Star Wars: The Old Republic will launch on December 20 in North America and December 22 in Europe.
The date was revealed by Bioware co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk during a developer session at the Eurogamer Expo.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz before the session, Muzyka emphasised the importance of creating a high quality product, and finding "a good window" that would give players time to play it.
"We're getting more and more confident too because we've been testing for many months now with thousands and thousands of beta testers, so we're doing exhaustive testing of all different aspects of the service," he said.
"Taking all that feedback to heart and integrating it in and continually making it better, so we're getting very confident in the quality now."
The news that Blizzard's Diablo III - which will also be a persistent online experience - won't launch until next year may have contributed to the decision to launch this year.
"It would make sense mutually to probably not fall on top of one another, but our primary concerns, like [Blizzard], is to launch a great game first and foremost," Muzyka added. "If we're steering clear of great competitors well, so much the better."
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz earlier this week, Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley claimed that The Old Republic has a "legitimate shot" at 2 million subscribers. However, Smedley also said that it will be the last large scale MMO to use a traditional subscription business model.
"Why do I think that? Simply put, the world is moving on from this model and over time people aren't going to accept this method. I'm sure I'm going to hear a lot about this statement. But I am positive I'm right."