It looks like longtime players of Star Wars: Galaxies will be feeling the love as well as the Force--from LucasArts, anyway. The developer and publisher announced today that it is planning a rewards program for players of the Star Wars-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game. "While we will continue to aggressively expand the game for all players, we also will be rolling out a series of special items reserved exclusively for our long-standing community members," said LucasArts producer Haden Blackman.
The first such item will be bestowed upon purchasers of the Galaxies expansion Jump to Lightspeed, which will be available in October 2004. Those who have had an active Galaxies account for six months will be given access to a luxury starship for interplanetary transport. "This luxury starship will allow veteran players to venture into space with their friends and explore in comfort and style," Blackman added. According to LucasArts, the craft will be modeled after the space yacht used in several Star Wars novels by Lando Calrissian.
The rewards-program announcement comes as Galaxies celebrates its one-year anniversary. Since launching last year, the game has accumulated 500,000 registered users, 115,000 of which are daily players. The game has seen a lot of new content, including the introduction of "player cities," which are simulated municipalities with their own elections and landmarks. It has also seen its share of controversy, such as when bounties were immediately placed on the heads of the first players to attain Jedi status.