Star Wars The Old Republic to launch December 20

Star Wars The Old Republic, the long awaited massively multiplayer PC game, finally has a firm launch date. The game's official web site has confirmed that it will launch in the US on December 20 with Europeans getting access to the game on December 22. In addition, the site confirmed that the game will come with 30 days of free online time. Star Wars The Old Republic will have a $14.99 fee for one month of access after the free period is over. Gamers can also purchase three months of game time with a one time fee of $41.97 and six months of game time can purchased for $77.94.

First announced in 2008, the game from developer BioWare is set thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars movies. BioWare has said it wants to give the game a better sense of storytelling than in previous MMO games. One big feature is that all of the game's NPCs have audio responses rather than just text conversations. Besides adventures and combat on a number of planets both old and new in the Star Wars universe, the game will also have space combat that's handled as rail shooter-like mini-games.

Publisher Electronic Arts has already announced that pre-orders for Star Wars The Old Republic have exceeded previous records at the company although it has not given out any specific sales numbers. However, EA has also said that it plans to limit pre-orders for the game, both physical and digital, in order to ensure a smooth launch for The Old Republic. EA has given no indication on exactly how many copies of Star Wars The Old Republic will be sold before the initial limit is hit.

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