Earlier this week we reported on Star Wars: The Old Republic and its issues with a 'grace period' that was initially promised and then revoked. That grace period was designed to help pre-ordering customers awaiting shipments of The Old Republic play on launch day. Now it seems as though Bioware has seen fit to reinstate that grace period.
Greg Zeschuk, Bioware's co-founder, announced the move on The Old Republic's official forums.
While we've worked closely with our retailers in the launch territories to ensure copies of Star Wars: The Old Republic are available from our launch date of December 20th, we understand that for those of you who’ve pre-ordered, there may be a concern about getting your copy on time. We’ve heard you want a 'grace period' where you can continue to play without having to enter a final product registration code (AKA 'game code').
We've been listening, and after doing another deep review of our platform infrastructure, we're taking action. Today, we're announcing a two day grace period for Star Wars: The Old Republic customers.
This means that everyone who pre-ordered and is in the Early Game Access program has forty-eight hours from launch in which to enter their product registration code, which will be found inside the physical Standard and Collector's Editions of the game; for digital editions of the game from Origin.com, the registration code will have been emailed to you after December 16th and will arrive before December 19th at 11:59PM EST. After December 22nd 12:01AM EST, you will be required to have a valid payment method and a product registration code registered to your account to continue to play. We strongly recommend that you register your product code as soon as you are able to do so (rather than waiting until the last minute) to ensure a seamless entry into the game, a smooth experience on the account website and to collect any special gifts and items you may be entitled to based on the version of the game you purchased.
We understand that for some, your copy of the game may still arrive on or after December 22nd. Unfortunately, we cannot extend the grace period any further. We suggest you contact your retailer to discuss shipping options, if this is a concern.
You may be wondering if your 30 days of game time (included with your purchase of the game) will be affected by the grace period. The answer is no. If you redeem your product registration code during the grace period, and add a valid payment method to your account, you will begin your billing cycle from then, and you will be entitled to 30 days of game time. If you redeem your product registration code before December 20th, your billing cycle will begin on December 20th at 12:01AM EST (the official launch date and time of the game).
We know this has been an issue for some of you, and we apologize for the concerns. We're looking forward to welcoming all of you to the official launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic!
Ray and Greg
In addition, Amazon, in response to the overwhelming demand, has decided to ship the game early, starting yesterday, meaning that Australian's who paid extra for fastest shipping may end up getting their copies before the grace period ends. Maybe.
Here's an update for customers who have pre-ordered Star Wars: The Old Republic that was scheduled to be released on December 20, 2011. Because beta access ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 19, 2011, we've decided to ship the game early to customers starting December 15, 2011. We'll be updating orders over the next two days and new estimated delivery times will appear in Your Account shortly after our updates are complete. These changes will be applied to your account automatically and there is no action needed on your part. Please see below for an update to estimated delivery times based on shipment method.
New Estimated Delivery Times for the Contiguous US:
* Release Date Delivery - on or before 12/19/2011 * One-Day Delivery - on or before 12/19/2011 * Two-Day Delivery - on or before 12/19/2011 * Standard Shipping - on or before 12/24/2011 * Super Saver Shipping - on or before 12/24/2011
Orders shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and international addresses will also ship earlier than originally planned.
Hopefully this means Australians who pre-ordered copies of the game through Amazon will get uninterrupted access to Star Wars: The Old Republic in time for launch and beyond.
Thanks again to Paul McDermott.