Earlier today, LucasArts and Bioware announced the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic on December 20, 2011 for North America and December 22, 2011 for all launch territories in Europe. BioWare co-founders Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka released this information at the 2011 Eurogamer Expo in London, England during a keynote address to many Star Wars fanatics. The game has been undergoing extensive beta testing from a small group of fans. The beta testing phase is likely to continue throughout October while the development team continues to tweak the gameplay settings and locate bugs within the code.
Each copy of the game comes with 30 days of subscription time and fans that preorder the title will be allowed early access into the game before the launch date. Subscriptions start at $14.99 per month or players can purchase multiple months for a discounted rate. For instance, a 3-month subscription will cost $13.99 a month and a 6-month subscription will cost $12.99 a month, both billed as a one time fee. In addition, there are three versions of the game tiered for fans. While all additions include early access for preordering, the Digital Deluxe edition ($79.99) also includes five digital items to help players get a jump on the competition. The Collector’s edition ($149.99) includes access to a unique online store for special items as well as several collectibles including a Darth Malgus statue, Old Republic galaxy map and Star Wars: The Old Republic CD.
While Electronic Arts is limiting the amount of digital and physical copies available for the initial launch, preorders are still available through Origin and physical retailers like Best Buy. For fans interested in the narrative around Star Wars: The Old Republic, check out the story in this mission video. For fans interested in the class structure within the game, take a look at this gameplay trailer highlighting the different classes.