Star Wars: The Old Republic had 750,000 beta testers

The beta for Star Wars: The Old Republic had over 750,000 gamers online over Thanksgiving weekend, with a quarter of a million people playing concurrently.

SW:TOR is an upcoming massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) from BioWare and Electronic Arts, set in the Star Wars universe. It takes place around 300 years after the events of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and over 3,500 years before the events in the movie franchise.

Set for launch just before the holiday period on December 20th, it seems likely that with almost a million beta testers, the title will garner a fair share of day one buyers. However, gamers might not be getting their copy from Walmart, as the company cancelled all pre-orders for the title. According to official correspondence from the retail giant, this was due to a "temporary shipping issue," and that it had refunded the cost of the original order. The official forums tell another tale though, with gamers saying that they have yet to receive any money back from the company.

One of the main reasons people pre-ordered the game was that it allowed them early access to the servers and beta play. Fortunately most that pre-ordered have been emailed their access code already so they should still be able to jump on before launch, but it could be that getting the retail copy they reserved is another matter entirely.

However, even with some disgruntled players having issues with getting the game in hand, Games Industry (requires free registration) has it that the title only needs around half a million players to generate a profit. Getting that many initially might be a non-issue, but it's keeping them that BioWare and others will have to focus on. Even the great World of Warcraft is losing players in the hundreds of thousands - it could well be that the subscription model MMO is a dying breed.