Electronic Arts has decided to put a limit on how many copies of Star Wars: The Old Republic can be initially sold. They say this is to offset any server overload issues that normally plague the launches of MMOs. The limit will be placed on both retail and digital copies of the game to ensure server stability when it goes live later this year.
EA went on to say that they already know what the exact number of copies sold will be, but it will not announce that figure. If or when that sales estimate is reached, the publisher plans to cease sales of the game until they’ve expanded their server capacity. After the capacity is increased, and the player load can be accommodated, Electronic Arts will resume game sales.
This is a reasonable enough decision on their end, though it seems to be sidestepping the larger problem. EA has had issues with multiplayer game launches before, with Battlefield 1943 being almost non-playable for a week after release, and similar woes occurring at the launch of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Limiting how many people can play at launch is a way to solve the problem, though it would be more efficient to upgrade the server before launch and get rid of the pause in sales. That is, of course, unless EA wants to increase demand for copies of the game, which would make sense as well.
Either way, fans of Star Wars and Bioware who haven’t already bought the game are now even more likely to do so. We’ll post more news on Star Wars: The Old Republic, should it appear.