Rumour: Is This Star Wars TOR’s Spec Ed?

By John Walker on July 20th, 2011 at 12:45 pm.

Shiny.

How much do you think you’d pay for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Signs point toward BioWare/EA opting for an old-school subscription model, as well as charging for a boxed copy of the game to start – so very 2007. So, perhaps £30 for the game and £8-£10 a month thereafter? You’d be happy with that? Well, some rumours revealed by NeoGAF, as posted on BetaCake, seem to suggest you could opt to pay an awful lot more for a special edition. A special edition with an awful lot of stuff.

This all comes from a pre-order deal posted on a Polish online store, that has since been removed. So it could all be an elaborate hoax. Historically, that rarely proves to be the case, so there’s reason to think this could be representative of something BioWare may reveal at ComicCon.

Here are the details from that image:

Limited Collector’s Edition Inclues:
- Exclusive Gentle Giant Darth Malgus statue
- Star Wars: The Old Republic game discs in collectable metal case
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural annotated by Satele Shan
- Old Republic galaxy map
- Custom Security Authentication Key
- Exclusive Music of Star Wars: The Old Republic CD
- High-quality collector’s edition box

Includes 7 Additional Digital Items
- Flare Gun: Fire flares into the air
- Training Droid: Hovers at your side for combat assistance
HoloDancer: Project your own holographic dancer
HoloCam: Keep visual records of in-game adventures
STAP: Sleek and unique in-game vehicle
Exclusive Mouse Droid: Spunky droid to join your adventures
Exclusive Collector’s Edition store: Unique in-game vendor with a dynamic assortment of items

I dread to think what a “spunky mouse droid” is, and why you’d want it to join your adventures.

There’s no word whether this is real just yet. My guess is that EA will not comment until their planned reveal at ComicCon at the end of this week.

Cheers to Eurogamer.

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125 Comments »

  1. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/MSE-series

    Mouse droid.

  2. EOT says:

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….wake me up when there’s some drama. Though I’m surprised, EA is normally all ove Pay2Win stuff and the in game stuff doesn’t seem that bad.

    • Wulf says:

      A unique vendor with special items solely for Collector’s Edition doesn’t sound like Pay-to-Win to you? It does to me. Very much so. >_>

  3. pilot13 says:

    The in game vendor intrigues me. If it’s something you can bust out whenever to sell your trash that would be great, but if it’s a special npc somewhere with special loots to buy then that intrigues me too.

    • LQ says:

      All player companions have the ability to sell greys:
      Daniel Erickson: Yes. You can also take a companion that is with you and send them back to sell all of your gray stuff, which works on the same timer system. Are you willing to be without them for a minute so they go sell all of your junk?

    • GenBanks says:

      Nice, that’s a great feature in Torchlight

    • pilot13 says:

      @LQ If that’s the case then I’ll probably just plump for standard. Although I’d still like to know what will be on the ‘special’ vendor. Perhaps just dupes of the ce stuff for people foolish enough to lose them or something?

  4. Nighthood says:

    In the current world of F2P, I can’t imagine many will be too keen on the idea of paying £10 a month.

    • coblenski says:

      I think I prefer it, really. This may just be a throwback to the days when I played WoW and so it’s just what I’m used to, but it always seemed fairer to me, and put everyone on even ground moreso than free2play generally does.

    • meatshit says:

      I can’t stand the uneven playing field that comes with F2P, but I can’t justify spending $15 a month on a game that I’ll only play for a few hours a week either. I guess that’s why I don’t play MMORPGs anymore.

    • Avish says:

      Personally I will not pat a monthly fee for a game, since it’s too much of a commitment…

      But I think many people are willing to pay the price if they get their money’s worth, with plenty of content and good fun. However, in these f2p days I think the expectations from a monthly fee game are much higher than what they used to be.

    • IncredibleBulk92 says:

      I can’t stand paying money every month for a game. That’s why I’ve only played WoW for a total of 2 months. Every time I boot any other game I feel like I’m losing money and I should play the MMO more. On the other hand I’ve spent 40 quid on World of Tanks and I’m happy to play other games and keep world of tanks as something I play on the weekend.

