First Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion skips retail

BioWare is working on the first major add-on or its Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic – but it won’t be coming to the High Street.

The Rise of the Hutt Cartel is due for release this spring and will only be available via download, according to IGN. The title went free-to-play last month.

Subscribers can pre-order it now for $9.99 while free players will be charged $19.99. Those who pre-order before January 7th will get access to the new content five days early.

The expansion adds new quests around the Hutt Cartel, as well as new creatures, battle stations, droids and weapons. It will raise the level cap to 55.

Star Wars: The Old Republic was released almost a year ago.While the original game has already been made free-to-play, some retailers might have been hoping for retail add-ons akin to the crowd-drawing World of Warcraft expansions.The latest WoW release, Mists of Pandaria, sold 2.7m copies in September and even boosted the game’s subscriber base.

Of course, Star Wars isn’t the only MMO to skip retail with its expansions. Lord of the Rings Online released boxed copies of its first add-on, Mines of Moria, but stuck to downloads for Siege of Mirkwood, Rise of Isengard and this year’s Riders of Rohan.

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