Oceanic players: no local pre-orders

Well, pre-orders for Star Wars: The Old Republic are now up and running, and unfortunately for any Oceanic players, there’s no local options for us to take part. The pre-orders offer three options:

1. Collector’s Edition

As mentioned yesterday this is a mighty nice piece of gear. A whole bunch of US / UK and European options are given, but none for Asia, South America or Oceanic players.

2. Digital pre-order via EA’s Origin Service

This graphic says it all if you try this route as an Oceanic player:

3. ‘Normal’ boxed edition

See point 1.

Some key points

Aside from the obvious disappointment, there’s some key issues that need to be emphasised:

a. This does not mean we won’t be able to play the game: you can obviously order the game from overseas. I’ve asked Bioware to confirm that such orders are valid i.e. that there’ll be no regional / IP block on regions taking part in playing. The Oceanic server issue seems a little optimistic at this stage to say the least – we’ll let you know of any response on the stance with ordering from overseas.

b. It appears there will be a staggered release: according to the pre-order FAQ:

c. No-one particularly cares but us: there is the reality of being part of a ‘smaller’ region. There’s just no urgency around this for anyone but the people affected. That said, South America and all of Asia are in the same boat.

d. If preordering from overseas: there’s a few glitches in the links to pre-order retailers. Amazon US’ site lists SWTOR as being for Mac and Windows. Amazon UK says it’s not available at all. Find a retailer that suits you and go from there. I’ve done a pre-order but with the full awareness of the (small) risk that I may not be able to play it if there’s some sort of regional block on playing. I still can’t see that happening though. This Tweet from Stephen Reid puts paid to the idea:

As does this follow-up to an Aussie SWTOR player’s question:

e. It’s just a game: I’ve already seen a lot of aggro over this issue expressed on the forums, Twitter and via emails we’ve received already today. It’s understandable but at the end of the day it’s a game. Don’t do anything rash and don’t make threats – that’s a surefire way to alienate people from the get-go.

As I mentioned above we’ve submitted some questions to Bioware on the issue. Given they’re in the middle of San Diego Comic Con I can’t see a prompt response but you never know.

Over to you: what’s your take on the situation?

Update: Stephen Reid has started a new thread on the SWTOR forums with this post:

To all of our fans outside of North America and Europe:

Today we’ve announced the pre-order details for the initial launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and as you may now know, we’ve taken the difficult but necessary decision to limit our initial launch supply for the game. BioWare and LucasArts are completely focused on building an exceptional game and an exceptional game service to go with it. We decided to constrain our launch capacity to ensure we deliver a great experience to every player.

Part of the reason this decision was made was because of the overwhelming demand for The Old Republic, and we’re humbled by that level of excitement and anticipation. We fully intend to deliver to you an amazing game when we expand our service post-launch, but right now we cannot commit to any timeframe for when that may happen. As soon as we have more information about additional launches in more territories, we’ll let you know.

We are committed to delivering Star Wars: The Old Republic to BioWare and Star Wars fans around the world, and to growing a truly global community.


  1. The Cracks says

    It may be just a game, but that’s not the point. The total lack of communication is ridiculous.

    • I ordered the CE edition from Amazon US today, got the code etc, but on the site it said release date December 31 2011, but my order was estimated delivery January 9 2011, that’s gotta suck πŸ˜›

  2. Well, after agonizing about it I pre-ordered from Amazon. There’s been a couple of SR quotes saying we won’t be IP blocked. So fingers crossed.

    There’s no getting around it though – this whole mess will cause a lot of bad blood and ill feeling among Oceanic players who will rightly feel snubbed. We’ve been following the game for years too. Bit of a shame really.

  3. I actually trusted that BioWare would do the decent thing. I can’t begin to describe my disappointment at this decision.

    If we are such a small market then what harm in allowing us in at launch?

  4. “No-one particular cares but us”

    That’s pretty much the situation in a nutshell. The most annoying and frustrating thing about this whole fiasco is the lack of communication and dialog over this. Starting with the ‘rumour’ from the journalists which we received no response from Bioware about as ‘they don’t respond to rumours’ guff. Confusion for Oceanic TOR fans now reins.

    This big question for me is, what is the actual plan for Oceania? Does this mean when they finally release the game here, they’re going to give us our own servers? If that’s the case, if I pre-order and get the game now will I be able to transfer characters? Given there’s not going to be any testing or any support for our region at release, what’s the ping going to be like?

    Ultimately you’re right though. It is just a game. It’s just frustrating after being so invested in following this for so long for this to ultimately happen.

    • That’s exactly what the kids in Somalia have been saying, too. And some of their warlord gamers, as well. Poor buggers.

      • Damm I can’t stop laughing haha:) Personally I decided to just buy from Amazon. Australia and Asia have never been getting the preorder/collector good stuff for most mmos anyway. I remember when i had to order online a copy of tabula rasa.

        Live and let live. Only gripe is the way this way handled. They could have totally not commented on this and we all would have just ordered physical copies or enterprising shops would bring them in.


