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The Old Republic beta brought in 2 million players

Star Wars: The Old Republic might not be out for a few more weeks, but that hasn't stopped EA and BioWare's upcoming MMO from putting up some impressive numbers. The beta alone has pulled in over 2 million testers, helping the game's beta become what EA is calling "one of the biggest beta tests in history."

This number is actually on top of the 2.4 million that already registered for the beta before, proving what we already knew: there are a lot of people really excited for The Old Republic. And according to EA, the 2 million players in question seem to have enjoyed their time long enough to... play a whole bunch. Over 9 million hours were logged over the holiday weekend, with the average player clocking in at an extremely impressive 12 hours. Sure, 12 hours might sound like a drop in the bucket when compared to how many hours players usually put into an MMO, but with games like Skyrim, Assassin's Creed, and Zelda all coming out around the same time, those were 12 valuable hours the average player spent in The Old Republic, especially considering that it's time that is going to be wiped away once the developers reboot the servers in time for the game's December 20 launch.

Not that any of this is all that surprising, but it's still good news for those looking forward to the game. MMOs need to draw in big numbers in the first few years, and, from the looks of it, The Old Republic isn't going to have any problem bringing a few million people into the world. 

Did anyone spend their Thanksgiving weekend in The Old Republic? If so, let us know what you think! We're dying to hear about your adventures in the Star Wars universe.

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14 comments

  • Vader999 - December 7, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    This game is awesome. But it was not designed for pay to play. There were reports that this game was to be Microtransaction based. Then the MMO crowd booed and EA bet against it, so the creators switched to subscription mode, a move that satisfied the MMO morons and the money hungry execs of EA who proved in Mass Effect 2' Cerberus Network DLC that they were willing to stain the grace of Bioware with their corporate greed, the same way they butchered the last Harry Potter movie in videogame form. But 90% of the game I didn't need companions and I didn't need help. Mostly I was just focusing on the story of each characters. I'd design a $60 dollar annual subscription fee for people who want to play the heroic missions and the multiplayer combat, but allow a silver account for people who can't pay up, since this game WAS MEANT FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT USED TO MMOS! THEY'RE OT USED TO PUMPING OUT $150 A YEAR FOR THINGS LIKE THIS! And with DCU and Guild Wars 2, even World of Warcraft being free to play, SWTOR will rise due to its excellent game and story, but it will be dragged down and felled by the greed of EA. Personally, I'd lessen the monthly fee to $5 a month, or toss it out completely in favor of paid dlc created by both EA and the consumer fanbase, with the latter having the moolah split between EA and the players who make the stuff. That way, EA is rich and happy, the people are happy, and the game sells faster than TF2, EA will outpace and defeat rival Valve in business.
  • Mooshon - December 6, 2011 2:11 a.m.

