goes against my "honor" some might say. ;P

Anyway, safe travels to you all. =)


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/05/04
Posts: 148

12/20/11 6:12:59 PM#39

I am an american in china... I pre-ordered.. was invited to the pre launch... tried to download.. NOTHING... USED A VPN... NOTHING....

so I sit here waiting patiently.  IF the game launches... and I cant get on... I will NOT buy the game ever.  I will be too pissed off.  And like SOE, I will refuse to play any game made by EA.  I will start supporting small time companies who will actually enjoy a customers money.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/09/05
Posts: 1

12/21/11 3:37:09 PM#40
Originally posted by Zandorgard


- They never announced that they would region lock this game.


In my opinion, much if not all of the problems and hurt feelings caused could be avoided if they handled it properly. Like, announcing earlier that the game would not launch on all countries. Most of all, they should not lie about this release being Global, it is a lie. 

Exactly my point. Hiding this fact, about limited country launch, from community was a big mistake.

They wanted look glorious anouncing about launching "worldwide". And that turned out to be most pathetic.

So sad to see smart people do stupid things.


And even now i can't find any ETA or firm anouncements about unblocking the game.

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