Electronic Arts has issued a press release confirming a late December release for BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game will become widely available on December 20 in North America (five days after the shutdown of Star Wars: Galaxies), with the European release trailing a bit on December 22. Previously, word from EA was that the company was hoping to get the game on shelves this year, but that it would definitely be out before the end of March.
The company also took the time to reiterate the game's pricing structure, which follows the classic formula of $14.99/month with discounts for paying in advance for three- or six-month chunks. Pre-ordering players will also get "Early Game Access." That seems like a weird thing for them to capitalize like that, but the main point is that there don't appear to be any details just yet about when that access begins. Over on the game's official boards, where people are wondering the same thing, the response from Senior Community Coordinator Allison Berryman is as follows:
"We don’t have any new information regarding Early Game Access to share at this time. We know everyone is very excited about the release date announcement (we are, too!) and that you can’t wait to get in the game! The beginning of Early Game Access will depend on a number of factors, including results from our Game Testing Program and Pre-Orders, but there will be multiple days of access."
A quick scan of those message boards also makes it look like there are still plenty of people clamoring to get into the game's beta testing program, with more news about another wave of invites--which are likely to include European players--coming in what I imagine will have to be the relatively near future.
As for us, I'd like to do a series of regular videos that involve us playing the game for a somewhat extended period of time, sort of like we did for Star Trek Online. We'll have to see how that goes, because a December 20 release date puts it pretty close to our crazy Game of the Year process as well as, you know, Christmas and stuff.