    • Wulf says:

      I’m with Nighthood.

      *nod.*

      But it’s mostly from a perspective of wisdom and understanding financial models and game design. Think about it. If a game has a monthly subscription then the game needs to be designed to have you performing repetitive tasks as much as possible, at every conceivable opportunity, supplanting any and all forms of gameplay with that wherever they can just to draw out how long a person is playing and, more importantly, paying.

      If you have a Buy-to-Play scenario like Guild Wars, where you pay for the box price and then no subscription, then there’s no reason for them to pad the content with repetitive tasks, because the sooner you’re off their servers, the sooner their costs end. So instead of having a long game filled with grind, you can have a fun game that lasts for as long as it lasts, and then provides the player with closure (as Guild Wars 1 did) so that the player can move onto other things.

      I don’t mind the subscription so much, really. I just don’t like what the subscription does to the game.

    • Nethlem says:

      But there is still a huge difference in quality between P2P and F2P games at this point, especially with MMO games.

      Free MMO games tend to get plagued with goldsellers, botters and goldfarmers, even worse then big P2P games allready do.
      Personaly i don’t really see a difference if i give them 13-15€ a month based on a subscription or by buying stuff trough microtransactions. In the long run you often end up paying the same if you enjoy the game..

  5. Masked Dave says:

    Ouch. £8-£10 a month?

    I hope that doesn’t include the first month.

    Damnit, I really want to play this game, but I don’t have enough free time to be paying that much monthly for the pleasure.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Erm.. that’s just conjecture by John.

      Okay, chances are he’s right, but we don’t know what a subscription will cost

  6. amandachen says:

    The special edition sounds pretty naff, but maybe it includes a reduction in the subscription fees.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Hahahaha! Haha! *breathes* Hahahaha!

      So.. you know that EA is behind this, right?

  7. Sidorovich says:

    Project your own holographic dancer!

    Oh, its a digital item :(

  8. Kdansky says:

    In other news, Dungeons of Dredmor is 5$ for an unlimited game. You could get Terraria, Minecraft and Space Chem on top of this, and it would still be cheaper.

    • amandachen says:

      How would buying those make it cheaper than $5?

    • Velvetmeds says:

      In other news, all those games suck.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Except not. Try harder.

    • Joe Duck says:

      @Velvetmeds: Terraria, Minecraft and Space Chem suck? As compared to TOR? Is this trolling or you have stopped taking your medication?

    • westyfield says:

      I think he meant all the games would be cheaper than TOR. Which considering we don’t know the price yet is an impressive claim.

    • Kaira- says:

      In other news, TOR is an MMO, other mentioned games are not.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      As compared to anything

    • Joe Duck says:

      Oh, so it was trolling after all. Sorry, I should have realized earlier.

    • Wulf says:

      You could add Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VIII on top of that for pittance and both of those are absolutely bloody excellent (especially Cthulhu).

    • Thants says:

      Can’t someone just ban Velvetmeds? He’s been trolling all over the place.

  9. Teddy Leach says:

    “Flare Gun: Fire flares into the air.”

    I’ll just leave that there and silently mock it.

    • Doesntmeananything says:

      Forgive me for not having your enviable stoicism but…

      HAHAHAHA!

  10. Velvetmeds says:

    F2P fails.

    • pakoito says:

      Pay2Win

    • Wulf says:

      Buy-to-Play, however, rocks and is entirely sensible.

      Good luck with your monthly subscription-based soul-sucking grind machine. (I’d prefer to watch every Pattinson movie back to back than get involved in such a thing.)

  11. wvanh says:

    A soundtrack CD with the same 5 songs we’ve been hearing for 30 years, used by now in over 50 products.

    • JerreyRough says:

      They’ve got over 6 hours of original music, with the slightly modified/same stuff as the 30 years on top of that, according to press releases.

    • Springy says:

      Yeah. There was a lot of original music in the KotOR games, and most of it was quite good (keeping the feeling of the John Williams scores but still nice ‘n’ fresh). I’d hope the same applies here.

