Jul 24, 2011

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 34 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Do You Live In A Region Unable To Pre-Order TOR?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

On Friday, when pre-orders for Star Wars: The Old Republic began, we heard many cheers and saw a lot of excitement from fans who had long-awaited that moment. However, there was another group of fans left in out in the cold.

Soon after the pre-order program launched, we heard quite a few sighs of disappointment as some people found out that their geographical location prevented them from pre-ordering TOR and participating in Early Game Access, or possibly even retail launch. Unfortunately, if you live in Australia, Asia, South America, or select parts of Europe, you are currently excluded from this ongoing promotion. BioWare Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid started a thread on the official forums addressing those select regions and explaining the reasoning behind the region locks, so if you have any specific questions, you should post them there.

Luckily, some fans have been able to pre-order from online retailers that have international shipping such as Amazon and others, despite the added cost and logistics. However, the danger with pre-ordering like that is that no one seems to be positive if IP addresses or even credit cards are going to blocked from those regions. That’s in addition to playing on a server that is geographically located far away from you, possibly leading to increased latency. Hopefully BioWare will clear up many of these questions and let our friends from those areas know about their plans within near future.

Another issue that emerged with this limitation is that some guilds had members that lived in the regions listed above. As the creation of a guild through the pre-launch guild program requires the founding members to pre-order the game, it is quite hard to do that now, causing some guilds to fall apart or miss out on the guild pre-launch program.

As for our question of the day, let us know if you live in a region that is currently unable to pre-order TOR? Also let us know if your guild is impacted by this restriction in some way.

(Editor’s Note: Ask A Jedi will be covering this issue proactively, stay tuned. We’d also like to hear your thoughts on it.)

Do you live in a region that is currently unable to pre-order TOR?

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Were your guild's plans affected by this restriction in some way?

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BioWare Map Of The World

BioWare Map Of The World (For entertainment purposes only!)

  1. There is a petition going on, right now, to try and overturn this decision, is it possible to get this included in the article?


    • Lethality says:

      We have record of that and will include it in the first article we have going!

    • Father11 says:

      The reasons that bioware has given are some pretty good ones I think. Rather let half in first and let them enjoy the game, and then the other half can join a week or two later. That way the servers dont get overloaded and no problems should arise.
      Yes i have Pre-ordered TOR, But guys everyone can get it just buy from UK amazon or something like that. Be creative. Any who, release date for MMO’s have always been a pain in my book, if bioware can avoid that by excluding a few regions for a week or two, fine by me.
      We’ve waited so long so far, whats a few weeks more.

      • Lethality says:

        I think you might feel differently if the roles were reversed :)

        Much of the anger is the shock of it, after being courted for nearly 3 years and being promoted as a world-wide release.

        Yes, in the end its just a video game. But we feel It’s an issue that deserves attention.

      • The problem is that the information released so far doesn’t indicate that the ‘redzone’ delay will be a week or two. Everything seems to point to a wait of multiple months to a year.

        This isn’t stated in any official response, Bioware/EA have not really given any timeline other than sometime after launch.

  2. Maria Sigurðardóttir says:

    Iceland shouldn’t be on that map :)

  3. I live in Australia and our guild has been pretty much gutted. We have members from many countries, Australian, New Zealander, Singapore, South Africa, all of which are excluded. We also have Americans and Canadians, and some from Denmark. With the guild torn in two we are very displeased with this announcement.

  4. Hi i live in Serbia South est Europe and mine country is not on Bioware list and i was disappointment with no able to buy Swtor in mine country But i did order from near by Italian Amazon.it site
    mine copy of Star wars CE and that is ok if they don’t block IP addressee it will be ok for me
    it is unfortunate that i did pay 40 50 euro more and i have to w8 8-10 days extra more but it is ok i cant w8 to play game

    and one more thing i did ask for Ip sWtor support and i will link there answer here it is what they did say :

    Greetings Humanoid,

    I am Protocol Droid B0-P2, Human-Cyborg relations.

    I have received your distress call.

    We do not have region restrictions on our servers, so you will be able to play through Early Access and launch, no matter the location or country you are playing from.

    Should you need further assistance with this matter, please do not hesitate to let me know. Galactic support is our specialty…


    Protocol Droid B0-P2

    SWTOR Customer Service

    ————————————Transmission Ended————————————

    — Original Message —
    From: “HIDDEN”
    Received: 23/07/11 11:56:21 o’clock IST
    To: “Swtor, Feedback”
    Subject: [Pre-order]HIDDEN

    lpedja sent a message using the contact form at

    Hi i did pre order Star wars Ce from Italian site and i live in country near
    by in Serbia who is not on yours list of country’s
    will mine copy of game work on mine pc or you block ipp.adrease in
    others country who are not on list ?

  5. KaylaReagen says:

    Fail more, my respect for you since baldurs gate has now turned to mud, guild wars 2 is getting all the money i had for tor. simple as that.

  6. I am truly sorry to hear that some regions that are not getting this game at launch and I hope that all changes for them. To wait this long and not be able to play the game I wish the best and hope bioware will do something about it.

