Elecronic Arts and BioWare are still tight-lipped when it comes to the release date of what may be their most important title, but that doesn’t mean they can’t dish out other juicy details. Star Wars: The Old Republic is making heads turn with its sheer number of beta participants, and we had our own chance to go hands-on with the game at E3. Now, the latest news from the galaxy far, far away has arrived, and it is simply out of this world.
EA Games head Frank Gibeau sat down with Industrygamers recently to talk about the development costs of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and how much content will be available for players to enjoy. While declining to get into how much the game has cost to produce (and the sums have been estimated to be astronomical), Gibeau makes clear that he does not believe the money has gone to waste, as The Old Republic contains over 200 hours of gameplay for each class in the game.
“What I try and concentrate on is, is it a good game and is it ready to go? You look at a game that has 200 hours of gameplay for each of the six classes, and that doesn’t include the crafting, the raids, the multiplayer. It’s vast. It’s a gigantic game. And that costs money.”
While he may wish The Old Republic hadn’t been nearly so expensive to produce, Gibeau believes it’s simply “the nature of the beast.” Aiming to bring players the best experience possible, Gibeau expects that The Old Republic will do exactly what it was intend to do: transport fans to another galaxy.
Gibeau also spoke about Origin, the online service EA is using to both to deliver The Old Republic and help launch a new digital storefront. With Origin being the only source for the game, Gibeau hinted that there would be special and exclusive content in the future.
“In the case of Star Wars we’re trying to build an audience for Origin. And it’s also an opportunity for us to better manage the downloads and how we bring people over from the beta and that sort of thing. For a lot of reasons it made sense for an MMO, which is a highly complex deployment.”
With the inclusion of Origin, The Old Republic has the potential of hitting a wider and broader audience, which will help make up some of that money that has gone into the development of an expansive class-system and stunning cinematics. With such sure-footed backing by both BioWare and EA, and now the announcement that there will literally be thousands of hours worth of playtime, it seems that The Old Republic may have what it takes to be the MMO. Whenever it’s released, that is.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is expected to be released sometime next year, exclusively for the PC.