STAR WARS: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare Austin and a supplemental team at BioWare Edmonton, the game was announced on October 21, 2008. The video game was released for the Microsoft Windows platform on December 20, 2011 in North America and part of Europe.
This story takes place in the Star Wars universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The game features eight different classes. Each of the eight classes has a three act storyline that progresses as the character levels up. Players join either the Republic or the Sith, but players may possess a morality at any point along the light/dark spectrum. Different classes favor different styles of gameplay, and the game features extensive customization options, fully voiced dialogue, companion characters, and dialogue options similar to BioWare’s other role-playing games.
Although not officially disclosed, based on estimates, it is one of the most developmentally expensive games made. The game had one million subscribers within three days of its launch, making it the world’s “fastest-growing MMO ever”, however, in the following months the game lost a fair share of its subscriptions, but has remained profitable. The game has since adopted the hybrid free-to-play business model with remaining subscription option. The game was met with positive reception upon release and has received several updates and expansion packs. Several books and comics based on the game have been released. It is estimated that the game made $139 million in additional revenues on top of the subscription income in 2013. In an earnings call to investors in October 2019, Electronic Arts announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic was closing in on a billion dollars in lifetime revenue, making it a huge financial success based on the reported $200 million development budget.
This story takes place in the Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, and more than 3,600 years before the events in the Star Wars films.
The Jedi are held responsible for the success of the Sith during the devastating 28-year-long Great Galactic War (which led to the Treaty of Coruscant prior to the “cold war”), and thus choose to relocate from Coruscant to Tython, where the Jedi Order had initially been founded, to seek guidance from the Force. The Sith control Korriban, where they have re-established a Sith Academy. The game’s “Return” cinematic trailer depicts the events where Korriban is re-conquered by the Sith.
During these events, a smuggler named Nico Okarr is being led to his prison cell in a jail orbiting Korriban by a Jedi, Satele Shan, and her master, Kao Cen Darach. Suddenly, a Sith named Darth Malgus, and his master Vindican, along with several Sith troops, attack the base. Satele, a trooper named Jace Malcom, and Okarr escape the attack, but Darach is cut down by Malgus. Malgus then kills Vindican, who was wounded by Darach.
10 years later, new conflicts have arisen. In the “Hope” cinematic trailer, Satele and some troops destroy a Sith party that includes Malgus. Malcom, who has become the troop’s commander, states that, despite the losses, there is still hope amongst even “a single spark of courage”. Later in the “Deceived” cinematic trailer, however, Malgus, having appeared to survive the earlier attack albeit with a mask covering his nose and mouth, leads an army of Sith into the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, killing many Jedi including the Jedi Master Ven Zallow and Corivri Shan.
After the death of Jedi Grand Master Zym, Master Satele Shan is named the new Jedi Grand Master. The game itself is set in the cold-war soon after these events, with the Jedi Order and Galactic Republic struggling to maintain their control of the core worlds while the Sith plot their downfall and the expansion of the Sith Empire. The conflict opens on many fronts and across many planets, while native factions are engaged in political struggles or civil war.
BioWare stated, prior to release, that the game would have a significant focus on the storyline. Each of the eight classes has a three act storyline that progresses as the character levels up. A collaborative effort between BioWare, LucasArts, EA Games and Dark Horse Comics has resulted in webcomics entitled Star Wars: The Old Republic – Threat of Peace and Star Wars: The Old Republic – Blood of the Empire, the purpose of which is to establish the backstory as the game opens and closes.