  7. Actually Greece has available pre-orders. Blame the vendors and not Bioware for Media Saturn high ups not informing their personnel about the deal.

  8. The map misses Austira and Hungary, both able to preorder. :)

  9. Here’s a list of questions the left out members are awaiting an official answer to.

    the members of the Red Zone (all those stuffed by the split the world in half pre-order policy), Would like the following questions answered by someone duly authorised to state this (SR, PR rep etc.)

    1. Ip blocking yea/nea for people who’ve bought the game from overseas
    2. CC blocking yea/nea for people who’ve bought the game from overseas
    3. Timeline for red zone releases
    4. Will red zoners be able to buy CE editions or has all stock of those been allocated to green zone only?
    5. Apology for lying re: “everyone has a chance for a beta invite”
    6. Apology for sending out emails spruiking pre-orders worldwide then for a “not available in your region” when trying to buy on Origin (it might have gone better if you’d looked at the country on people’s SWTOR accounts & only send it to those in the green zone)
    7. Apology for Ninja Preorders opening up at midnight, then dropping the ball on making sure everythig was in place for the preorders to start being purchased smoothly.
    8. Why when the delay story first broke a month ago – nothing was said then: http://toroz.com.au/2011/06/swtor-in…delay-rumours/ & was withheld till [AFTER] the pre-order annoucement.
    9. Why does the publicity/advertising/customer service departments not have (or have not been willing to provide) these details sooner? Is this the level of community support we can expect post-release?
    10) After all these years & $100 million+ in development, why hasn’t /EA Bioware already set up the necessary infrastructure to support American / European / Australian and Asian players all together when smaller companies with MUCH smaller budgets like Trion can?
    11) Will those outside of NA and EU be able to download the game client via Origin or other methods for the head start?

    Kind Regards,
    The Red Zone

  10. Firstly, thank you for writing about this.

    It has been a long weekend for us here in the “Redzone”.

    Bioware (I almost wrote Blizzard as a reflex) has been a mess as far as clear and concise information goes.

    In order, this is what I found out about pre-order:
    (and my reactions)

    -Email from Bioware: Pre order the game NOW NOW NOW!!! (Squeee!)

    -Origins: The game is not available in your region (wtf???)

    -The game is available through Amazon but it will cost you an extra $40 for priority shipping (add to cart, add to cart!)

    -Pre-order confirmation received (Squee??? but will I be able to download the game to take advantage of early start?)

    -Twitter from Stephen Reid: We “should” be able to download the game direct from Bioware and the “current” plan is no IP blocking, he is not 100% sure but will get back to us. (ok, cool! But stil not sure why)

    -Stephen Reid’s forum post:
    “Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is not available in your region.
    To maintain a high quality of service, only certain regions worldwide will be able to pre-order Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.” (huh?… what? Hang on a sec, you just said…)

    -Forum stories come in from “chat” with EA / Bioware customer service: “Redzone” countries “will not be able to play the game”. No further clarification. More stories come out later that say the opposite. (Will someone please give us a clear answer here!!!)

    -“Exciting” new release information from Comic Con is coming out. (I’m finding it VERY hard to get excited about this and my favorite fan sites are more interested in conductor hats and talking about dev’s beards and abbs than the 10,000+ comment rage thread. Ask A Jedi answer my twitterverse SOS!)

    Twitter: (Three days later) Stephen Reid comes back and clarifies there will be no region blocking at download or login to the game. We will need to wait till Mon/Tues before he can clarify whether credit cards from “redzone” countries will be accepted (Sqeee! Worst case scenario I will buy game cards or paypal it. I go back through the comic con info drops and get excited about the game again)

    The end.

    • As much as it sucks for you guys in the “redzone”. I frankly think you’ll be back up to being able to play “legit” and buy the game “legit” very soon after launch.

      I still can’t really wrap my head around the reason why with a publisher as big as EA and many many years in development they just cut off these regions.

  11. I think Bioware could have made this situation better in a few ways:

    1. They should have notified people that the game would be unavailable at launch in certain countries well before the pre-order program began. The disappointment could have been handled in that way, without it being made worse by seeing people happily celebrating their pre-orders.

    2. The pre-order event should NOT have happened at the same time as comic-con. I understand why they did it, but the community really could have used more folks at the Bioware home base during this whole thing. Having both the pre-order and comic-con happening at once is just too much (and too many hyphens).

    3. They needed to have clear answers ready for these issues. There is no reason they could not have anticipated overseas issues like IP and CC blocking. All of this should have been figured out last week and posted with the pre-order FAQ.

    What should have been a successful media blitz and major hype boost for them has become something of a mixed bag. Sure, if you’re in the US or Canada or UK this is all sunshine and lollipops, but alotta folks are upset and they are still part of the community.

    • Well if you pre-order from UK or Canada you still don’t have your code for the early release, UK will get it the 26th and Canada the 29th.

      • That’s a false statement.

        Im from Canada, Preordered CE on 21st of July, got my pre-order code on 22nd of July.