    I've been excitedly signed up for the early beta list for a couple of years waiting for this to arrive. When I finally get in along with the masses though I've got better things to do. I managed to get a few hours in to check it out. Damnit, I was pretty disappointed. The initial scene setting is incredible; classic star wars titles & music, followed by jaw dropping intro movs' that you wish the 3 recent films had been done like. It gets you really hyped up for the game... then instantly drops you into a bog standard mmo sink. Graphics were ok but character control just felt a bit 'light' and cheap for me. Same feeling I had with LotR. I need a character to feel like they are actually 'in the world'. Warcraft and Warhammer have it about right. The main USP of consistent mission cut scenes and voice acting really does add to the immersion a whole lot. This would be fantastic on the later big story lines but I did feel that it kind of got in the way a bit too though. When I'm made to plough through lots of 'Kill 10 of X' tasks I don't necessarily want a Mass Effect style conversation and back story to slow me down from powering through them. I waited a long time for this, but to be honest with so many amazing games on the market this just isn't worth the monthly cost and huge time investment.
  • nightasasin - December 5, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    Wow, lots going on in the comments here. Well first things first, I have played Guild Wars 2 and I have played the Old Republic Beta and will be comparing them. -Graphics-Interface- Old Republic: Feels and looks like an MMo. Nothing truly amazing or innovative going on here, but still above average. The lightsaber animations look like KOTOR, and so do a lot of the other animations of combat, which is good. Interface is setup like other bioware games, where conversation choices come up in a radial menu. Guild Wars 2: Does not feel or look like the average MMO. Still a skill bar or MMO hud, but the game looks good. Its artistic, and all the animations flow really well. Interface is pretty standard. -Gameplay-Quests-Conversation- Old Republic: Combat is above average, regular MMO setup of targeting and skill use. When you lvl, you go to skill trainers and buy your new skills. Quests are found in the usual manner, people giving them out in addition to your personal story quests, which are really good. Conversations are great and diverse; hearing your character speak is cool. All the voice acted conversations really add a different feel to the game. Guild Wars2: Combat is fun, fluid, and engaging. Has skill use but cd's are low, making the combat faster paced. Not quite as big a selection of skills, but the potential to combo your skills with other party members makes them have more than one use. Quests are dynamic and open world events that you run into are cool, which feels like Skyrim actually. Conversations aren't as engaging, not all of them are voice acted, and there aren't dialogue choices. -Overview- Old Republic has better storyline, voice acting, and character progression. Guild Wars 2 has better combat, graphics, and an interactive world. -Personal- I like them both, but unfortunately, I can't pay 15 a month, and I find Guild Wars 2 more fun overall. Old Republic felt more like a standard MMO than I thought it would, but the story quests were really the pull for me, made me want to see what happens next. I wish they made it like 5 a month, I think that's a fair asking price.
  • Embolado - December 5, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    While the theory of MMORPG F2P soungs great it will kill the amount of updates and content that come out. Sure you may get some, but the lack of content will kill off a good portion of the remaining population. It works with some like LOL but that is a MMMRTS more than anything and alot less balancing then RPG side. Monthly fees, as long as the developer keeps kicking out content. Its an investment in your game as well as the company. They need that incoming revenue to keep them afloat since most are not done by one of the big three developers that can eat a financial loss, where these start up companies will simply die.
  • Balaska - December 5, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    I don't think TOR needs to be free to play, that would hurt developement, it just needs to release the expansions for free, not charge me thirty flipping quid for a game I already pay for, like WoW. I managed to put in a good 30 hours on one of the weekends (luckily some days I had booked off coincided) and I totally ignored Skyrim, Zelda and BF3 to play this. I will happily pay £8.99 a month for quality content, with regular content updates. The free to play model is not really proven yet and remember the "huge profits" that the free to play MMOs are pulling in are nothing compared to WoW, which until recently, did have content that no other MMO could touch. No F2P MMO can touch the paid for MMOs. The paid for MMOs that went F2P failed because they weren't that great, not because they charged.
  • tai0316 - December 5, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    I played the beta two weekends in a row and my feelings are mixed. I come into this as a Star Wars fan AND a hardcore Bioware fan. That;s part of the problem because I played Star Wars Galaxies and saw it sink so I was expecting a lot from Old Republic. I was also expecting a lot from Bioware. The bad points for me were: 1)Cartoonish graphics, even though I wondered if playing Skyrim has ruined me. 2)Crappy character customization. People were running around looking the same and that should not happy so easily. The good points were: 1)The voice acting. It was cool to hear my character speak. 2)Heroic missions with friends. I really liked grouping up with my husband and being able to see his cutscenes and him being able to see what was happening in mine. 3)Leveling. This was good because I leveled just by playing the main class mission for my character and any side missions I chose. There wasn't a feel of grinding to me like in Galaxies. That being said, having played other Bioware games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, I know that they could do better on graphics and customization. But...it's Star Wars so I will give it a chance because I believe in Bioware.