  12. pakoito says:

    Paid ingame advantages for a MMO. Surprising.

    • Koozer says:

      Holographic dancers are OP.

    • Wulf says:

      Exclusive merchants which carry items solely for people who pay large sums of money are, of course, not unbalancing in any conceivable way.

    • Hobbitmolester says:

      Of course the merchant carrying cosmetic items or crafting ingredients or low level gear is entirely inconcievable

  13. westyfield says:

    Excuse me but what is a STAP doing in The Old Republic STAPs are Trade Federation/Confederacy of Independent Systems technology this is not canon I demand a full refund I will accept a cheque.

  14. Jake says:

    Gentle Giant Darth Malgus is not a very intimidating name.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      It’s a trap!
      Or something*
      *Please don’t hurt me.

  15. Chalky says:

    “Winner of over 20(?) industry awards including the games critics award for best PC game”….

    Wait what?

    • Makariel says:

      Can’t you see in the future like EA people?

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      If you actually bother to read the whole thing:

      “Winner of over 20 industry awards and accolades including 2010 Game Critics Award for Best PC Game.”

      Unfortunately, that’s not correct. SW:TOR was awarded “Best PC Game” by the Game Critics Awards in 2009. In 2010 The Game Critics Award went to SW:TOR for “Best Role Playing Game,” but not for Best PC Game.

      You can see the awards that SW:TOR has already won here.

    • Wulf says:

      To me that screams proof that money = awards.

    • Nalano says:

      I think I died a little inside.

    • Nethlem says:

      To me that screams proof that we need an industry standard for awards, something like the gaming oscars.
      Right now there are so many publications and media outlets that give away so many awards and ratings for videogames that it’s crazy.

      Tbh i would call it an inflation of awards, basicly every big AAA game release a year wins serveral “GotY” awards because there are so many people handing them out. Sure there is alot of marketing involved too, but i doubt that publishers go around throwing that much money at so MANY publications.

  16. WPUN says:

    Wake me up in a year when it’s F2P.

  17. poop says:

    they are trying to sell tons of boxed copies because this game is gonna be a ghost town within the first eight months, nothing new

  18. amandachen says:

    I’m not a big fangirl of Star Wars and so I don’t know the difference between the Old and New Republics. The Old one is the original Star Wars? The one with Spock, Kirk, and Spotty?
    I’d pay $10 a month NOT to play that.

  19. Marijn says:

    Well, if it’s going to be a paid subscription, I’ll wait until they go Free To Play. They could easily avoid all this Pay To Win nonsense (which I don’t care about because I don’t do PvP anyway) by making all payable upgrades purely cosmetic or exclusive to PvE.

    • Wulf says:

      And make money from those and the box price, without the subscription in tow, which does bad things to the design of the game.

      There’s a developer that actually embraces that design model and eschews grind in favour of that, but I forget their name, it’s on the tip of my tongue…

    • BeamSplashX says:

      Ah yes, Perfect World International. Great, innovative company.

  20. Velvetmeds says:

    What is wrong with you people, sub > free to play anytime.

    • TormDK says:

      It’s not easy living off food stamps.

      But yeah, other sites speculate that we’ll see a 150 euro pricetag on the CE for TOR.

    • Wulf says:

      As I’ve pointed out a few times…

      Subscription = Endless cycle of repetitive tasks (like raids) with no character closure in order to keep you playing (and paying) for as long as possible.

      Free-to-Play = Pay-to-Win.

      Buy-to-Play = Just like a single-player game, except with lots of other people.

      Order in massive magnitudes of most to least evil.

    • j3w3l says:

      not all ftp games are bad but i admit many of them are god awefull

      one of the only games that have done ftp perfect i think is League of Legends. Hell even turbine have done a nice job with theirs
      and i certainly dont think all btp are better than ftp as ive played some god awefull ones of those too, they tend to have more polish but as others have said tend to resort to grind even more to keep you playing. they also usually lack many features and anything innovative since they go for what is safe to maximise profits

  21. zipdrive says:

    That statue look pretty unappealing to me. Seriously, look at it!

