BioWare admits SWTOR could slip to 2012

EA CFO Eric Brown has told investors that the company is unlikely to announce a release date for BioWare MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic until the end of October.

And while the company is still aiming for ‘holiday 2011′, it admits that a slip to 2012 is not completely out of the question.

"In terms of timing we haven’t given a street date yet,” Brown stated. We won’t do so for some time, possibly at our next upcoming earnings call towards the end of October.

We did hold out a slight possibility that it could slip to our March quarter. And the factors that would cause a slip is, for example, us not being completely satisfied with the scalability testing, and wanting to tune it for several extra weeks.”

However, in an effort to ease consumer pessimism, BioWare’s Stephen Reid downplayed the statement on the SWTOR forum.

Investor calls and conferences are for investors. They are not meant for the general public,” he insisted.

It’s important to also note the word ‘possibly’ was used in Eric’s statement above. Just as he didn’t promise that you would get a release date announcement in September, he isn’t promising a release date before the next earnings call. It could happen, but it’s not a promise.

There is absolutely no change to our previous messaging with this statement. We are in active and extensive testing for The Old Republic. We’re aiming to release the game in the holiday 2011 window (or, before the end of the year, to speak in non-American for a minute).

However, as with any large and complex game project, there’s always the possibility of slippage. Always. That is why we have always said we’re aiming for that window, because it’s possible that unforeseen issues may push the date. Eric Brown is doing what he’s paid to do – letting investors know that the possibility exists. A possibility doesn’t mean a certainty.”

It seems like a good time to cast ours minds back to a story we ran in January. Back then a development source told MCV that a September release was being targeted.

MCV has rarely experienced the level of venom we received from BioWare fans for suggesting the game wouldn’t make its summer 2011 release date. We invite them now to register on the site so they can leave their apologies.

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