EA Says There's An 'Outside Possibility' Star Wars: The Old Republic Could Slip to 2012

BioWare's ambitious Star Wars massively multiplayer online role-playing game is still officially on the books for a 2011 release, penciled in for the second half of the calendar year—though publisher EA is hesitant to pin it down more specifically.

The company mentioned today during an investor call that there's an "outside possibility" the PC game won't hit this year, with Star Wars: The Old Republic possibly hitting as late as January 2012. Or maybe even later, as EA offered a "guidance range" that stretched to the end of EA's fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2012.

"While we fully anticipate launching Star Wars: The Old Republic in Q2 or Q3 [of EA's fiscal year], the low end of our guidance range assumes the outside possibility of a January launch," EA Games Label president Frank Gibeau said.

EA opted not to nail down The Old Republic's release date today for two reasons, executives said, one being that "we don't want to tip off the competition." The other? "We want more data from the beta test to guarantee a spectacular experience at launch," Gibeau said.

If Star Wars: The Old Republic does slip to the first quarter of 2012, it will face competition from two other EA role-playing games. 38 Studios' Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and BioWare's Mass Effect 3 are both planned for the same window.