      • As ReDDoT said, that’s a blanket statement that is not entirely true. It has nothing to do with where you are, it is completely based on what retailer you used. EA and Bioware have no control over how the codes are going out. They were given to retailers, and some retailers are dropping the ball on it.

  12. Perkunas says:

    That’s a pretty accurate map of the world. I don’t see a problem.

  13. Yeah, I’m from Argentina. My guild almost fell apart because I was Region Locked on Origin. I had to use a VPN in order to buy the game, I’m Pretty pissed, as a EA/Bioware customer that was allowed to buy and play Warhammer Online back in 2008 without any problems. They HAVE the infrastructure to provide me service, so i’m not buying their BS.

    Don’t want to have lag and long queues at Launch? Ok, limit the number of copies you are going to sell, but don’t lock out entire regions, that’s discrmination.

  14. blood_dodo says:

    I was a beta tester for WAR-O, then preordered the game, and was able to play at launch. So what the HELL is happening here and why am I not being able to preorder TOR? For the sake of better service? Fuck you, EA…

  15. Jason KiwiDude says:

    At the end of the day this is a very poorly handled exercise. I know they are trying to keep things hush hush and also give those that can play at launch a better experience but how did they think those that would miss out would react???

    I feel bitter and betrayed but will I still play….unfortunately yes I will but will it be forgotten and will that express itself in other ways from us Red Zone exclusions. Only time will tell.

  16. Being in the Red Zone, I was obviously in shock and disappointed to hear the news that the game wouldn’t be sold here. Remember (especially to other fansites owners) that we are not talking about the lack of simultaneous localization and support for every region and language in the world… that would be impossible! It’s just that you cannot buy the game digitally (the official US/Europe versions), through origin.com or elsewhere, in the aforementioned areas. My rage was particularly higher because nobody was expecting that, they could have mentioned that way back then and not so suddenly with the pre-orders, when we are so close to launch.

    But now I think my grief is at an end, I’m in the acceptance phase, as I can think things more clearly. I can actually
    *understand* the reason they gave: by restricting the launch period (release plus ~6months(?)), they can provide a better service for the people that are in. And it’s more than just physical servers, there is the support involved, CMs, GMs, account/billing services, etc.

    So am I saying they are right? Will this ensure BW/EA have bigger profits in the long run? Not necessarily. The reason is that the approach they took is not 100% risk free as some may think. We live in a globalized, ever changing world. 6 months after SWTOR launch, lots of things can change in the Red Zone’s markets. Its games and gamers are not going to just freeze and wait patiently
    for the time they can purchase SWTOR. By then, other new games can seem much more attractive than such an “old” MMO. Competitors are and will be making moves: for example, by investing in and “securing” one of the fastest economy growing (esp. in gaming), stable regions in the world (Latin America). For example:

    Or maybe, in the near future, some competitors can (re)-invest in well established MMO gaming regions, like launching really local Oceania servers, with much reduced pings, who knows? By then, maybe SWTOR may not be doing too well in the green zone. Perhaps the services at launch period were not so smoothly as they (and
    gamers) hoped. Perhaps, by then, they do feel the need to expand a “dying” game to other regions, but with less resources to do so than they could now?

    So, really, only time will tell. To end this long post… I honestly hope the people in the green zone have an exceptional, smooth game service at launch. If they don’t, I will feel *much* more disappointed, knowing that all my current anger and the longer waiting for the Red Zone were completely in vain. And because I think the game looks awesome, I do hope that when BW/EA decides I can buy the game, this decision does not happen
    because the game is dying out quickly (so I would be bombarded with e-mails pleading to try it out and buy it for $4.99 out of Steam), but because it’s successful and they just want to maximize the profits even more.

  17. Sharkey76 says:

    After it will be launched in Red Zone countries we will see Red Zone guilds hunting down the other guilds. I for one sure will be a Sith now, I was thinking to be good, a jedi, but not anymore. And this only if the game will not suck and especially if Guild Wars 2 will not be launched in the meantime, otherwise goodby and RIP SWTOR.
    It is funny because this way they have created two factions, Red Zone vs burgeois non-Red Zone.

  18. I find it crap that i have just found out about this and i have pre ordered 3 months ago. They are still announcing it as a Worldwide Release and they have had enough time to make this work IMO.

    I knew this would happen to me sometime when i was buying games. From what i have heard, we could be 2-6 weeks Behind the release

    • My friend you’re being optimistic it’s been 4 weeks since your post and no change in sight. For example when i asked some retailes in my coutry(Romania) when the game will be available they said maybe somewhere in may

  19. The Ripper says:

    Necroing a little here, Im leaving this message to anyone that is still looking to play SWTOR and is in a red zone, Its May 5th 2012, almost 6 months after the game was released in green zones, and still theres no word from either, Bioware of EA to release the game in Red Zones.

    As for now, the game has been declared officially DEAD, and most likely will become free to play before the last quarter of 2012 and will NOT be developed in Red Zones, nor in Asia & Pacific.

    Good joob Bioware, you took a fine game and fucked it up with your idiotic management.


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