Star Wars: The Old Republic DLC expansion

The galaxy was such a nice place before the Hutts moved in. Now crime is on the rise in The Old Republic thanks to those slug-like gangsters, and property values are in decline.

Earlier today, developer BioWare launched Rise of the Hutt Cartel, the first major expansion for its massively multiplayer role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The downloadable content costs $19.99, or $9.99 for subscribers.

The add-on pack will raise the level cap to 55, introduce a new planet, and offer up new story-based missions for players.

“We’ve worked hard over the last year to ensure we were listening to player feedback and acting on it,” The Old Republic executive producer Jeff Hickman said in a statement. “This month, we’re not only adding hours of new story-driven content and features with Rise of the Hutt Cartel, but we are also adding depth and content to the end game with our latest Game Update 2.0: Scum and Villainy. All of this new content, combined with a much larger, more active, and engaged community since the addition of the free-to-play option last year, makes this the best time to join or return to The Old Republic.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the bigger free-to-play MMOs in terms of scope. BioWare released the title in December 2011 under publisher Electronic Arts. The game originally operated under a subscription-only model, but the big-budget title moved to free-to-play in July.

The Old Republic’s failure to maintain a subscriber base is one of the many failures attributed to former EA chief executive officer John Riccitiello, who resigned from that position in March.