A short time ago in a state several days' drive away from the GameSpot offices, BioWare cofounders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk celebrated the launch of their company's long-awaited massively multiplayer online role-playing game by getting all dressed up to go to the market. To mark the official release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the pair donned Jedi robes and brought a retinue consisting of stormtroopers, an Imperial officer, a Wookie, and EA Labels president Frank Gibeau into the NASDAQ stock exchange to ring the opening bell.
While The Old Republic officially launched today, the game has been playable in an early access program to those who preordered it. That was apparently a considerable number of people, as one analyst projected yesterday that the game's user base had already hit 1.5 million members, and players have been forced to endure at-times lengthy waits to get into crowded servers.
Although The Old Republic is BioWare's first MMORPG, it is not the developer's first experience working with George Lucas' sci-fi franchise. It helped establish The Old Republic setting--several thousand years before the events in the original Star Wars film trilogy--with the 2003 Xbox and PC role-playing game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
For more on the developer's return to the realm of lightsabers and midichlorians, check out GameSpot's ongoing coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic.