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Star Wars MMO slated for Xmas release

It's been a long time coming, but last weekend's Eurogamer Expo brought news that Bioware's first massively multiplayer online game - Star Wars: The Old Republic will be launched on 22nd December for European players (and 20th December for the US).

Currently in closed beta testing, the game has been openly under development for a few years and is one of the most heavily anticipated MMO releases in recent times, breaking Electronic Arts records for pre-orders. Set thousands of years before the films we know and love Star Wars: The Old Republic features exploration, questind and combat across the galaxy of worlds we've come to know and love, such as Tattooine and Alderaan. With a choice of classes, spanning both Empire and Republic, players will get to enjoy individual and group storylines, work with companions and friends and explore a fully voiced MMO gaming environment.

"In 1977, Lucasfilm created magic with the release of Star Wars. Our goal is to capture some of that magic when we go live with Star Wars: The Old Republic on December 20," said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder, BioWare and General Manager, BioWare Label. "This is an incredible moment for everyone at BioWare and our partners at Lucas Arts who have dedicated so much of their lives to building this extraordinary game."

Added Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Co-Founder, BioWare and General Manager of the MMO Business Unit of BioWare, "We appreciate the patience of the millions of fans who have been waiting for the game’s release. When we launch this groundbreaking MMO with world class storytelling this holiday season, we hope you will agree that it was worth the wait."

Star Wars: The Old Republic is available for pre-order now while supplies last. The game purchase includes 30 days of access after which the monthly fee will be £8.99 (with other subscription packages available with multi-month discounts).