Game Informer are reporting that EA intend to hold back digital and box copies in order to provide a smooth launch for The Old Republic, avoiding some of the roadblocks most MMOs encounter early in their lifespan.
According to the rep EA has already decided on the number, but isn’t read to announce it yet.
It’s an interesting strategy, and probably accounts for the fact that Australia and other regions won’t be receiving the game day one.
Many MMOs suffer from networking issues in the first weeks of release, and EA is clearly trying to avoid those same issues – but it just shows the confidence EA has in the game and the brand of Star Wars. Its clearly banking on the idea that positive word of mouth and holding back copies of the game will instill a sort of unique need for MMO fans to get involved.
I’m in two minds about the strategy – on the one hand it feels like clever marketing to trust in the brand and know that players will come – getting it right for the early adopters is smart in that sense – but EA will have to be careful with regards to the amount of people it lets online to begin with.