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BioWare takes Star Wars The Old Republic queues "seriously"

Analyst reckons MMO already has 1 million players.

BioWare has told gamers it takes Star Wars: The Old Republic queues "seriously" amid reports of two hour waits.

It's trying to make the wait to get into the science fiction massively multiplayer online game, which is already available to play for those who pre-ordered, "reasonable".

But BioWare "can't promise there won't ever be queues", executive producer of live services Jeff Hickman wrote on the SWTOR website.

"In order to ensure that the service would be smooth and stable, we staged how we brought people into the Early Game Access program, adding people in waves," he explained.

"As you know, there are a lot of folks who want to play the game right now and we want to make sure they have lots of people to play with. Balancing this with figuring out when to bring new servers online to help alleviate the size of the queues is part art and part science.

"On one hand, you do not want people to wait too long - on the other hand, you want to make sure that people have a dynamic, engaging community to play with for long after launch. Either way, we have one clear objective - to make sure folks have fun.

"While we can't promise that there won't ever be queues, we can promise you that we are taking this matter seriously and constantly reviewing them to make sure that they are manageable and reasonable."

SWTOR launches for everybody tomorrow, Tuesday 20th December. It marks the end of a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment for EA as it attempts to take on Activision Blizzard's all-conquering World of Warcraft at its own game.

140 servers were online over the weekend, and more are being added. This, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz said, indicated SWTOR already has over one million players - a figure that could rise to 1.5 million as the game launches.

But he cautioned against taking this figure as an indication of success. "We note that EA gives players the first month free, so 'players' does not yet signify paying subscribers; however, our estimate does at least signify the number of people who have bought the game (and thus far, includes only a subset of those who pre-ordered the title)," he said in a note.

Cowen & Company predicts SWTOR will enjoy two million paying subscribers during the financial year 2013.

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