Despite people leaving the game in droves for the Guild Wars 2 beta and next week’s release of Diablo III, BioWare is standing strong and denying The Old Republic’s early death. Speaking with Rock Paper Shotgun, the game’s lead designer towed the company line and tried to put doubts on the reality of declining server populations:
“Although the Internet loves to pronounce the doom of all things, what we’re seeing is a huge increase in activity with [update] 1.2 as people return to see all of the new content,” said Erickson. “The community has generally been excited about the direction the game is going as we finish up our last must-have quality of life features (group finder, etc) and can start concentrating full-time on creative things like the world events.”
That sounds nice and all, but doesn’t explain why many servers feel like a barren wasteland now and many guilds are gone. BioWare just announced an upcoming character transfer service, which will allow people on lower population servers to move around. That really wouldn’t be needed if people were still playing.