Originally Published: December 20, 2011, on EGMNOW.com

THE BUZZ: One of the most highly anticipated MMOs of the year, Star Wars: The Old Republic is set in a time period rarely explored in the fiction of this darling sci-fi universe. And Star Wars fans have always been some of the most diehard no matter what galaxy they may be from. So it wasn’t a surprise that when a Collector’s Edition of SW: TOR was announced that pre-orders came in by the bucketful. But now that players are starting to receive their Collector’s Editions, they are finding a starting mistake made on the part of EA and Bioware.

Many of the product keys are missing from the boxes and therefore players are being denied access to the game they have for so long been waiting to be a part of. As seen on a thread dedicated to the issue on the Bioware forums, this problem is happening all over the world as you can see for yourself here: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=37565

This was originally brought to our attention by consumer Dan Fabrizio, who had bought two of the Collector’s Editions, one for himself and one for his girlfriend (lucky gal), but only received one product code. He had this to say on the subject after waiting on hold from customer service for nearly three and a half hours and only receiving several automated responses from a Bioware bot: “I am very frustrated by the lack of customer support we’ve received from Bioware and EA. I am still a huge fan of Bioware, but you can’t help but lose a little faith after something like this happens followed by the subsequent treatment we have received as fans.”

EGM’s TAKE: It’s one thing if this was an isolated incident, but considering that it seems to be happening to dozens of these Collector’s Editions, someone clearly messed up and the consumers are suffering for it. And the fact that Bioware has been slow to respond, if at all, to many of these consumers is just poor business practice and surprising from someone like Bioware who are typically so fan-oriented and friendly. It could just be an issue falling through the cracks, but for those affected by this debacle, it’s like as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I guess this is what happens when you focus more on cosplaying at the stock exchange than customer service, though.

What do you guys and gals think of this? Have you had problems with the collector’s edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic? Do you think it should be a top priority for BioWare to fix this? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!