Sometimes I have to wonder what game companies are thinking when they release a well advertised, highly anticipated game where the servers crash and they act surprised. I mean did you really expect there not to be issues with so many thousands of people playing on release date?
This has really come to a forefront for me due to the first Guild Wars 2 beta (which caused ArenaNet to host a stress test day) and Diablo III being released this week. In fact I think I read today that the Diablo servers are completely down today (or at least were at some point).
Both of these games are very popular, as sequels usually are made for games which are. Knowing what the developers knew from the previous game, including the number of players, and the fact that when new games are released there tends to be more people interested in them due to word of mouth, how could there be any surprise in the number of people who would play the newest game? It baffles me to be honest.
I think that Star Wars The Old Republic did it right by releasing the game in spurts to pre-order gamers, even if gamers were upset they had to wait. I don’t remember hearing about any server issues for SWTOR due to this. In fact that was the reason they DID release it in small increments, to keep the servers from crashing.
Maybe gaming companies will learn from these three examples.