  22. Nim says:

    Every time I visit the local pub with friends I spend roughly the same amount of money on alcoholic beverages, and we visit more than once a month.

    Get a job.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Some people have jobs and have to watch there money, so how about getting off your high horse and accepting that not everyone has as much money.

      by saying “get a job” you sound a bit like the classic central londoner, someone with lots more money than sense because the money has come from daddy.

    • Nim says:

      Fair enough. Perhaps not everyone has a ton of disposable income. I certainly don’t. But I do have stable house-hold finances so that I will be able to afford a sum of 10 £ a month. Where I live, that would amount to three meals and no more. If I had to count every penny I earned then I probably would not consider paying for or playing this game, but I would not sit around complaining about such small sums considering the subscription nets you a whole month of unlimited play-time. It’s really not a bad deal, consider what other leisure activities or hobbies you have and how much those cost (they do, very little is free) and you’ll see that this is not a bad deal.

      Let’s retract “get a job” as it might not have been the best of phrases. Fix your finances, prioritize and stop whining might be a better fit. No one is forcing you people to play this game and if you have money troubles and shortages, playing mmorpgs might not be the best course of action.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      You do know that playing a sub MMO costs 33 cents per day right? You don’t even need a job to pay for it.

    • Vandelay says:

      It would be a good deal if it weren’t for the fact you could make a one off payment of the same amount every month and probably buy 2 or 3 games. At the very least you would be able to buy one game that was only a few months old.

      It wouldn’t be so bad, if they didn’t insult us by stating the monthly charge is necessary to cover server costs. If you are just looking at that outgoing alone, you are probably looking at over 1000% profit (obviously, there are other costs to take into consideration, if there is much ongoing development involved, like Eve) They could half the subscription and still be making a very nice sum.

      Look at it another way. I pay less than that for Lovefilm and Spotify each, a little more for both. I get access to a large catalogue of films and music for that (games too, if I had a console.) A subscription to an MMO is just one game.

    • Nalano says:

      We’re assuming most people with access to gaming computers and broadband connections have a fair amount of disposable income. We’re not asking if folks can afford it; we’re wondering whether or not it’s worth the money.

      50 bucks at a bar brings with it tangible benefits – drunken antics with real live folks – whereas 50 bucks on yet another MMO doesn’t seem to bring on the same bargain: More “waiting on the next MMO” complainers, more “why didn’t my X drop, let’s run it again” grinding, more “LFhealer” waiting in the biggest hub, more sneaking suspicion it’s all addiction and no fun.

      At this point, they’d have to pay ME to play.

    • Wulf says:

      @Nim: Some people have more sense than money. You are not one of these people.

      (I mean, really, yes… a job, to pay for a subscription, to play a grindy game which is essentially a second job. Yes. That’s what I want to do with my free time. Oh joy. That sounds so glorious, so fun, so… so very pleasurable, so better than sex. Yeeeeah.)

    • Nalano says:

      That reminds me, Wulf:

      More “omg a gurl lemme harass you for three months” e-stalking. Wouldn’t be an MMO otherwise.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      @ Vandelay: That kind of reasoning simply does not work out once you look at the bigger picture.

      1) SW:TOR has been in actual physical production since March 2006 when BioWare started hiring for a new Austin, TX studio.

      2) The amount of voice work adds enormously to the budget. Even if they have their own recording studio for voice acting (they might, I’m not sure), they still have to pay the actors. Believe me, that adds up to a LOT of dough.

      3) Continued development for new content, of which there is guaranteed to be. They’re not going to NOT release expansions for this.

      4) Servers. It really isn’t the bandwidth, it’s the actual servers themselves. They tend to be chock full of rather expensive hardware. And, usually, for an MMO, there are a lot of them needed in lots of different locations.

      5) Customer support and other ancillary services. You need somewhere for people to get solutions. The only other solution is to tell them they’re SOL, and that usually isn’t considered “good for business.”

