When does Star Wars: The Old Republic (aka SWTOR) come out? Will the SWTOR release date be in 2011?

You’re salivating for the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO release, I know. I am too. But, sadly, Electronic Arts and Bioware, who are developing the game, are keeping their cards very close to their chest as to exactly when it will hit the shelves. Still, there are enough clues out there right now that we can make a pretty good guess at the SWTOR release date.

So, when does “The Old Republic” come out?

Following the trail of Old Republic release date clues

Electronic Arts’ CEO John Riccitiello has said that announcing the release date early would be “irresponsible”. He’s concerned that “a competitor” – let’s be honest, he’s mainly talking about Blizzard here – will use any early knowledge of the release to get an expansion, a big patch, or even just a huge ad campaign out around their release date. With SWTOR the only game poised to take Blizzard and WoW on head to head, that’s a real concern – there’s enough money at stake for people to start playing very dirty. Hence, we won’t hear anything solid until very shortly before the game ships.

However, there are a bunch of hints out there.

In July 2011, Riccitello said that EA would be in a position to give a hard release date after the beta testing in September 2011. He also mentioned that they were confident that the MMO would come out in the holiday season.

EA have previously said that the game could be put back to 2012 – however, everything that they’ve been saying through summer ’11 indicates that’s probably not going to happen.

Razer, the peripherals manufacturer, heavily hinted that their tie-in peripherals will ship in November 2011.

EA have also said that “it’s not uncommon for an MMO to withhold an exact release date until four to six weeks prior to launch.” Given they’re talking about announcing in September, that gives an absolute window between the start of October and the middle of December.

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So what’s the conclusion?

Overall, it’s looking almost certain that the SWTOR release date is between October and Christmas. Whilst Blizzard have skipped Christmas in the past, EA’s pronouncements all imply they’re looking at stuffing a lot of stockings with lightsabers.

From the Razer comment, plus the most likely range of dates from EA’s comments, November 2011 is the most likely range for the game, probably later in the month. That also allows for the possibility of some problems cropping up in beta test, which is likely.

So, what we’re saying in short is look for SWTOR in November 2011. Maybe a little earlier, but unlikely to be a lot, and unlikely to be a lot later either.

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