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1.5 Million Sign Up for Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta

EA and Bioware have poured hundreds of millions into a game that will attempt to dethrone the grizzled veteran World of Warcraft as MMO champion. There are 12 million MMO players out there today, with over half being WoW devotees. Their market share is unprecedented, and many titles have tried, and failed, to slay it before.
But what’s the only property that might have a shot? Star Wars, and EA hopes that fan interest in a wide open, well-scripted world in the Star Wars universe will propel it to success.
With news that 1.5 million players have signed up for the beta of the game, it’s an early indicator of the massive following even the potential of the title has amassed already.
“It’s a great indicator in the interest level in the franchise,” EA CFO Eric Brown said at a Lazard Capital Markets Technology & Media Day presentation.  ”For us it’s about creating the right experience for expanding from tier 1 and the tier 2 users to getting people who have never played an MMO before, but are interested in Star Wars, to engage and give it a try.”
It certainly is a tempting prospect, and he’s right, someone like myself who has never set foot in Azeroth would be interested in a more accessible universe based around Star Wars. Who from my generation hasn’t wanted to create their own destiny as a Jedi Knight, Bounty Hunter or Sith Lord?
EA’s partner in developing the game, Bioware, also happens to be an incredible company who has previously produced the classic Star Wars title Knights of the Old Republic, which many would say was better than the entire new film trilogy, and also the Mass Effect series, which has been called the Star Wars of video games.
If anyone ever had a shot of dethroning Activision/Blizzard and their behemoth WoW, it would be EA, Bioware and SWTOR. But will the game live up to the massive expectations? I suppose I’d better sign up for the beta and find out.


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