Electronic Arts' and Bioware's highly anticipated Star Wars: The Old Republic
will be available this holiday season, but those that pre-order the title starting today will get early access to the MMO.
Pre-orders can be filled both through participating retailers and through EA's Origin digital distribution service. Supplies of each are being limited, though, "to ensure a great user experience" and "a thriving online environment" at launch and during a pre-launch early access period for pre-orderers.
The game will come in three editions: A $59.99 (£44.99 / €54.99) Standard Edition available in both digital and boxed forms; a $79.99 (£59.99 / €74.99) Digital Deluxe Edition with five downloadable items, and a $149.99 (£129 / €149.99) Collector's Edition that includes a special edition, game world map, soundtrack CD and more. Each edition includes 30 days of free game time.
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia reacted positively to the pre-order details, noting that the holiday release window eliminates the slight risk of a delay into the first quarter of 2012.
While Bhatia said he had expected a $50 price for the basic edition of the game, he thinks the higher price "demonstrates EA/BioWare's confidence in the product."
Nearly 1.5 million people signed up to beta test
the Star-Wars themed MMO as of March, EA said, and Janco analyst Mike Hickey predicted the title would see over a million subscribers in its first year