The Old Republic has caught a lot of attention recently in the MMO world and it has polarised opinions of both Bioware fans and those who are experienced in MMO's. Many have also been speculating a release date, which prior to yesterday's announcement was early 2012 at the soonest.
Yesterday, Bioware announced that TOR will be available at retail in the US on Dec. 20th 2011 and Dec. 22nd 2011 in EU terratories. They also announced the monthly subscription fee model, which is virtually identical to other big subscription MMO's like WoW with a one-month subscription plan costing $14.99/£8.99/€12.99. Longer plans are also available with a reduced subscription fee per month, if the user wishes to utilize them. Early Access to the game is also available to those who pre-ordered the game.
However, some members of the community have called into question whether the game is being pushed out prematurely to cash in on the market before WoW's next big content patch, which will see the heroes of the Horde and Alliance along with other powerful characters such as Thrall, taking on the perennial villain, Deathwing, in a final desperate attempt to save Azeroth from complete destruction.
While there might be cause for concern over the potential quality of the game after the lukewarm reception that Dragon Age 2 recieved, it's hard to doubt that the game does have a dedicated following. The issue is whether Bioware and EA can retain their subscriber base after the first crucial months, otherwise The Old Republic may go the way of many 'WoW-killers' that preceeded it.