Darth Hater picked up on a little Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) news that got released just a bit early yesterday. In a new story at The Wall Street Journal, EA CEO John Riccitiello announced a new service called Origin, which will be an exclusive downloadable service for games like SWTOR and other EA titles. Origin will act as a social network and in the case of SWTOR the only available digital download option, effectively cutting out other digital download services like Direct2Drive and Steam. Players will still have the option to purchase a retail box from retailers if that is their preference, but for digital downloads, the game will be an Origin exclusive title.
Origin sounds very much like EA's answer to Blizzard's Batt.net service, allowing players to purchase downloadable content and keep track of several games in their EA collection.
As it turns out with many things on the Internet, this story did leak out just a little bit early. BioWare's Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid took to the forums to clarify a few points about Origin and assure fans that there will be some juicy news coming for before and during next week's E3.
Hey everyone Â well, apparently once again the online world trumps newsprint, as a story that was supposed to pop tomorrow popped up tonight! Let me give you a couple of notes on Origin.
First off: Origin is a fantastic new digital initiative from EA, and we're pleased to confirm that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available exclusively for digital download from Origin.
However, even though you'll only be able to buy and download The Old Republic digitally via Origin, you will still be able to buy a retail, boxed copy of the game from your favorite retailer (and that includes online retailers whoÂll ship the box to you). BioWare and EA know the value many gamers place on a cool boxed product... and weÂre producing a cool boxed product. (Or maybe I should say 'boxed products'.)
Second: it's easy to hear an announcement like this and assume it means that we're about to drop another bombshell or two, especially with E3 around the corner. The reality is, this sort of pre-show announcement is pretty standard PR work, so that the story can 'breathe' a bit before E3 news obliterates everything else.
While I will say we have some super-cool stuff coming out of E3 Â some of which youÂre actually going to see before E3 starts Â I don't want you to jump to conclusions just yet. Instead I'd suggest you just strap in and enjoy the ride. We know every single one of you wants to know when The Old Republic is going to launch, and I assure you, when we are ready to give you a date we'll broadcast it loud and clear.
As I'm sure you know, weÂre 100% committed to making Star Wars: The Old Republic the best quality game (and service) it can be, as you'd expect from a BioWare MMORPG set in the Star Wars universe.
I've said before that an announcement as big as release date will be so big, it'll come thundering towards us and we'll all hear it long before it arrives. That train's coming... but so far, I'd just say we've laid down some early track.
You have questions, no doubt, and all of them will be answered in time. For now, sit back and enjoy E3 next week.