  5. I know why there is no oceanic pre-order yet, they are trying to figure out how much they can rape us for by jacking the price up just like most dd games. If Bioware are that lame they can go f*** themselves and ill stick to wow and rift, at least they don’t overprice shit and they are actually cheaper due to high aus dollar

  6. Excellent summary of the situation, sir. Been an emotional rollercoaster ride, hitting some pretty low points. Disappointment. Resentment. Most of all, vast frustration that BioWare continue to say nothing about what the hell is happening with our region.

    But yeah, I pre-ordered on Amazon, got the code, and upgraded my swtor.com account.

    I suppose this all explains why no one from our region is being included in their game testing. πŸ™

  7. ok… obvious aggro at this, but if we do get a late release, will we still have the opportunity over here to pre-order/buy the CE?

  8. So we should be able to order from amazon, or get a friend to send us a copy of the game or buy it for us and give us the code so we can still play?

    And are we certain on the no IP block?

    • Hey Sorost – the IP block issue is only as certain as those tweets in the story…

      I was certainly able to order from Amazon no probs

    • Even with an IP block, wouldn’t something like WoWTunnels get us through it?

      • They could go so far as checking credit card home addresses if EA really don’t want us playing their game.

        Of course there are workarounds to that too, but gee you need to jump some hoops to give these guys your money….

  9. So we are getting a delayed release. I can handle a short delay, but does it sound like that from Mr Reids post? Not to me. What we do need now or very soon is a timeframe for the delay. Nothing worse than not knowing. From previous experience I do not foresee a timeframe given any time soon.

    I’m still keen to play, do EA/Bioware want my money?

    • I imagine once the hype dies down a bit and the starter levels aren’t crowded with Americans, at that point they’ll try to release in areas like Australia.

  10. GenericBox says

    While I am as frustrated as the next person, I am a little confused why people are crying for communication from BioWare..

    They are the DEVELOPER, yes – but you wouldn’t expect to hear from Paramount if a movie was not going to be released in your region.

    It would be Village Roadshow’s problem — or, in this case, the DISTRIBUTOR, EA, who are responsible for this.

    Asking BioWare to inform oceanic players of the ability to order a game is unfair. Even the digital download service is owned “powered by EA” — Compain to them.

    For those wondering why Australia/elsewhere can’t pre-order or download a Digital Version, it is due to outdated and incorrectly managed Intellectual Property rights and Copyright laws in the US. Try go to any video sharing website from Australia. Vivo, CBS, NBC etc — none will let regions not supported view their digital content. It’s unfair, silly, but just the way it works.

    You’re best bet is to, at this stage, order off an American distributor (amazon.com probably has the best reputation), and get a hard copy shipped. With our dollar as it is (AUD), it’s probably not going to be that much more expensive to do this… AND, all news from developers — because this IS their department — is that anyone, anywhere can play on any server.

    Giving more credence to the idea that this is, again, an EA issue, not BioWare. The game and BioWare servers will let Oceania and others play it, it’s just that EA aren’t selling the game to people outside their supported regions.

    • All great points! The thing is, seeking comment from EA is essentially pointless – they just don’t respond. Bioware at least try in community engagement, and they can always seeks clarification from their parent company too..

      • Kalenath says

        Most big game companies do not respond to customer feedback anymore. Why? I have no idea. Maybe a legal issue? Maybe they just don’t care anymore? Ubisoft, NCSoft, SOE, EA, Activision… All of these act the EXACT same way.

        ‘This is customer support. I am sorry, please speak to the tech support department for your complaints.’ *click*

        ‘This is tech support, I am sorry, please talk to customer support for your complaints.” *click*

        Automated BS, that is ALL you get from any of these big companies. An if you DO get alive person? They are usually rude and clueless.

        Bioware is actually a shining light in the darkness of greed and apathy that pervades the gaming world. They act like they care. Maybe it is a ruse, maybe a fake out. I don’t care. They treat me like I am more than a mobile wallet, I am sticking with them as long as they do.

    • Erm, just a point of order, Paramount are both a film maker AND a distributor. So I take onboard what you were trying to say, but the names you chose to use were bad choices for the aforementioned reason.

  11. GenericBox says

    And yes, I am aware that EA own/operate BioWare — but you would be surprised how often organisations are separated from their parent organisations.

    youTube is owned by Google, but YouTube acts as a separate entity under law (evidenced from lawsuits against youTube over same copyright laws mentioned above)..

    It will be the same as BioWare, EA distribution, and BioWare development – while owned by the same parent brand, will be worlds apart operationally.

  12. I know we’ve had our differences sport wise, but its not just Oceania that are getting shafted, us gamers in South Africa also cannot get the game.

    Lets hope they sort this out asap

  13. One thing is for sure and that is people will be directed here.

    At the very least Amazon must be saying “WTF!” at the number of purchases made.

  14. Darkflare says

    My order for my CE copy on Amazon went through no probs, key arrived in e-mail right away and I applied it to my account no problems, sucks that we have to get the game that way though.

