Yesterday, EA Games CEO John Riccitello participated in a conference call to discuss next year's plans. A "major MMO" was mentioned towards the end of the discussion and everyone is assuming that the MMO being referred to is Star Wars: The Old Republic. See the comments below:
"A couple other thoughts on fiscal ‘11 that I think might be helpful. We are very cognizant of a need to drive growth margins and operating margins, and some of our distribution businesses have provided us luxury profitability that we like. So for now at least we are planning our distribution businesses to be sharply down in fiscal ‘11.
On the digital side, while we’ve got a great number of initiatives, one key driver will be the launch of our major MMO. As it stands today, the game is making great progress towards a spring 2011 launch. But given the volatility of this particular sector, and the fact that we haven’t yet provided a specific launch date, at least for now, we’re excluding the revenue from our FY’11 plan for guidance."
IGN contacted BioWare to see if the comments were indeed referring to The Old Republic. The gaming company would not comment on the quotes and also wouldn't offer up any sort of confirmation. We'll keep you posted as we hear more, but bear in mind that nothing is set in stone until we get an official announcement.
UPDATE: Community manager Sean Dahlberg has confirmed the spring 2011 target time-frame for the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic on the SWTOR.com boards. See below for his quote:
"While we have not announced a specific date, we can confirm that we are targeting a spring 2011 release for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. We’ve got a lot of exciting updates and reveals planned throughout 2010, including the first-ever hands-on testing for the game. It’s not too late to sign up to be a game tester, so go to www.swtor.com/tester and sign up today. We can’t wait to share more about the game with you as we progress through the year, so make sure you stay tuned to the official website for details."