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Star Wars: The Old Republic's Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion announced, due Spring 2013

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Bioware have announced the first expansion for The Old Republic. The Rise of the Hutt Cartel will bring a new planet, new enemies and a level cap increase to the free-to-play MMO, with a Spring 2013 release date being targeted.

The big addition will be an extension to your character's story. The game's fully voiced cutscenes will return to tell the tale of a "diabolical plot" by the Hutt Cartel, a criminal syndicate of fat slug dudes. You'll also get to explore Makeb, a "vibrant alien landscape" containing "a powerful secret" that the Sith and Republic get to fight over.

The expansion will cost $19.99 for the game's beleaguered free-to-players, while subscribers must part with $9.99 along with their regular sub price.

Clearly, despite the troubles The Old Republic has faced, Bioware still believe the game has legs. A fully voiced expansion is a pretty large financial commitment given the number of character classes in the game. That said, Makeb was trailed back in June as part of the game's E3 announcement of upcoming content, suggesting this expansion was in the works back when the game was in a healthier state.

Anyone interested in picking this up?

Thanks, Massively .

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.