  15. Sucks that we’ve been dealt this hand.

    Regardless of the what has happened with the pre-order release, our attention now turns to launch. Will this debacle now further unite the Oceanic regions (and other regions without pre-order)? Will it strengthen our plea for an Oceanic-flagged server?

    I am even more worried for Oceanic-flagged servers now.

    For those that have pre-ordered, it sounds that you will be getting early access. If Oceanic access is delayed more than a week and NO servers are flagged “Oceanic”, do you just create a character, pick a server and hope to get lucky?

    Do you f$*& around on a character only to start anew when (if) Oceanic servers are flagged?

    I know there is preparation for a “daisy-chain” attempt when stage 2 of the GHQ system goes live. But will it be enough? I’m in a pessamistic mood and feel that EA has muddied the waters for the Oceanic region to unite….

    • On the contrary, I think it points to the fact they WANT to make Oceanic servers, by holding as many people back as possible, then creating Oceanic servers once they have the game going in US/EU.

      • Rob, you may be right there – they may indeed have WANTED Oceanic servers.

        However, in today’s global society, where I can almost order my groceries from the US if I wanted, it’s either incredibly naive or incredibly stupid for EA to think they can segregate regions by limiting pre-order access via their servers.

        It took less than 5 minutes for some Oceanic players think, “Hey, I might just order from the US and have it sent here!”

        In fact, I’d be disappointed if this was EA’s intention. They intend to compete with Blizzard and the rest of the mob and this is their example of customer service. Its horrible.

        My concerns for the Oceanic community are that those who have pre-purchased will be “locked” into their servers and may even have to pay a fee to transfer servers if they want to join the same server as their mates once the rest of us get the game.

  16. I got my code last night, going to be interesting to see if/how we get the game client if they distribute it through origin. With any luck the block us just on purchases. Fingers crossed.

  17. I’d switch to oceanic after playing NA servers, did it with wow and it made little difference in the long run.

  18. Apparently people have contacted EA support who are suggesting that some sort of IP blocking may be implemented.

    “Originally Posted by Eskaay
    I waited in the queue twice to speak live with EA support staff, and here at the conversations.

    2264136001: Gday mate. I was wondering… If i pre order star wars the old republic from Amazon and important to Australia, will i be able to play the game at the same time as the US and EU when it launches there?
    Rajeev: Hi
    Rajeev: Please allow me a moment so that I can collect some information on this.
    2264136001: ok
    Rajeev: Thank you for your patience.
    Rajeev: Yes, you will be able to connect to US and EU servers depending upon the availability of server space
    2264136001: Will that apply from the launch day of the US and EU? Or will Australia have to wait until it releases in their region to be able to connect to their servers
    Rajeev: You need to wait for the release in Australia.
    2264136001: So even if the game is imported, i cannot connect to the US and EU servers on launch day for them?
    Rajeev: I think so, as the game will detect your location when you will connect to any servers
    2264136001: I see. Does that mean EA/Bioware will utilise IP and region blocks to prevent unsanctioned regions playing?
    Rajeev: I am really sorry as I don’t know the exact mechanism to detect this. However, it would be something like this ”

    β€œ2264136001: It’s pretty simple. Can Australia play the game on the same day it launches across the US and most of EU?
    Jason: No, You will be able to paly the only when the game is release in your region.
    2264136001: Ok, so. If i have the game imported from the US via Amazon, i cannot play the game at all, until it is released in Australia?
    Jason: Sorry to say this but yes.
    I also had a friend to did this, and talked to separate people, who pretty much said the same thing.”

    Make of this what you will.

  19. Another David says

    This is a message to all those who thought there would be no delayed release when these rumours started ages ago. YOU ALL SUCK. Morons. Screw this game.

  20. Darkflare says

    SR confirmed on twitter that they will not use IP blocking on the servers, you’ll be fine

  21. Darkflare says

    Do not listen to their support team, they tried to tell people yesterday that they had run out of stock of Digital Editions, they bring a whole new meaning to the word useless. SR has confirmed on twitter that if you import the game from the US to Australia you will be able to play it fine, I’ll take his word over a clueless support desk in India’s.

    • Oh really?

      Latest post from Stephen Reid:

      “Rockjaw Stephen Reid
      Sleep soon. Please understand on IP blocking stuff, I will investigate, doesn’t guarantee I am right or you will like answers.”

  22. Will a CE version be available to other regions once released?

  23. I ordered the CE edition from Amazon US today, got the code etc, but on the site it said release date December 31 2011, but my order was estimated delivery January 9 2011, that’s gotta suck

    Sorry if I post in wrong sections, first time user here πŸ™‚

    • Kalenath says

      I THINK the date is a placeholder. I don’t THINK it is right.

      I have heard October from a number of sources here in Canada. If that is the case I am going to JUMP for joy and then run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to scrape up the money in time.

      But I may be wrong Until we hear something official, we are stuck speculating.

    • Dude how do you order from Amazon? It wont let me ship to Australia?