The early access period for Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to begin next week. To ensure that you're able to hop in right away, BioWare is allowing players to start pre-loading the game files now.

"Early Game Access will begin on December 13th at 7:00AM EST, 2011 and ends on December 19th, 2011 at 10:01PM EST. During this time, we will be emailing invitations to join Early Game Access based on the order in which you redeemed your Pre-Order Code," said BioWare in an email sent out to pre-order customers tonight.

They warn that the download could take awhile. The beta client I downloaded a couple weeks back weighed in at about 13GB. The size is due, in part, to the huge amount of voiced dialogue the game features.

If you tested the game during the November 25th-28th or December 2nd-4th beta weekends, you don't need to uninstall the game client. If you tested during an earlier period, you'll need to uninstall it and redownload from scratch.

If you haven't pre-ordered yet, you've still got a chance at early access. However, pre-order quantities are limited. Also, as BioWare said, you get access based on when you pre-order so you might only buy yourself a day or so of access.

Old Republic will launch in North America and Europe on December 20th.


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