Looks like EA speculates that it may not be able to fill all of the pre-orders on launch day.
Thursday we reported that EA and BioWare will release three editions of the upcoming MMOG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, which includes the Standard, Digital Deluxe and Collector's editions. Gamers can now pre-order all three editions from EA's online store Origin or via a participating retailer although Origin will sell all digital versions exclusively.
But even before the news went live, the Origin storefront indicated that the $149.99 Collector's Edition, which requires an up-front payment of $20 USD, had already sold out. Then Edge Magazine discovered on Friday that EA won't even be able to guarantee pre-orders at launch. Why? Because the company has decided to limit the original launch supply as stated here in the pre-order FAQ.
This throttled release is most likely intended to limit the day-one server load "to ensure a great user experience," or rather, to keep the lag low due to a sudden load of eager gamers. There's also a good chance that a reserved copy of the game may not be available for collection after the launch date. That said, it appears that fans will have a better chance of scoring a copy on day one by purchasing the digital versions through Origin.
Coincidence? Probably not. It sounds like EA is receiving more pre-orders than it will be able to handle at day one. Thus, consumers who have already fronted the five or twenty bucks will need to get in line pronto or risk not getting access to the virtual Star Wars universe for a while. Even if you pre-ordered and wait until two days later to pick up the copy, it may not be there ready and waiting. It's called first come, first serve.
"Further supplies will be released post-launch," the company states.
In a seemingly contradictory statement, EA states that securing a pre-order for Star Wars: The Old Republic will ensure that a copy of the game will be reserved to purchase upon launch despite the throttled release. "Pre-ordering also ensures that you may be granted Early Game Access before the Game’s official release," the company adds. "More information on Early Game Access will be provided at a later time."
Star Wars: The Old Republic is slated to arrive sometime this holiday season.