11 Star Wars: The Old Republic = free to play

Starting this July, BioWare is throwing open its doors, as Star Wars: The Old Republic goes free to play. (At least, your first taste is free…) You’ll be able to download a client, log in and set about exploring the galaxies, all without paying a cent. Once you reach level 15, you’ll be given the option to either continue, or abandon all the work you’ve put in so far.

The news was revealed by CEO of BioWare Corp, Ray Muzyka, as part of the EA pre-Expo press conference at E3 2012. He also announced that – in the six months since the game launched, more than 520 million hours have been spent in-game. “That’s awesome!” he explained.

It’s an impressive milestone, but six months really is a long time when it comes to games – particularly MMOs – something BioWare is all too aware of. SW:TOR has already seen massive updates and global community events, and there are plenty more in the pipeline.

[img_big]center,5446,2012-01-12/kaon_under_siege_09.jpg,Star Wars: The Old Republic[/img_big]

Over the next half a year, BioWare is set to launch some pretty major updates, tweaks and improvements, promising a new nightmare difficulty mode, new companions, new playable alien species, an entirely new planet, increased level caps and a whole stack of new PvP content.

This, combined with the first taste being free, suggests SW:TOR is settling in for the long haul, slowly creeping up the ladder towards that other super-popular MMO.

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