"Star Wars: The Old Republic will launch on December 20, 2011 in North America, and in Europe on December 22, 2011".Another news item spills the subscription costs:
Each copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic will come with 30 days of subscription time, after which you have the option to continue playing with one of the following monthly subscription fees:Pretty damn close to the end of the year eh. One thing that I think of it what is going to be the grace period during which you get to continue to play SWTOR with your early access, after the game has been released?
1 Month Subscription: $14.99 (£8.99/€12.99)
3 Month Subscription: $13.99 per month (one-time charge of $41.97/£25.17/€35.97)
6 Month Subscription: $12.99 per month (one-time charge of $77.94/£46.14/€65.94)
This is because the 22nd is a Thursday, so that is the 3rd last day to receive post before Christmas, those days being Thursday, Friday, Saturday (Christmas Eve) if you are lucky. Also, the post in the UK gets extremely busy and is often delayed in the run up to Christmas, then it backs up over the Christmas Day and Boxing Day holidays (this year they are Monday 26 and Tuesday 27).
There is then only 4 days to receive more post before we have another national holiday for New Year's Day, during which any post which got stuck over Christmas sometimes turns up.
Therefore, for receiving boxes of SWTOR in the mail, a release date of the 22nd is less than ideal. There is a very real chance any deliveries by regular mail will be delayed until the 26th, and maybe further. Therefore I would hope the "grace period" will be from the 22nd to the 28th or so.
Is this a cunning scheme to make the digital download version more attractive? Getting the game digitally is going to actually involve the site giving you a key to type into SWTOR.com, given that you will have the early access client already. I hope not, the grace period is actually quite tailored to traditional distribution, and should allow you to get a parcel with your game key after the release date and continue playing uninterrupted after early access ends.
The subscription costs are MMO standard, so no surprises there, and no unpleasant surprises either.