Today, Stephen Reid – Community Manager for EA / Bioware – linked a FAQ via twitter which announced that there will be no grace period for people who pre-ordered Star Wars : The Old Republic. That is to say – If you pre-ordered and got in to the early play program but haven’t received your hard-copy and entered your registration code by launch, you will be unable to play the game until such time as you do.
And the internet exploded.
Well over 4,000 posts were hammered out on the SWTOR forums, showing everything from apathy to the lol’s of people who went digital distro. (Like I did) to full blown nerd-rage. One guy even said something about burning cars and looting…Not kidding here.
So here’s what happened.
Originally, EA / BioWare indicated that there would be a grace period during which players would be able to play the game whilst waiting for their copy to arrive, as long as they had pre-ordered it and had their early-access code.
Here’s what the FAQ said:
The Game officially launches on December 20th, 2011 at 12:01AM EST (Pacific: December 19th, 9:01PM PST; European: December 20th, 05:01AM GMT, 06:01AM CET). There will be no ‘grace period’ post launch in which those who are in Early Game Access will be able to continue to play the Game without completing the following required steps for launch:
1. Fill out your contact information
2. Set up minimum 3 – maximum 5 security questions to protect your SWTOR account
3. Redeem a Product Registration Code (This is different from your Pre-Order Code. Your Product Registration Code is the code tied to the official Game.)
4. Sign up for a recurring subscription or enter a Pre-Paid Game Time Code
You will have the option of completing these steps during the Early Game Access period so that you are ready to play upon the Game’s official launch.
Yeah, kaboom. So people flipped out and the hate began. Thousands of posts, deleted threads, users getting infractions for being naughty, people threatening to post porn…you know…internet stuff.
Then, after hours of speculation and people running around doing the chicken little routine, the following was posted by Stephen Reid, on the forums:
Our sales and marketing teams are working closely with retailers in the US and Europe to ensure that copies of Star Wars: The Old Republic will be delivered in time for launch day.
In Europe, game copies will be available at retail starting on December 15, 2011. For those of you in the USA and Canada, game copies will be available at retail starting on December 20, 2011. For those of you who pre-ordered digital editions of the game from Origin.com, you will be emailed your Game Codes starting December 16, 2011.
As soon as you receive your Game Code (AKA ‘product registration code’), be sure to enter it on your account under Code Redemption, because as soon as you enter the code you will receive your digital entitlements in-game (i.e. digital items included with the game edition purchased). Remember, your billing cycle will not start until official game launch, on December 20, 2011 at 12:01am EST.
Of course, what this basically says is that if you are planning on picking up your copy of the game from a retailer or if you ordered the digital version, you’ll be playing on release day. If you ordered through an online retailer, you won’t be playing until they get it to you but they are working with those online retailers to attempt to get the games shipped out early so nobody will have to wait.
Of course, I’m sure a DAY won’t kill anyone but…man…I’ve not seen a net-nuke like that in a WHILE.
I have to admit…I lol’d a little. This is just one of those reasons why brick and mortar stores are far superior to online retailers…and why digital distribution crushes them both.
See you crazy Star Wars’ers around the galaxy! Less QQ, more PEW-PEW!