Retailers Speculate WAR Launch Date

June 23, 2008

I’ve been seeing this more and more lately. Hungry for solid release info on WAR, a lot of people have gone around to the major retailers and see when THEY think Warhammer Online will launch:

So you start seeing that “September 23” date a lot, and a very common thought pops into your head: “I guess they know something I don’t know. Maybe it is the 23rd! Insider information!” And then you throw a party and invite over all your friends but only Smelly Charlie comes and that’s because he thought you had Grand Theft Auto IV and you loaned your copy to your cousin Trigger but he scratched it when the police raided his home looking for a kidnapped Austrian tourist.

Unfortunately, there really is no insider information going on. Retailers have said this repeatedly — when a general launch window is given (say, a quarter or a season — Q4 or “fall”), then they have to put something on their websites and into their computer database that’s a little more concrete than a general period. So a release date is estimated/guessed/made up on a whim, and it’s entered into the field as a placeholder. We’ve seen it happen again and again, as these dates will get juggled around (especially due to delays) until the game goes gold and a final, solid release date is locked down.

Mythic might give out the release date to retailers a shy bit before the rest of us, but not to a two/three-month degree as we’re seeing now. Just doesn’t happen, folks.

So why September 23? My guess is that because Mythic’s forecasted a release window of “fall 2008”, retailers peg 9/23 as a date simply because it’s the autumn equinox. Can’t get more fall-y than that!



  1. I still say the second week of November – a week after WotLK. :p

  2. Also, I think that once one or two online sites have picked a date, it’s really tempting for other sites to pick the same date … I can imagine what sites are thinking:

    “Let’s see, all the other sites are saying September 23 and we don’t have a date up yet … if September 23 turns out to be right, wouldn’t it be embarrassing if everyone else had the date months before we did … and if we put up September 23 and it’s the wrong date, then it’s no big deal … it’s not that we’re foolish and irresponsible, because the developers, they fooled everyone.”

  3. Hey man, where is your conspiratorial spirit? THEY know something we don’t know. Don’t you think the huge game companies let the huge retailers know what is going on? We are but pawns in the money game. THEY know what is happening.

    Having said that, I still feel we’re looking at second or third week of November. If not, the ’08 window may be closed and WotLK will rule teh worlds. So if not mid November, then Q2 ’09. Maybe.

  4. I think the UK online retailers that have a date go for end of Sept or 1st Oct, so a little later than the US ones.

    I think Oct sometime is likely, personally.

  5. To be honest most AAA retailers get the release date directly from an EDI feed (electronic data interchange) from the vendors. So this is Mythic provided date more likely then not BUT (there is a but) more often then not “street sensitive titles” (the AAA skus) will have horrible dating in the master data until much closer to release. (I say all of this as someone who works and consults in the Retail supply chain business).

    My guess is at this point Mythic doesn’t have a set date in mind but they have a pretty solid time line in mind now.

  6. Allow me to make unsubstantiated points:

    1. It’s a Tuesday.

    2. 9/23 is one week before the end of Q2 of EA’s fiscal year. Q2 Sales boost.

    3. Q3, the holidays, would see continued sales on positive customer feedback. It would also be three full months of subscription revenue. Fiscally, this would put them ahead going into the slow Q4 of the post holiday season.

    That said, WoW came out Nov. 23rd I think? Their fiscal year ends in December though…so who knows! 😀

  7. Aparently there is a huge GW even planed for the 23 according to some internet sleuthing done by Jobilbo.

    Check it out.

  8. @Railith

    Games Workshop runs the Games Day events, it’s their baby. September is the UK Gamesday, and it is also the largest of the tour. I know GOA will be there hosting some big thing, James mentioned it at WHA, but also stated that it was unclear if any Mythic folks would be there.

  9. @CoS

    Josh Drescher, on his blog, said “I don’t have the staffing list handy, but I’m nearly 100% sure we’re sending folks to Games Day UK.”

  10. I’m pretty confident that the launch date will be October 9th or 10th — the anniversary date of DAOC’s launch. It’s a date that means something to the team, and it makes sense. It’s not too far off from the projected release, but still early enough to beat WotLK to market by a month.

  11. The 9/23 launch date might be a placeholder, but IMHO the launch has to be before November (meaning September/October). If the WAR launch slips past the WoW:WoTLK launch, then WAR will lose lots of potential players, unless EA/Mythic is willing to wait a few more months, missing Christmas ’08 (and nobody wants that).

    Either way, my preorder is already placed 😉 .

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