Star Wars: The Old Republic early access begins

A few hours ago, in a galaxy awfully, awfully close, the Star Wars: The Old Republic early access program launched. Those who pre-ordered BioWare's MMORPG are now being invited in waves to sign up and start their new life as a space-wizard. Or bounty hunter. Or smuggler. Or... oh, the impossible question of which class to play first in a new MMO!

If you pre-ordered The Old Republic and have redeemed your code, wait by your e-mail inbox for an invite, as there's no way to tell when you will be granted early access. Invites are being sent out gradually, in waves, in the run-up to launch, in order of when players redeemed their codes.

EA is rolling things out very slowly, having already limited pre-orders, to help ensure the servers aren't overwhelmed. In spite of this, there's currently a queue to use even the official site's account management.

Star Wars: The Old Republic officially launches for PC on December 20. Subscription fees are the typical $14.99 per month, or a slightly discounted $41.97 for 3 months ($13.99 each), and a marginally more discounted $77.94 for six ($12.99 per month).