star wars: the old republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion to launch April 14

It's finally here. More than a year after it debuted and months after it went free to play, Star Wars: The Old Republic is getting its first downloadable expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, due to arrive on April 14 (or April 9 for early preorders). The obvious question is, what has it got that could tempt former players to come back?

First of all, a new planet and more story. Much of the appeal of BioWare and LucasArts' MMO is the way every quest takes place against the backdrop of the galaxy-wide struggle between the Empire and the Republic, and every player class ends up playing a different but pivotal role.

Rise of the Hutt Cartel picks up at the end of the original story: The Republic's beating back the Empire, and the war machine on both sides needs fuel (hey, it's more dramatic than trade sanctions). The resource-stripping Hutts decide it's a good moment to take over the galaxy and be generally slimy, as they are wont to do, but now you can shoot them. Yay! Actually you're fighting their mercs. What starts as a quick smackdown of the Hutts turns into something more urgent and planetwide, and as usual, it's all up to you.… Read more

SW:TOR Cantina Tour keeps the party going

What kind of community do you get for a game that's just over a year old, not to mention one notorious for a rapid drop from its high initial subscriber base?

Ever since my East Coast-based guild disbanded, I've been a party of one in BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. But 478 people RSVPed on Facebook for the San Francisco stop of the game's Community Cantina Tour on Friday.

Still half-expecting it would be just me, the developers, and a snack table, I showed up early. Was that long line of people us? Yes, judging by the woman in the Chewbacca backpack. I waited outside, chatting with friendly strangers about the game and admiring someone's fully detailed lightsaber replica, until we were ushered in to Jillian's -- a wretched hive of scum and billiards -- for mingling time and a standing-room-only Q&A session. … Read more

Star Wars: The Old Republic embraces same-sex romance

Same-gender romance will soon be in the air in Star Wars: The Old Republic, meaning your Jedi Knight or Bounty Hunter will have more opportunities to get some lovin' in the online game.

To date, characters' romance options have been limited by class and gender. But in a blog post today, Jeff Hickman, executive producer of the BioWare/EA title, revealed that that's shifting come spring -- to an extent.

The upcoming Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion pack, he said, will make it possible for players on the new planet (called Makeb) to flirt with same-gender non-player characters, created by BioWare to give quests, sell items, and otherwise move the story forward. Players will not yet, however, be able to put the moves on same-sex companion characters, the NPCs that accompany them on their intergalactic escapades as a major plotline piece. … Read more

Star Wars: The Old Republic free to play Nov. 15

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been given a free-to-play date, meaning that from next week on, gamers will be able to get their Jedi jollies without forking over a single penny.

The game's free mode goes live on November 15, Videogamer reports, and lets you play through the game up to level 50.

You won't get every aspect of the game for free though -- click here for a full list of which midi-chlorian-soaked features you can get for nothing, and which ones will cost you real-life galactic credits.

Read more of "Star Wars MMO free on 15 November as WoW enjoys boost" at Crave UK.… Read more

Star Wars: The Old Republic adds free-to-play

Well, that didn't take long. EA announced today that gamers can play the beleaguered Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG this fall for free, avoiding the usual $14.99 monthly fee. The company also announced a $14.99 price cut for the game coming in August; the cut comes packaged with a one-month subscription. … Read more

Star Wars: The Old Republic now free until level 15

Eager to try out Star Wars: The Old Republic but not willing to pay to get started? You're in luck.

BioWare yesterday announced a free-trial promotion for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game that will allow users to try out the game's 8 character classes, and level their avatars to a maximum of 15.

In addition to trying out the game's classes and traveling through their origin worlds, free-trial participants can fight against others in the player-versus-player warzones, or work alongside players through flashpoints. There is no time limit for the game's free trial.

Read more of "Star Wars: The Old Republic now free until level 15" at GameSpot.… Read more

E3 2012: Don't forget PC gaming

Like every year, PC gaming will likely get lost amid the retail and console-focused hullabaloo out of Los Angeles next week. Nintendo will tout its crazy new console/handheld hybrid; Microsoft has the Xbox-as-entertainment center and a new Halo and Gears of War to flog; and Sony will be talking about, you know, Sony stuff (and maybe the acquisition of a cloud gaming service).

Huge, PC-specific game announcements rarely happen at E3, but here are some of the current PC-specific topics bubbling under the surface.

Minecraft on the Xbox 360Mojang Software's Minecraft debuted on Xbox Live on May 9 … Read more

BioWare cuts 'Star Wars' staff

Several weeks after the surprising announcement of losing 400,000 players in mere months, BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka and co-founder Greg Zeschuk noted in a forum post that the company is bidding "farewell to some talented, passionate, and exceptionally hard-working people who helped make Star Wars: The Old Republic a reality."

The layoffs affect the Austin, Texas, division of BioWare an Electronic Arts-owned studio largely responsible for the creation of the game. The announcement lacked any specific information regarding the number of employees let go in the restructuring, and EA did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment. … Read more

EA strong earnings overshadowed by big 'Star Wars' loss

Electronic Arts announced solid financial results today, including fourth quarter net income gains of $400 million -- a rather sizable difference compared to $151 million in same quarter last year. The massive gaming company pegged revenue for the quarter at $1.37 billion, a figure several hundred million higher than the year before.

EA's net income for the year ending March 31 amounted to $76 million, perhaps an uplifting number in comparison to the $276 million loss in 2011. Total revenue for the 2012 fiscal year amounted to a staggering $4.1 billion, up from $3.5 billion a year prior. Revenue strictly from digital content rose to $1.2 billion, an increase of nearly 47 percent in comparison to 2011. Investors seem wary of EA's projected 2013 earnings, though, as MarketWatch points out, the assumed revenue for the future falls below expectations. … Read more

Star Wars: The Old Republic gets massive in April

Everything will change immensely for players of Star Wars: The Old Republic in early April.

Last week, a video emerged from BioWare describing a massive 1.2 update for the popular multiplayer online role-playing game. The content patch--named Legacy--offers several major benefits and a plethora of little changes that could make things much more enjoyable for those invested in the game.

The big-ticket items include a new warzone (Novare Coast) and operation (Explosive Conflict) located on the planet Denova. We also spotted a new flash point named The Lost Island, which you can further see in the trailer below. … Read more