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Electronic Arts Inc. : EA Expands Award-Winning MMO Star Wars?: The Old Republic? with Free-to-Play Option This Fall

07/31/2012 | 03:10pm US/Eastern

New Free-to-Play Option Will Open Up the Critically-Acclaimed MMO from BioWare and LucasArts to Millions of Additional Star Wars? Fans and Gamers Worldwide

BioWare?, a Label of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), announced today that it will be expanding the story-driven, massively multiplayer online game Star Wars?: The Old Republic? by adding a new Free-to-Play option this fall. This option will give players access to each of the eight iconic Star Wars character class storylines, all the way up to level 50, with certain restrictions*. Unlimited game access, including new higher-level game content and new features, will be made available through individual purchases or through a subscription option.

"Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic? universe," said Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin.

Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer of Star Wars: The Old Republic added, "Since launch, we've been listening to feedback from our fans and adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace. We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community."

Starting this fall, there will be two different ways to play Star Wars: The Old Republic:

  • Subscription - A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.
  • Free-To-Play - The first 50 levels will be Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be "unlocked" with Cartel Coins.

As the first step towards adding the new Free-to-Play option this fall, Star Wars: The Old Republic will go on sale in August for $14.99 USD, including one-month of free subscription.

Current and former players will also find additional benefits as part of this program. BioWare will be increasing the frequency of game content updates, with the first of many new releases coming in August. In addition, current subscribers will receive Cartel Coin grants and qualify for access to special in-game items. Even former players who re-activate now will qualify for special benefits. To learn more about these rewards, please visit www.StarWarstheOldRepublic.com/FREE.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most critically acclaimed MMOs of all time, having won MSNBC's "Game of the Year" award in 2011, "Editor's Choice" awards from IGN, PC Gamer and "Best MMO of 2011" awards from Game Informer, GameSpy, AOL Massively, Ten Ton Hammer and more. The game is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war. Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars character classes, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, becoming the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga.

For more information on Star Wars: The Old Republic, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/FREE, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/swtor or "Like" Star Wars: The Old Republic on Facebook at http://facebook.com/starwarstheoldrepublic. For additional press assets, please visit http://info.ea.com.

*ACCEPTANCE OF END USER ACCESS AND LICENSE AGREEMENT ('EUALA'), PERSISTENT INTERNET CONNECTION, AND ACCOUNT REGISTRATION REQUIRED TO PLAY. MUST BE 13+ TO REGISTER. SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRES REGISTRATION WITH ONE-TIME USE SERIAL CODE. SERIAL CODE IS NON-TRANSFERABLE ONCE USED. PAID SUBSCRIPTION, VALID AND ACCEPTED PAYMENT METHOD OR PAID GAME TIME CARD (IF AVAILABLE) REQUIRED TO ACCESS GAMEPLAY. PAYMENT METHOD AGE RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. SWTOR ONLINE SERVICE MAY BE DISCONTINUED AFTER 30 DAYS NOTICE POSTED ON WWW.SWTOR.COM. SEE EUALA FOR DETAILS. AGREEMENT TO SHARE ACCOUNT INFORMATION WITH LUCASFILM ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LTD. ('LUCASFILM') IS REQUIRED TO ACCESS GAMEPLAY. GAME INTENDED FOR PLAY ONLY WITHIN NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE AND CERTAIN OTHER TERRITORIES. PRIVACY POLICY AND TERMS OF SERVICE AVAILABLE AT WWW.SWTOR.COM. ALL TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO PLAY THE GAME APPLY AT ALL TIMES. THE FIRST 30 DAYS OF SUBSCRIPTION ARE INCLUDED IN THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE PRODUCT. SUBSCRIPTIONS MAY BE CANCELLED AT ANY TIME. SEE WWW.SWTOR.COM FOR DETAILS.

WARNING: PEOPLE WHO HAVE PHOTOSENSITIVE SEIZURES (A SEIZURE REPORTEDLY INDUCED BY FLASHING LIGHTS OR PATTERNS), OR OTHER SYMPTOMS FROM BEING PHOTOSENSITIVE, SHOULD NOT PLAY THIS GAME WITHOUT FIRST SEEING A DOCTOR

About LucasArts

Founded in 1982 by filmmaker George Lucas, LucasArts is a leading publisher and developer of interactive entertainment. With development facilities in San Francisco and Singapore, LucasArts leverages the global skills, technology and resources of the Lucasfilm family of companies -- including visual effects leader Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound -- in addition to strategic partnerships with best-in-class external partners, to further the boundaries of game development. LucasArts is dedicated to delivering deeply immersive, visually spectacular and engaging experiences that inspire and amaze generations.

About BioWare

The BioWare Label is a division of EA which crafts high quality multiplatform role-playing, MMO and strategy games, focused on emotionally engaging, rich stories with unforgettable characters and vast worlds to discover. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world's most critically acclaimed titles and franchises, including Baldur's Gate?, Neverwinter Nights?, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic?, Jade Empire?, Mass Effect? and Dragon Age?. BioWare currently operates in eight locations across the world, including Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), Montreal (Quebec, Canada), Austin (Texas), Fairfax (Virginia), San Francisco (California), Los Angeles (California), Sacramento (California) and Galway (Ireland).

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and social networks. EA has more than 220 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2012, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.1 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims?, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed?, Battlefield? and Mass Effect?. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

LucasArts, the LucasArts logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © 2012 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

EA, Bioware, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB. BioWare Mass Effect, Jade Empire and Dragon Age are trademarks of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. Madden, NFL and FIFA are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission.

Electronic Arts
Alana Logan, 512-287-7732
Sr. Publicist
alogan@ea.com
Andrew Wong, 650-628-2781
Director of PR
anwong@ea.com


© Business Wire 2012
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