To finance my ‘Vette: BioWare details pricing on Star Wars: The Old Republic’s first ‘Digital Expansion’

Star Wars: The Old Republic -- Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion

This morning the official website for BioWare’s massively multiplayer roleplaying game Star Wars: The Old Republic was updated to spotlight the upcoming Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion. The site breathlessly describes it as the game’s first “Digital Expansion” and is quick to point out the list of new features players can look forward to: the level cap of the game will be raised from 50 to 55, a new storyline heavily focused on the criminal machinations of the globular Hutt race is introduced, and both Rebel and Imperial players will soon find themselves battling over whatever dark secret is hidden on Makeb, a new planet introduced by this expansion.

That’s all very nice, but how much is this whole thing going to cost you? According to Star Wars: The Old Republic producer EA, though the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion is to be normally priced at $20, those who continue to pay subscription fees for the now free-to-play MMO will be eligible to purchase the expansion for a mere $10. Further, anyone who pre-orders the expansion will receive a handful of exclusive bonuses and in-game items. To wit:

All players that pre-order Rise of the Hutt Cartel will receive an exclusive Title, Holostatue, and Mini-Pet when the Digital Expansion launches.

  • The Dr. Oggurobb Hutt Holostatue: Train under the illustrious Hutt scientist Dr. Oggurobb with this portable training device that he created in his own image.
  • “Scourge of the Hutts” Title: Republic and Imperial forces that adorn this title will be feared and revered across the galaxy.
  • The Makrin Seedling Mini-Pet: Get your very own Makrin Creeper to follow you around and “creep” out your enemies! Possessing bark-like skin and grass-like nerve-rich tissues that blend in perfectly with Makeb’s environment, the Makrin Creeper has a distinguishing and eerie look!
Whether these items convince you to pre-order the expansion or not is a matter of personal taste, but we will point out that many free-to-play MMOs in the past have eventually added their otherwise for-pay expansions to the content pool of the original game, thus negating any purchase price players may have once been asked to pay. We don’t know that Star Wars: The Old Republic will eventually go this route, nor much else about EA’s future plans for the game, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re having trouble deciding between pre-ordering the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion and feeding yourself this week.
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