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SWTOR had over 1m hours of testing last weekend

BioWare Austin "working their asses off".

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Over a million hours of testing went into upcoming MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic last weekend, BioWare has revealed.

Tens of thousands of people played the game in an effort to ensure a smooth launch next month, BioWare co-founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka told Eurogamer in an interview at BAFTA, London last night.

The mood at BioWare Austin, where the game is being developed, is "very measured" Zeschuk said.

"It's not panicky. I just came from Austin. It's very measured. It is coming soon. The game is largely where we want to be. It's not like we're trying to jam anything in in the last minute. We're trying to finish everything off to the level we're satisfied with.

"What's really important is it's stable and reliable and doesn't crash all of the time. If you put a whole bunch of stuff in right at the end it makes it less stable, so we're controlling the end. This is how we finish most games. What we do is, early on in development the pipe is really big. Anyone can put stuff into the game and then we narrow it and narrow it and narrow it. Now we're in this narrow pipe phase where stuff is still going in, but it's being carefully measured.

"Against that we're testing. This weekend we had a big test - tens upon tens of thousands. One crazy number is we had over a million hours of testing over the weekend. It was a huge test, and there are even bigger ones coming. The key thing is for us to take those learnings, apply them and make the service really stable. We're happy with the game."

Open beta testing for the MMO will begin soon - you can grab beta keys here - the exact weekend, however, BioWare is yet to announce.

"Our goal is a smooth launch," Muzyka added. "We want to serve our players really well. We want to serve them with a great, stable, secure, high quality experience. That's our goal. We're doing everything we can.

"This is a massive undertaking to make sure we figure out everything that could possibly go wrong and trying our best. The team is working their asses off. They're passionate about serving our fans and making this great for them. They're working long hours and through the weekends to make sure they get every minute of testing they possibly can and fix every issue they find. They're doing well. I'm proud of them. They're working hard and they're doing a great job."

BioWare will limit the availability of the game in an effort to ensure that smooth launch - a tactic Zeschuk said will help boost The Old Republic's stability.

"One of the ways we can ensure the service is good is we're not selling beyond a certain point," he said. "Like, at a certain point it'll sell out. We will release more units based on the stability of the service, then we will turn that dial carefully. For example, through Origin we can very quickly and responsibly add more units depending on availability.

"Everyone's cautiously optimistic. We're all very paranoid."

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