Yes, we have a release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic. So now retailers handling pre-orders have to get themselves lined up for that date as well.
And so an email from Amazon.com about my order was not unexpected.
We have received new release date information related to the order you placed on July 21 2011. The item(s) listed below will actually ship sooner than we originally expected based on the new release date:
“Star Wars: The Old Republic”
Previous estimated arrival date: January 04 2012
New estimated arrival date: December 23 2011
If you want to check on the progress of your order, take a look at this page in Your Account:
So Amazon says I should have the box on December 23. However, the game goes live on December 20.
And while I have my early access code, nothing on the SWTOR Pre-Order FAQ page says anything about that code being able to bridge the gap between launch date and when I actually get the box.
All I can find is this little mention on the FAQ, which may or may not cover my situation:
Please note: Your copy of the Game may not be reserved for collection after the launch date; check with your preferred retailer for details.
In the past some games, like Lord of the Rings Online, allowed a period of post launch access based on the pre-order code. Other games have been… less accommodating. That quote sounds like EA might be trending towards the latter, which doesn’t seem much like the Christmas spirit. It will be nearly Christmas after all, one of the busier seasons for package shipments, so I would guess that there might be a few boxes showing up late. It would be nice if nobody had to worry about that.
I suppose there is still well over two months to go before we are in any danger of being allowed into early access. Plenty of time to work this out.