      So, yeah, many can sneer at monthly subs and, for some MMOs, a monthly sub really isn’t required. (Age of Conan comes to mind) I suppose they just want to follow WoW’s success and see a monthly sub as a way to easily ensure financial stability. ANet manages to do Guild Wars’ model because they have a few advantages, most notably a smaller staff and a smaller level of and rate of content release. Don’t get me wrong, I love Guild Wars and I’m looking forward to GW2, but I’m also not gonna look at things through rose-tinted glasses. SW:TOR has a lot of tings that really do need a subscription model to recoup what has been a HUGE financial investment. Whether those things matter to you or not is up to the individual. I would prefer a GW model myself, but I can understand the financial forecasting that might necessitate a subscription fee. Again, whether the game and its features are actually worth a subscription fee is up to the individual to evaluate.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @Velvetmeds:

      I’ll cut you a deal. Since 33 cents per day is so cheap even people without a job can afford it, why don’t you transfer me 33 cents per day to my PayPal? After all, it’s absolutely nothing and if you can’t afford it, get a job. I mean, who can really be so poor that they can’t give away 33 cents per day?

      I’ll expect my payments first thing tomorrow.

    • Vandelay says:

      @stupid_mcgee
      Well, SW:TOR is really the exception when it comes to development budget for an MMO (quick glance on Google shows it to be $300 million and that was from an article written last October. Modern Warfare 2 apparently had a launch budget of $200 million.)

      The ongoing costs though really are going to be negligible, particular as most of the extra content will probably be produced as expansions, if they follow the WoW model. Even if SW:TOR might have slightly higher than most costs to cover, I’m pretty certain that majority of the subscription charge is profit.

    • Nim says:

      I appear to have been thoroughly misinterpreted… again.

  23. Turkey says:

    How can you put a price on the 3 most played out things ever combined into a convenient package?

  24. Shakermaker says:

    150 euro is too steep for me.

  25. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    I really don’t get the anti-F2P sentiments.

    If something has terrible F2P implementations, then it’s implementation is terrible, not the business model itself. F2P isn’t going to die out, since it has been profitable for quite some time. And microtransactions can be great if, once again, it’s implemented properly.

    (Yes, I linked you to The Escapist. Its forums section is shit, but they get good writers (like John Walker) and I like Extra Credits. Bite me.)

    • Velvetmeds says:

      Microtransactions can’t be well implemented, they suck by principle, because of their uncertainty. Everyone should prefer knowing how much they’re going to pay in advance, and what they’re gonna get for it no matter what happens.

    • John P says:

      I’m surprised more companies don’t try the Guild Wars model of pay for the game, but no monthly fee. Well, plenty of companies do use this model, because it’s just like TF2 or any number of multiplayer games. It’s just not done with MMOs much. It’ll be interesting to see if Guild Wars 2 remains a money-maker given that it’s a ‘proper’ MMO with presumably higher upkeep costs.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      @Velvet: TF2 has been basically all microtransaction for the past few years, and I would say quite a number of people would agree it’s ‘well-implemented.’

      Until and unless you’re part of the group that goes “Waah waah aesthetic changes ruined gameplay fo-evah!”

    • Tacroy says:

      In a single post, Velvetmeds explains the decline and inevitable failure of the casino industry.

      Oh wait no casinos are doing great. How weird.

    • Nalano says:

      Not entirely sure that selling MMOs as family-friendly casinos is the best possible answer.

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah. Free-to-Play isn’t my favourite model because it has a number of borked implementations, but it is far, far superior than the subscription model and far less evil, in just about every possible way.

  26. Uthred says:

    I wonder will the in-game vendor sell superior loot? I hope so – already I can feel it, as if millions of PvP nerds cried out HaX0rz and then were ganked

    • JerreyRough says:

      The most superior loot comes from either the most difficult dungeons or it will come from the highest leveled crafters. Either way, the auction house will be the place to buy it.

    • Wulf says:

      Don’t count on it. This is EA we’re talking about, here.

  27. Malk_Content says:

    It’s amazing how many people below forget there are more than just F2P and Subscription fees. There was once this fabled business model called Buy 2 Play, in which you would still buy the game (so it isn’t free to play) but that would let you play the game for the rest of time! Amazing I know.

