|Lightsaber duels: sure to be unsatisfying when button-bashed.|
If you were hoping to be able to get through your Christmas exams before finding your life wholly devoured by Bioware's new MMO, well, there's no easy way to say this: I have some really bad news for you.
Early this morning, Electronic Arts announced that Star Wars: TOR will see release on 20 December in the US, with Europe following two days later on 22 December. Most people following the game were expecting a pre-Christmas release, and so this news is a now something of an early gift to formalise that.
I think it's bizarre that news like this would drop on a Saturday, but really it comes as no surprise. With Blizzard having announced this week that Diablo III would not see the light of day until after the new year, it strikes me that Electronic Arts may have spotted an opportunity to snag some pre-orders from players who recently learned that one of the big titles for this season isn't coming until after December.
Speaking of pre-orders, the statement also promised "Early Game Access" to those who decide to fork out the money before release day. Exactly what that will entail is still unclear, although they also announced that there will be a further round of beta testing invites, too.
Star Trek Online seems to have died down throughout the last year, and I've heard whisperings that some are tiring of WoW. Could SW:TOR be the one to topple Blizzard's millions-earning franchise?