Early this morning, BioWare officially launched their massive multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game, promising thousands of hours of gameplay, is live throughout North America and Europe.

SW:TOR is a story-driven MMO that takes place thousands of years before the events of the films. Players take part in the war between the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire. They can be a Jedi, Sith, bounty hunter, smuggler, and more. Each character class has a unique storyline and set of NPC companions.

"The addition of story and personal choice to the MMO genre is going to fundamentally change the way people perceive MMOs moving forward, especially when it is experienced at its fullest potential with high-quality writing and voice acting. We are extremely happy with where The Old Republic stands at launch and we can’t wait to grow the game with our community to make it even better in the future," said BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk.

Many gamers have been playing since last week. BioWare granted early access to the game to pre-order customers. The earliest pre-order customers have been able to play since December 13th. There were complaints about server queues, even during the early access period, but BioWare says they're working on it.

"Today represents an amazing milestone for BioWare, EA and Star Wars fans everywhere and we are confident it has been worth the wait," said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare. "The support and resources going into Star Wars: The Old Republic are not ending today. The innovations we’re bringing to the category are just the start of a journey and ongoing investment in our players that will grow, evolve and transform based on player feedback over the weeks, months and years ahead."

Last week BioWare outlined some of their future plans for the game. Players can expect guild banks and additional user interface customization. New content, included a significant update for space missions, is also in development.

To commemorate SW:TOR's launch, BioWare released a short documentary called "Your Saga Begins." In the video, the development team talks about the process of creating the MMO.

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