    • Wulf says:

      I know, right? It’s not like Buy-to-Play hasn’t been successfully done a bunch of times already by… uh, who was it again? Ah! ArenaNet. Yes. ArenaNet.

    • Thants says:

      We get it already Wulf, you don’t like subscriptions. You don’t need to say the same thing twenty times on one article.

  28. Springy says:

    Are those CDs or does the game really come on four DVDs?

    • CMaster says:

      It’s possible that at least one of those is a soundtrack or concept art/making of feature.

      However, one imagines that $100 million of voice acting for instance will take up a lot of space, along with all the content to use said voice acting.

    • Springy says:

      The soundtrack is just behind them peeking out of a little card sleeve. The article and poster make no mention of a making-of documentary.

      Not that I’m complaining, really, it’s not like hard drives can’t take upwards of 20GB of data for a single game, I’m just reminiscing how the first two KotOR games both came on 4 CDs rather than DVDs.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, but MMO installs tend to bloat over time, so that’ll be fun.

  29. TsunamiWombat says:

    In other news, all gameplay footage i’ve seen of this looks atrocious.

    Oh Bioware, my Bioware. How terrible your fall will be.. :|

    • Stupoider says:

      Agreed. What I’ve seen so far has been god awful WoW gameplay and some… shoddy moments. I can’t imagine this surviving with the subscription fee model for more than a few months, what with the game’s already soaring budget. Bioware’s gonna have a tough time if they don’t meet the targets of their EA overlords.
      They could always release DLC to “fix” it.

    • Nalano says:

      Seriously. Of all the companies I don’t wanna see commit Suicide-by-MMO, Bioware tops the list.

    • Wulf says:

      Even better? 8D

      Bioware: “You’d have to be stupid to break any of WoW’s rules. Any of them.”

      They said that. They did. Ohhh this is going to be fun to watch. *popcorn.*

  30. utharda says:

    Han shot first. That is all.

    • Wulf says:

      Of course he did. Han’s a dick. Did anyone ever really doubt that?

  31. Sicram says:

    I’m a bit worried about the exclusive in-game store. Hopefully the digital stuff won’t be more than some fancy gimmicks because getting an edge due to pay2win is quite, bad.

    Also, Guild Wars 2 is where it’s at.

  32. phlebas says:

    Map!

  33. Carra says:

    Bah, you just made me realize that us Europeans are getting ripped off… again and this time by Blizzard:

    There are three options in our flexible subscription structure: month-by-month subscription costs 12.99€/£8.99 per mont

    9 pounds is around 10 euros. I’d be happy to pay €10 a month for my WoW account.

  34. Jedikillar says:

    I am personally completely okay with F2P W/ Microtransactions AS LONG AS you can earn equal to or better items in-game through normal grinding methods. I would however prefer to just have a box fee and then a monthly fee. If they made it $20 a month which I can never see them doing, it would still be less than a dollar a day. WoW is far and away the most succesful mmo ever, I don’t think anyone will argue with that, and they use a monthly subscription with a box fee. Is anyone really going to tell me that they can’t come up with about 65 cents a month? And from all the gameplay videos I’ve seen, and everything I’ve read, this game will blow WoW out of the water with gameplay. Let’s say it is a WoW clone with a star wars skin: Is that so bad for it? I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, but millions of people play WoW, and star wars is a much more known name than Warcraft.

    • Nalano says:

      Let’s say it is a WoW clone with a star wars skin: Is that so bad for it?

      Yes. Yes it is.

  35. Styrium says:

    As it happens, it will probably combine all 3 models – Buy to play, subscribe to keep playing, and microtransactions on top of that. The monthly fee doesn’t mean MTs are off the table, just as they weren’t for WoW (if £10-25 can really be considered “micro”).

    I doubt they’ll have day 1 MTs though – they’ll need people to be invested before nickel-and-diming them.

    • Erd says:

      Oh I’m sure they’ll have $25AU ‘pay to reconfigure your character’ services from day one.