Story of the Week: Star Wars Makes Some Moves
I feel a little silly even having to write this week’s SotW, because it’s not like anyone talked about anything else at all since Thursday morning. But in case you haven’t heard, BioWare announced the pre-order details for Star Wars: The Old Republic. They also told us that there will be some hefty beta test weekends this September. They showered us in trailers, and told us that pre-order folks will be guaranteed to get into the game ahead of everyone else. They even told us every little thing that was coming in the Collector’s Edition and they let us know that we’d have to sell a kidney for afford it (actually, $150’s not that bad when you look at the laundry list of included items).
But they still didn’t give us a release date.
We have a staff pool going right now on what we think the date will be. I jumped in as quickly as I could with November 15th, because it reeks of Holiday-timing and Mass Effect 3 is not coming out until next year now anyway so there’s no BioWare on BioWare competition to be had. Mike and Garrett each took October dates, and I think it’s pretty safe to say one of us will be right. But, really… we all just want to get into the beta as fans ourselves to see how the game stacks up. Playing it at shows is one thing, playing it in a generally “almost live” setting is a whole other ballgame.
It’s funny too, when I think about the rumored $150 million BioWare and EA are spending on TOR, I actually laugh now because I’m willing to bet the game will launch in the black. They’re selling that Collector’s Edition for $150. Let’s say they have one million copies to sell through. I fully expect they’ll hit that mark, both because of the sheer amount of Star Wars fans and because of the smart (and dick-ish) people who will resell them on EBay. Did you know that even Warhammer Online launched in the black, according to our friends around the industry?
True story. And while the bets are out on whether The Old Republic will be as over-hyped as WAR, I think it’s safe to say that it can and will sell more copies. I’m no economist, but if they spent $150 million total on the game and its marketing, and they sell those CE’s for $150, and the rumor of pre-orders already hitting mass capacity is true… someone at EA and BioWare is going to be very happy this fall.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, even I’m no stranger to the lure of the Collector’s Swag. I’m off to shell out my credit card number. For the Empire.