The article reaffirms players will be able to purchase SWTOR in retail stores as well as from Origin, but the EA service will be the only internet-based one to digitally distribute the game. As we reported in our coverage of the UBS Media and Communications conference, EA CFO Eric Brown stated the game's PC client will be available in both a retail packaged format and digital download format. The Origin service is described as similar to iTunes and will let players purchase, download and keep track of multiple EA game purchases as well as act as a social networking platform. This functionality is available to players even if they don't purchase the game through Origin.
Update 8p PT: BioWare official response after the jump
Update 5a PT 6/3:
- Origin launches at 9a PT /12p ET today -- press release.
- A redesign of EA's website now highlights upcoming E3 announcements, and includes an EA at E3 2011 page with a "Star Wars Live Broadcast" listing.
- An upcoming event listing Live Chat With Star Wars 2pm on Tuesday hints at viewing a "Gameplay Demo and Q&A with Star Wars: The Old Republic."
- EA.com now features a Star Wars: The Old Republic page with details about the game on their home page.
- Origin is online as of 11:24 ET
After EA's press conference next week at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, you'll also be able to access exclusive game content and trailers for Mass Effect 3, FIFA 12, SSX, Need for Speed: The Run, STAR WARS: The Old Republic, The Sims 3 and Battlefield 3. EA's E3 press conference is scheduled for 12:30PM PST on June 6, 2011. Be sure to watch the live stream right here on EA.com.
Quote from Stephen Reid
Hey everyone 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 who'll ship the box to you). BioWare and EA know the value many gamers place on a cool boxed product... and we're 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 some of which you're actually going to see before E3 starts 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, we're 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.