REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) – Star Wars fans could be getting a special treat underneath the Christmas tree this year.

Redwood City-based Electronic Arts launched “Star Wars: The Old Republic” on Tuesday, a video game that the company has spent millions to make and advertise.

The game takes place 3,000 years before audiences got to know the characters that were made famous in the original “Star Wars” by George Lucas.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“This isn’t the over-marketed Star Wars that we’ve seen in the last few years, which is probably a good thing,” said Dan Hsu, co-founder of the gaming website Bitmob.

Hsu said that EA spent six years and between $100-200 million developing the game, with the hopes of directly competing with another pay-to-play online universe, “World of Warcraft.”

“This is the first major player to come in where people are actually talking about taking a significant piece of the market away from World of Warcraft,” Hsu said.

Early reviews of the game have been mostly positive. Kevin VanOrd with GameSpot said he has been playing the game about four hours a day and while he has enjoyed it, he’s not sure if it will catch on.

“I think it’s safe to say that there will be people that will be completely invested in the game and will be in it for the long haul,” he said.

Gamers will have to pay $15 a month to play “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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