The long awaited MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic is about to let a few members of the general public play the game from the comfort of their own home for the first time. Massively reports that during a PAX Prime panel on the game this past weekend, members of the development team at BioWare officially revealed that it will begin its previously announced beta weekend events this Friday. Select members of the public who have signed on to the game's official web site will be picked to participate in the beta test events.
This is a major milestone for Star Wars: The Old Republic which was first announced by BioWare and publishers Electronic Arts and LucasArts back in October 2008. The game, which is set thousands of years before the movie series, is expected to be one of the biggest launches ever for an MMO game. Indeed, EA said back in July that pre-orders for the PC exclusive game have been the highest in the history of the publisher. EA has also confirmed that pre-orders for the game will have some kind of sales limit in order to make the public launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic a smooth one.
The biggest question surrounding the MMO is its specific launch date. Officially EA has said they are targeting a "holiday 2011" release for Star Wars: The Old Republic but it has not revealed anything more than that rather vague time period. It's likely that the upcoming beta weekends will give EA and BioWare a better idea on where the game stands in terms of its development.