During SWTOR’s beta, the fan base questioned whether or not the two factions would have a balanced population come launch. Many fans worried that the population would lean heavily toward the Imperial side, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing now. Most servers are experiencing a higher Imperial population, somewhere between the range of 3:2 and 2:1. Choosing to make Republic and Empire the two factions was probably the most logical choice for BioWare, but there’s a risk in only developing two factions– that they won’t end up balanced.
Faction population balance is important in a two-faction MMO. With two balanced factions, players are able to experience a healthy, thriving community on either side of the game’s coin. Instance groups are easily filled, guilds always have a pool of players to recruit from, faction hubs are full of chatter and activity, and world PvP can, and will most likely occur. Without population balance, players on the least-populated side may become frustrated at the lack of activity, community, ability to find groups/guilds, and PvP options. This frustration may result in a faction switch, which creates an even larger population gap.