‘Star Wars’ vs. ‘World of Warcraft’ — wait for it!

OK “Star Wars” nerds (and by nerds, I mean totally awesome people), looks like you might have to wait a little bit longer than you hoped to play “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

Electronic Arts has confirmed it won’t be releasing the highly anticipated, massively multiplayer online game until next April or even later.

Eric Brown, EA’s chief financial officer, said the game won’t launch until fiscal year 2012 – which begins in April 2011 (go figure) and goes into the following calendar year. This news comes courtesy of Gamasutra, which listened in on the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference where Brown was speaking.

EA has been very vague about the game’s launch date, frustrating would-be Jedi Knights and Sith Warriors to no end … though folks at BioWare (the highly respected company developing the game) have said they are “targeting a spring 2011 release.”

The company certainly has plenty of reason to want to take time to do things right. Brown has previously stated that “Star Wars: The Old Republic” is EA’s largest project ever.

And with the many, many “Star Wars” fans out there eagerly awaiting this game, one can’t help but wonder if this might be the game that takes down MMO behemoth “World of Warcraft” — or at least takes it down a notch or two.

Many have tried. And yet “WoW” remains the king of the MMO hill. Certainly Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick isn’t sweating the competition.

Activision merged with “WoW” creators Blizzard back in 2008. And on Tuesday, Kotick told Reuters that he was not concerned that next year’s launch of “The Old Republic” would eat into the “WoW” user base.

“I can’t say that we’re hugely concerned about that … the audience for ‘World of Warcraft’ is a pretty committed group of players,” he said. (“Pretty committed” being perhaps the biggest understatement of all time.)

“WoW” currently boasts more than 12 million players. And, as of next week, the game will be getting the “Cataclysm” expansion, which is sure to draw in even more players.

So yeah, it looks like “The Old Republic” will have its work cut out for it. Still, “Star Wars” vs. “World of Warcraft” — this is one nerd battle I can’t wait to see. 

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