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Star Wars: The Old Republic's first expansion coming in spring 2013

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Star Wars: The Old Republic's first expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, will launch next spring as a digital-only purchase, developer BioWare announced today on the game's official blog.

The add-on will increase the game's level cap to 55, adding five more levels of story-based content to the title for both of the game's warring factions. The new levels will also come with new powers and abilities for each of the game's classes, as well as new gear for players to outfit their characters with. Most of the action will take place on a new planet, Makeb, which Empire and Sith forces are struggling to control; leaving a window for the devious Hutt to make their own power grab.

Folks who are still subscribers to Star Wars: The Old Republic will be able to grab Rise of the Hutt Cartel for $9.99 when it launches next year, while free-to-play players will have to pay $19.99. Anyone who pre-orders the expansion before Jan. 7 will be admitted into the expansion five days before anyone else.