If this were any other MMO I'd say yes, but the early release means they get to grow a fanbase and adjust that fanbase to the story early on so that translation into the game is smoother.
Star Trek made the mistake of announcing real news way late, and people went in and found a game unlike anything promised or seen previously. It may have been better received if it was announced earlier, and fan impressions could have helped shape the game.
Think about the pringles lightsabres. If they had announced that much, much later they may of had almost no time to change anything, but early fan reactions gave them the opportunity early enough to redesign the look to the fan base's wants and needs. It also helps that an early announcement means the heat they got for not making K3 gets to boil down. Heat too close to the games release could have severely hurt its sales and may have ultimately destroyed it while it was young, but the boil down lets the base get used to the new look and feel which may be the key to making this a success.