It's been a long time coming, but we've finally got an official release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic in Australia. But why did it take so long, and what's happening with those local servers? We caught up with Grant McDaniel, Senior Development Director of Live Services to try and get some answers.
First question: what took so long? And why was Australia in particular shoved to the back of the queue?
"Many factors go into the decisions of where and when to launch," said Grant. "The number one priority for BioWare has always been and will continue to be providing the highest quality service to our players. That drives all of our decisions. We know there’s a lot of demand for the game in the region, and we’re excited to be bringing the game there locally soon."
The lack of an official release in Australia drove many gamers to import Star Wars: The Old Republic from overseas — an in many way, Bioware was happy to facilitate those gamers and cater to them as a group.
"Sometimes that means we have to support situations that arise outside of our control, claimed Grant. "What we try to do in those situations is operate in the best interests of our player community and work to make it better.
"Our primary goal is to ensure that our launch in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore is as high quality as our launches in North America and Europe. At the end of the day we want to give our players the best game experience possible no matter when it launches."
And what about those local servers?
"We are locating servers in Australia to allow Australian, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore customers to take advantage of decreased network latency and improved performance," said Grant. "EA has local teams to provide support. And BioWare is 100% dedicated to ensuring that our service maintains a high level of quality."