Star Wars: The Old Republic launches on Tuesday

It’s been a long time coming, but LucasArts and Electronic Arts will this week finally launch the much-anticipated MMORPG adventure Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Crafted by Canada-based role-play heavyweight BioWare—best known for the likes of Mass Effect and Dragon Age—the new Star Wars-themed MMORPG will be officially unleashed on Tuesday.

Beyond all the grand trumpeting, the arrival of The Old Republic helps fill the cavernous sci-fi void left by previous online MMO epic Star Wars: Galaxies (Sony Online), which closed its virtual doors last week.

Prospective players eager to flex their Force muscles and draw their lightsabers in battle can look forward selecting from no less than eight character classes spread across the game’s established Republic and Empire factions.

The Old Republic also includes an in-depth and influential choice-based morality system, which should ensure players remain compelled and connected as BioWare is busy weaving narrative strands back and forth across the stars.

And, in order to help keep the game world fresh and interesting for those populating it, BioWare has said it intends to regularly push out episodic story content.

In terms of scope and ambition, BioWare began developing The Old Republic—its first MMO—approximately five years ago. The studio hoped to have its title ready for release by 2008; however, that date was soon pushed back due to the sheer amount of content being squeezed into the overall gameplay experience.

According to Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello, Star Wars: The Old Republic will need to pull in 500,000 active users for it to recoup the publisher’s financial investment.

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