EA limiting digital and physical launch copies of Star Wars: The Old Republic

Electronic Arts is planning on putting a cap on the amount of players that will be able to access Star Wars: The Old Republic at the launch of the MMORPG this fall. While no specific number has been announced, there is an exact target of player volume that can be reached with a combination of physical and digital sales of the game. Once that cap is reached, Electronic Arts will halt sales of digital copies and wait until server performance can be stabilized to continue selling the potentially popular title. Official reps for Electronic Arts didn’t indicate how long the server upgrade process would be between sale periods.Since digital sales will be limited to the Origin store, it should be a simple procedure for Electronic Arts to halt sales of the game. It’s possible that this move will be perceived by the public as artificially limiting the supply of the Star Wars title to increase demand over time. Fans of the game could potentially become annoyed if the title is unavailable shortly after launch. In addition, this move could backfire on Electronic Arts if the game is heavily preordered, but falls prey to negative reviews from the gaming press which reduces the chances of future sales. The launch date of the game is currently unannounced, but the game will be going into beta testing in September with selected weekends that will allow players to try out the MMORPG. Bioware and Electronic Arts are expected to announce a fall date for the launch of the game to take advantage of the lucrative holiday shopping season. Assuming physical copies aren’t limited from being activated like digital copies once a player cap is hit, it’s also possible that the price of physical copies could skyrocket on third party sites like eBay and Craigslist. If Electronic Arts does plan to cap all copies of the game until servers are capable of handling the load, copies that are purchased for the holidays may not work once received.

via EA limiting digital and physical launch copies of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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KOTOR MMO in development for over a decade?!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or just don’t care) then you already know that BioWare announced they are in development of Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO last week (with no release date yet)

However, did you know that the game has been in development for over 10 years? 

Ray Muzyka from BioWare while speaking in San Francisco last week stated: “We’ve been thinking of making an MMO for probably over a decade,” he said. “At BioWare we tend to have long-term plans.”

This can explain why there never was an KOTOR 3.  Bioware shifted the idea over to the MMO field.   Ray goes on to say “ ‘People ask us why we didn’t do KOTOR 3?’ For us this is KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9: it’s that big in terms of the amount of content. It’s that ambitious in terms of the scale, and the interactions of the players with the world and the universe.”

 

ST: TOR could be one hell of an ambitious game.  and something to watch.

Please big brother.. can I play the games I bought?

Well, now.. The publishers of Mass effect, and Spore are going to piss a lot of people off with this one. 

According to a post on the Mass Effect (BioWare’s) website from Derek French (BioWare, Technical Producer):

 

Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez’d and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn’t become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can’t contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.

So what that is saying is:
      A) after purchasing the game you must request access to play it
      B) you better have an Internet connection or  you are SOL.
      C) and the company doesn’t trust you enough not give a copy to your friends.

How’s that for stupid?  Really, because I’m willing to bet money on the fact that the copy protection with a NO CD check crack will be out with in 10 minutes of the games release.  Then people will want to use the pirated copy because it’s easier to install and use and no don’t need to worry about being online, and/or SecuROM messing with your computer.

Thanks again EA about worrying about the almighty dollar, rather then your customers.  Try just using Steam next time.

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[Update: 5/12/08] 

BioWare spokespersons told [Kotaku] “To all the fans including our many friends in the armed services and internationally who expressed concerns that they would not be able re-authenticate as often as required, EA and BioWare want you to know that your feedback is important to us.”

So they have been listening!  Well and reading pretty much all the hate mail on the ‘net about all this stupid copyright BS.  so NOW, it’s pretty much the same thing, only no it only authenticates the first time you play, then re-authenticates when you download new content.  But you can still only install the game 3 times.
additional activations can be achieved by phoning EA support.   Which, I’m betting, would be like phoning Comcast customer support.