Yesterday I theorized that EA might have capitalized on the Diablo III delay announcement to steal Blizzard’s thunder and announce the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic in a period completely free of any competition, while bringing some fans still on the fence in their own camp.
Today we have an official response, as SWTOR‘s Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid was kind enough to comment on the matter on twitter:
When asked how far from the truth the idea was he responded:
About as far as it’s possible to get.”
Yep. The two had zero connection, but enjoy your conspiracy theory.:D”
He finally concluded:
Call it a happy coincidence, because that’s really all it was.”
While no one expected Stephen to confirm it (even if it was actually true, he’d never be authorized to admit it, for obvious reasons), there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth.
One thing is beyond any reasonable doubt: if it’s really coincidence, it’s one of the biggest strokes of luck I’ve seen in the gaming industry in the last few years. Not only EA had their major competitor on the PC market for the holiday season temporarily withdraw from the battle, but they did so less than 24 hours before their own release announcement, allowing them to ride the tide like a seasoned surfer.
Now all they need to do is releasing a really solid game (something that has been rather difficult to accomplish in the MMORPG industry in the last few years) able to retain the obviously massive influx of players that will join at launch and in the few months after. I don’t know if they’ll manage, but given how stagnant the market has been in recent times, I sure hope so.