How a big budget can change the game for everyone

BioWare gets even more funding for what may very well turn out to be the most expensive game ever made. How can this change the industry forever? Electronic Arts, a company that’s been around since almost forever has just stated that they’re going to be putting even more financial backing behind BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. Eric Brown, the chief fiancial officer, stated that the game is “the largest R&D project EA has ever undertaken in terms of dollars that we expect to spend bringing the title to market.” What’s the actual price tag then? That detail remains unknown. What is known is that EA isn’t poor. For this reason it is unlikely we’ll see the game launched in the incomplete state so many MMOGs suffer from. That point alone is reason enough to believe the game will be a strong contender for a top spot in today’s Western…

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BioWare adds Irish customer service center

Electronic Arts has announced plans to open a European customer service and operations center for its BioWare studio, to be based in Galway, Ireland. The new facility will provide BioWare with greater proximity to European players. This investment is being supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland. The Prime Minister of Ireland, Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD, said, “EA is the global leader in interactive entertainment and a very important addition to the thriving games industry in Ireland.” Here’s the press release from EA. It also includes a link to apply for a position if you feel the need. Congratulations to Bioware and Galway:  EA TO OPEN CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER IN GALWAY, IRELAND Irish Government Welcomes Investment By Leading Interactive Entertainment Company Geneva, Switzerland, May 26, 2010 — Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), today announced plans to open a European customer service and operations center for its BioWare™ studio, to be based…

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Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures

Back in march we reported that Star Wars: The old republic wasn’t the only Star Wars mmorpg in development. Today Sony Online Entertainment announced new MMO universe, this one adopting the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars setting. It’s fully a browser-based experience, allowing players to choose to be either a Jedi, Padawan or a Clone Trooper and along-side their favorite heroes such as Anakin Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts are developing Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, a free-to-play virtual world based on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series airing on Cartoon Network, set to launch online and in retail stores this fall. While LucasArts published SOE’s last MMO based on the George Lucas franchise, Star Wars Galaxies, the San Diego-headquartered studio is both developing and publishing this title. The companies hope to introduce the Jedi, Padawan and Clone Troopers saga to a new generation of…

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Know your lore: Naga Sadow

Naga Sadow was a male Sith Lord, and renowned dark side magician during the days of the first Sith Empire. Sadow had ancestors among both humans and the Sith species of the planet Ziost. He rose to prominence in the final days of the Sith Golden Age, when Marka Ragnos, the reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, passed away, leaving the mantle of Dark Lord vacant. During Ragnos’ funeral, Sadow engaged in a duel with rival Sith Lord Ludo Kressh for Ragnos’ title, only to have their contest ended by the spectre of the deceased Dark Lord himself. After a brief admonition, the ghost departed while issuing a warning to both Sadow and Kressh, stating that the fate of the Sith Empire hung on the balance of their decision on how to proceed with leadership of the Sith people. However, the unexpected arrival of two Hyperspace-traveling siblings on Korriban, Gav…

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Playable Species of SW:TOR – Twi’lek

Fridays Star Wars the old republic   ( back in 2010) update gave us an insight to the first companion  – the Twi’lek Vette. Therefor we will continue our Species of Starwars column with an inside to this colorful species. Twi’leks (pronounced /’twilɛk/) were an omnivorous humanoid species originating from the planet Ryloth. They tended to eat cultivated molds, fungi, and rycrit meat. Their distinctive features included colorful skin, which varied in pigment from individual to individual, and a pair of shapely prehensile tentacles that grew from the base of their skulls. The tentacles, called “brain-tails,” “lekku,” “tchun-tchin,” or “head-tails” are advanced organs used for communication and cognitive functions. Twi’leks possessed a fairly standard humanoid vocal structure and were capable of learning most alien languages; however, they usually preferred their native language of Ryl, which incorporated subtle movement of the lekku. When they wished, they could even communicate in complete secrecy…

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R2-D2 Builders at Maker Faire

Every year robot builders, inventors, MythBusters and craftsters gather for a giant celebration of science geekery called Maker Faire. And you can’t have a robot gathering without our friends the Bay Area R2 Builders Group showing up to inspire Star Wars fans of all ages to make their own astromech sidekick. The astromechs were out in full force spinning, whirring and beeping at the crowd that constantly followed the R2 units or came to visit them in the robot area of the fair. Even amongst the other iconic robots from Lost in Space and The Forbidden Planet, and the impressive Tesla Coils, the R2 Builders were the real stars of the fair. Every time I follow around R2 and his makers around Comic-Con, WonderCon, Celebration, and Maker Faire, I love to see kids pose with, hug, kiss, pet and even have full conversations with R2-D2. He might just be the…

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Companions and Sith Advanced Class Details Revealed for SWTOR

It’s Friday again and that means its time for another BioWare update for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Most of what this Friday update brings has already been revealed over the last day by other sites (particularly IGN and GameSpot), but it’s nice the see on the official site regardless. And with a few new snippets here and there (such as a new biography page). This week’s update is all about those lovable little companions players will get symbolic of the Han and Chewie relationship. If you want to know how these companions will help your character develop there is a whole wealth of information now available on the Companions page. Every Star Wars™ hero needs a companion. Han has Chewie, Luke has R2-D2 — even Jabba has the cackling monkey lizard Salacious B. Crumb. These characters will complement your strengths or weaknesses, and provide company for the epic journey…

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Sith Warrior Video

Bioware have leaked a recruitment video for the Sith Warrior. So far it has only been available in low quality at gamespot, but I manage to snitch a high quality version and uploaded it to youtube: As nail-biting as the trailer is, that is not all. Notice at 1:15 of this exciting video trailer, the Sith Warrior is driving a speeder bike. What does this mean? Are players going to have vehicles in SWTOR? We do not have the answer, but given the footage in this trailer, the answer looks positive.

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IGN Interviews BioWare on Companions

IGN has an intresting interview with James Ohlen about the companions in Star Wars: The Old Republic:  IGNPC: Companions have been part of BioWare games from Mincs to Liara. How has the role or design of companions evolved over the years? How will The Old Republic improve on the existing companion systems? What have you learned about players’ expectations for the companions? James Ohlen: Companions have evolved a lot since the days of Minsc and Baldur’s Gate. In Baldur’s Gate the companion characters we created were limited to voice over barks and a little bit of story. In Baldur’s Gate 2 we expanded that significantly, adding the ability for players to get to know his companion through intricate conversation trees, companion centered quest lines and romances. Occasionally we wouldn’t have companions as part of our initial design (Neverwinter Nights and Jade Empire were examples of that), but we’d always add…

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