Fancy a game of Star Wars: The Old Republic? Well tough, because the servers are all down this morning until 12pm, for scheduled maintenance work. And this isn't the first time. In what appears to be a very strange decision for such a high profile game, European servers are all being taken offline for hours during the daytime, for a game that's only just launched. And even more strange - doing this takes down the entire www.swtor.com website too, meaning anyone wanting to say, learn about the game, can't. And then you notice this is an international thing, and Europe starts to look a little unloved.
This is speculation on our part, and I've already contacted EA to find out what's happening, but it seems that SWTOR's maintenance takes place internationally, simultaneously. All the servers come down, ludicrously bringing down the game's website with it, and they do their fiddling.
So why at this time? Well, because right now all those lovely Americans are tucked up in their beds, dreaming of flags. At the point I'm typing this, in SWTOR's hometown of Austin, Texas, it's 4.31am, the perfect time to take the entire game offline. Except that, right now in my study, it's 10.31am, which is the perfect time to play SWTOR so I can write about it on a website I run.
It does rather seem that Europe is on the losing end of this scheme, which seems a peculiar choice in such a critical week for the game. Players are either going to stick or they're not, and they need to cling to as many of their players as they can. It seems a touch offputting to be told that we're not able to play because they deliberately scheduled taking it down when we're awake and ready to go.
Clearly the game will always need downtime for maintenance - that's part of being an MMO. But perhaps this entire side of the planet, and its relative position to the Sun, could be taken into account?
As for the website - that's just plain daftness. Want to find out about the game? Can't. Want to register an account? Can't. Want to find out why the game's offline in the middle of the day? Can't.
Which all just seems a bit odd, really. We'll let you know what EA says.