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Four MMOs make $100 million annually, with The Old Republic among them

In the world of MMOs, it's World of Warcraft in first place and everyone else a very distant second, or third, though an analysis by the research firm SuperData turns up some interesting details about a market where freemium models are becoming dominant. One is that Lineage — the original, launched 16 years ago — was in second place (based on worldwide revenue), one of four NCsoft MMOs placing in the top 10. Electronic Arts' ambitious Star Wars: The Old Republic, which switched to a free-to-play model 10 months after its 2011 launch, is hanging in with $165 million in annual revenue, good for fourth place. World of Warcraft — both its Western and Asian releases, is still king, with more than $1 billion in revenue, and 36 percent market share. SuperData says the decline in subscription...

Deals
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Star Wars games discounted 66 percent on Steam through the weekend

The droids you're looking for might be on Steam, where 16 Star Wars games are now discounted just ahead of May 4, Star Wars Day. Games available include the 14-game Star Wars Collection bundle for $33.99 as well as: Pinball FX2 - Star Wars Pack for $3.39 (regularly $9.99) Star Wars: Battlefront 2 for $3.39 (regularly $9.99) Star Wars: Dark Forces for $1.69 (regularly $4.99) Star Wars: Empire at War for $6.79 (regularly $19.99) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition for $6.79 (regularly $19.99) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 for $6.79 (regularly $19.99) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for $3.39 (regularly $9.99) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 for $3.39 (regularly $9.99) Star Wars: Republic Commando for $3.39 (regularly $9.99) Star...

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The Old Republic celebrates 'Star Wars Day' with free Droid, double XP

Star Wars: The Old Republic players will get a free mini-pet and gain double experience from Friday, May 2 to Monday, May 5, BioWare announced today via the game's official site. The promotion is part of a celebration of "Star Wars Day" (May 4). Those interested in picking up the MT-4T Astromech Droid mini-pet can do so April 29 or must have an active account by May 4; the droid will be delivered via in-game mail. Players can bring the droid into missions, player-vs-player zones and operations. BioWare recently announced that The Old Republic's upcoming expansion, Galactic Strongholds, has been delayed from its June release and will now launch for subscribers Aug. 19. Expansion Galactic Starfighter, which introduced spaceship-focused content, launched earlier this year, following an...

News
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Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion Galactic Strongholds delayed

Galactic Strongholds, the upcoming expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, has been delayed from its June release for subscribers to August 19, senior producer Bruce Maclean announced via the game's official site. With the delay, BioWare will have time to add more features, including conquest events, expanded functionality for guilds, more strongholds, stronghold storage and decorations. "We have been listening to what you, our players, were hoping to see from the Galactic Strongholds expansion," Maclean wrote. "When playing early builds of Galactic Strongholds it became that clear that our June Early Access date was simply not enough. For this to truly feel like an expansion, it needs to include the full set of features, including those originally coming later in the year." In G...

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Meet the people improving video games one line at a time

Every line of dialog the player chooses to speak, every character the player romances, every character the player doesn't romance, every encounter they have, every encounter they don't have — these details are carefully noted so the game can respond to the player's actions accordingly. Players of the Mass Effect series will often refer to their avatar Commander Shepard as "My Shepard," a testament to the care the developers put into making players feel invested in their character. But it takes more than care to pull together an elaborate story that draws players into the game and keeps them there. Video games are often made by teams of writers, designers, programmers, artists and producers, but there's an important role that is often over-looked, forgotten and, in some studios,...

News
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Star Wars: The Old Republic update introduces new warzone, 'major' characters

The latest update for Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's massively multiplayer online role-playing game, adds a new warzone, map, major characters and more, senior producer Bruce Maclean announced via the game's official site. Update 2.7 kicks off a new story arc that includes the Assault on Tython and Korriban Incursion and two "major characters," Theron Shan and Lana Beniko. Also worth noting is the game's new warzone, Quesh Huttball Pit, the Dread Fortress: Nightmare Mode difficulty setting and more. Update 2.7 brings several bug fixes and smaller additions as well, such as new Cartel Market offerings, items, PvP gear and more. "We believe this game update captures some of the key elements that make Star Wars special: the struggle between galactic factions; engaging in...

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The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion bringing player housing this year

Star Wars: The Old Republic's next expansion, Galactic Strongholds, will bring player housing the to the free-to-play game beginning in June, developer BioWare revealed today. According to an announcement posted on The Old Republic's official site, subscribers as of May 11 will receive access June 24. Preferred Status Players (those who were once subscribers as well as those who've made an in-game purchase of $4.99 or greater) will gain access to Galactic Strongholds July 29. It will arrive for all other players in August. Galactic Strongholds, which you can see in the trailer above, will allow players to take up residence on multiple planets and invite friends from any location. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game will have hundreds of decorations and let players...

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Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer teases housing far, far away

A trailer released today for Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's massively multiplayer online role-playing game for Windows PC, appears to tease an upcoming feature: player housing. A John Williams-like orchestral soundtrack plays in the background as commuters make their way through packed skyways. And then it winds down with a message: Welcome home. Press play above to see the trailer, which clocks in at 52 seconds. The YouTube video's description also suggests that players "Get ready to make yourself at home in Star Wars: The Old Republic." For more on Star Wars: The Old Republic, be sure to read our coverage of Galactic Starfighter and the new features that launched when the spaceship-focused expansion became available to the public in early February. You can also learn about...

News
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The Old Republic's 2014 roadmap includes two expansions

Developer BioWare's 2014 roadmap for Star Wars: The Old Republic includes two expansions to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Senior Producer Bruce Maclean revealed in an article today on the game's official site. The first update, 2.6 Galactic Starfighter, rolled out today and brought space battles to the MMORPG. Update 2.7 will follow on or about April 8 and bring two new Flashpoints and update 2.8 will follow around June 10 with new shops for Galactic Starfighter. The posted "dates are subject to change," Maclean notes. "Expect to see two digital expansions in 2014 just like you did last year," he writes, "with one similar to Galactic Starfighter in scope and one more closely resembling Rise of the Hutt Cartel." BioWare will also switch from a two-week to a...

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Galactic Starfighter welcomes everyone to The Old Republic's space battles today

Galactic Starfighter became available to subscribers last December and to Preferred Status members in last month. Today, alongside the expansion's wide release, developer BioWare is filling the vacuum of space with several upgrades, including a new Team Deathmatch mode. Lead designer Michael Backus said during a preview event last week that the new mode will enter the game in part because of player requests. "Players were really clamoring for it," Backus said. "We knew it was a great addition. If you're tired of taking on objectives, now you're just going to be able to pummel each other and destroy each other." Today's Galactic Starfighter rollout will also bring a few more new features. For example, power-ups are now scattered throughout the maps. Pick them up, and players will...

Star Wars: The Old Republic Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 12/20/2011
    • Publisher Electronic Arts
    • Developer BioWare Austin
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