  • Shinn - December 5, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    Yeah, I agree with everyone saying this game should be free to play. There are dozens of free mmo's I could play, but to be honest I don't care about social interaction within my damn video games, I just want to experience more of the Old Republic universe and its story.
  • SirBonkers - December 5, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    I have to agree with db1331. I am a big SW fan, but will not pay the $$$ for both the game and monthly payments. I checked it out because it was free to play the beta and wanted to have a go at it in anticipation of it going F2P. I was playing with three other friends and we were all on the same page. To be honest we were all fairly disappointed in the experience. The story was great but I found the combat/animations to be hollow and unexciting, and the graphics/style horrible. I have been played Guild Wars on and off for 5 years and feel that game looks better. Right now I am having a great time playing DC on-line. For free! As a DC fan I have no complaints. Hopefully I be playing SWTOR for free in about a years time. If not....no biggie I have other things to occupy my time.
  • ObliqueZombie - December 5, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    Really? Because the combat was just as smooth AND more integrated than even WoW. Plus, the graphics were excellent on the characters and world, not to mention nothing on the market looks like this game does now. Are not graphics about more than fidelity, as they are in creativity? I could name a couple games and franchises that look just like Guild Wars. Did you also know that, in the wide spectrum of MMOs, play-to-pay setups have the player spending LESS than free-to-play? If you wanted to actually be good and have fun in, say, Maplestory, you'd be throwing down more money than you'd spend on an entire year's subscription. To top it off, playing "on and off" isn't what they want. They want players to stick around for awhile, and the amount of content in a payed MMO tops anything a free MMO could ever dish out.
  • Travia220 - December 5, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    As someone pointed out, that there are a lot of people willing to play a free game. You see it in every beta, someone is like "I'm just here to play for free, once it's over I'll move on." Then there are people who want to try the game out and see if it's different to WoW. Some people believe it's just a clone with plot, others believe it's the saint of MMORPGs. Extreme ends I know, but the point is. A beta test is not an example of how successful an MMORPG is. Also if there were 2mil players, wouldn't the average play time be 4.5Hours? Not 12Hours? In any case, you won't know the true numbers until the grass is greener syndrome wears off. The people using up their free month access and once people hit cap. So the game will lower in population or grow around the 3month mark or so. I expect to see huge numbers in the first month or so but I also expect to see them decline because of the lack of content for a new MMO. It also has a fast leveling speed so content is going to be eaten pretty fast. Rift had huge numbers in the first few months.. now it's way below those numbers. So this Beta and Initial users is no indication of the population. Everyone is eager to try a new MMO.
  • db1331 - December 5, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    "This number is actually on top of the 2.4 million that already registered for the beta before, proving what we already knew: there are a lot of people really excited for The Old Republic." Actually all it really proves is that a lot of people will play a free game. It remains to be seen how long they will be able to hold off going F2P. If even WoW, the most wildly successful MMO ever created, has to adopt some kind of F2P element, you'd be a fool to think ToR won't as well. Even more so with Guild Wars 2 with no monthly fee on the horizon. I'm not bashing ToR or wishing ill on it. I hope it does well. I just don't want to pay a $50 premium for a soon-to-be free game. Frankly they would be stupid not to go F2P just from a business standpoint. All the games that have gone that route are posting HUGE profit gains. I understand they want to recoup some expenses upfront with sales of the game, but I would be absolutely stunned if ToR is not F2P this time next year.
  • Crabhand - December 5, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    Honestly, I would prefer the game go F2P. Even if the first few months are at a premium, going F2P eventually would save me a lot of money I would otherwise spend just to play the game. Additionally, if the game is free I won't feel compelled to spend every waking hour on the game trying to get my money's worth. Plus F2P also tends to have fun vanity items, so I can still throw a few bucks at the game and feel like I'm helping it's success :)
  • ObliqueZombie - December 5, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    Despite what everyone thinks, pay-to-play MMOs don't seem to be going anywhere. They make enough money and garner enough players to last them, say, six years. I know companies rake in more revenue with free-to-play games, but that's because if you want to have higher-tiered fun, you'll need to pay enough cash to be competent. As a close friend of mine has said, he's spent more on Maplestory than he ever did on WoW, and that's not a good thing. To be remotely capable of living, surviving, or succeeding in any F2P market, you'll have to spend an overall larger sum of money. I'll gladly save $5 after every paycheck to pay monthly for a game that gives me more content than any F2P could ever dream of, and given in equality no less. I don't think it's fair that if someone wants to be "the best" or "have fun" in the higher levels of the game, that they should, quite literally, spend money to do so. At least with P2P, everyone gets an equal share and opportunity at every little mechanic and activity the developers put in, all while spending an overall less dollar amount.
  • Crabhand - December 5, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    I was going to spend my weekend on TOR, but unfortunately I was struck extremely ill on Friday and I spent all of my time at home asleep. At least I had the chance to play during an earlier weekend test.

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