The Star Wars: The Old Republic website reveals that BioWare's free-to-play MMORPG will receive an expansion pack in Spring 2013. Called Rise of the Hutt Cartel, it will cost $9.99 for subscribers and $19.99 for free-to-play gamers. Fans will also receive five (5) days of Early Access if they pre-purchase the expansion by January 7, 2013 at 11:59PM CT (5:59AM GMT), BioWare said.
According to BioWare, the expansion increases the level cap from 50 to 55 in addition to adding new abilities, skill points, gear and more. New epic story content will also be thrown into the mix including fully-voiced cinematic conversations as players "uncover the diabolical plot of the Hutt Cartel to become the new galactic superpower." Players will also be introduced to a new planet called Makeb.
"Face off against a frightening new enemy on the brand new planet of Makeb as you battle the nefarious Hutt Cartel and its massive new creatures and weapons of destruction," reads the product description. "The Hutt Cartel has emerged from the shadows to challenge the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire for control, unleashing never-before-seen Droids and monstrous battle stations to serve as powerful weapons of destruction. As a player, you will be forced to take a side as you earn new weapons, armor, abilities and more."
BioWare added that Rise of the Hutt Cartel will be a download-only Digital Expansion – boxed copies will not be available for purchase. An FAQ regarding the expansion is located here, but don't expect details until later on.
Star Wars: The Old Republic went free-to-play in November thanks to dwindling subscriber numbers. F2P gamers can acquire in-game content by purchasing Cartel Coins ranging from $4.99 USD (450 coins) to $39,99 USD (5500 coins). There's also the typical subscription service allowing fans to pay by the month, every 90 days at a discount, and every 180 days at a discount.