New Star Wars MMO game announced

With The Force Unleashed selling like hotcakes, the Clone Wars TV series about to start on Sky Movies Premiere and a new live-action TV show in development, the Star Wars universe is a busy place. It's about to get a little busier, following Tuesday's announcement that LucasArts is working on a huge new Star Wars MMO game (Massively Multiplayer Online game) - news that LucasArts president Darrell Rodriguez jokingly described as "one of the worst kept secrets in the industry".

We flew out to George Lucas's rather swanky Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco (home to Lucasfilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light and Magic) to get first news on Star Wars: The Old Republic. Developed by BioWare, the outfit responsible for the classic Knights of the Old Republic game, it's set 3600 years before the Star Wars movies, and 300 years after the second KoTOR. The galaxy lies on the brink of war between the Republic and the Sith Empire. As well as being able to play as Sith and Jedi, players will get to slip into the roles of other Star Wars archetypes, and make choices over whether they want to pursue the Dark Side or the Light Side. And because this is an MMO game, the developers say you won't be able to hit a reset button if you make the wrong decision - you'll have to live with your mistakes.

Claiming that The Old Republic will contain more content than all of BioWare's previous games combined, the developers described the new game as "KoTOR 3, 4, 5. 6. 7 and beyond". You'll be able to read more about the new game in the next SFX Special, on sale Wednesday 5 November, and in SFX 177, on sale Wednesday 19 November.

Concept art from The Old Republic.