Companies selling Star Wars: The Old Republic currency for real-world money have begun hawking their wares - months before the game's projected launch.
Popular gold seller IGXE (Internet Game Exchange) press released its SWTOR service today. IGXE offers a placeholder price of £650 for 1000 SWTOR credits.
Expand the search for SWTOR credits/gold to Google and a thriving pre-release market appears: website addresses include starwarscredit.com, swtorforsale.com, swtorsell.com, swtorgolds.com, swtorgold.net, cheapswtorcredit.com, buyoldrepubliccredits.net, cheap-swtor-credits.org, and so on.
Do they know already how to effectively earn SWTOR credits to sell? Or do they simply presume they will be able to?
More to the point - can BioWare stop them?
A closed beta for Star Wars: The Old Republic looms, and more than 1.5 million gamers have registered their interest in joining it, according to EA.
The closed beta should, for the first time, allow press to explore the world of Star Wars: The Old Republic unhindered - i.e. without the stabilisers of a controlled EA demo.
The launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic will depend, to a degree, upon beta feedback. But EA recently announced the "reasonable" assumption of a 2011 release somewhere between July and December.