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‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ sets voice over record

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The Force is strong with this one. And chatty.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic (EA)

Already a hit with fans and critics, EA's new massively-multiplayer game Star Wars: The Old Republic has been awarded a Guinness World Record for being the Largest Entertainment Voice Over Project ever. Apparently those Jedi and Sith were a gabby bunch.

All totaled, there's more than 200,000 lines of dialogue in The Old Republic. To put that in perspective, the immense single-player role-playing hit The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which is packed with yammering characters, only has 60,000 lines of dialogue. The number also trounces anything seen in a television or film project.

Having a game where characters speak instead of forcing players to read small, onscreen dialogue boxes as mouths flap endlessly was one of the goals of BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk when they started the project. Instead of putting players on a treadmill, they hoped to create an MMO that was more story-driven than others on the market.

It's something players seemed to be hungry for. The Old Republic sold more than 1 million copies in its first week and players immersed themselves in the game for an average of five hours per day, logging some 28 million hours in the first 10 days.

Those are impressive numbers, but they won't mean anything until the end of January, which is when the first batch of players will be forced to decide whether they want to begin paying a monthly subscription fee -- or if the Force isn't quite strong enough to keep them playing the game.

Analysts are a little skeptical.

"While we expect sales of roughly three million units by the end of F4Q (March), we think Street expectations for 1.5-2 million paid monthly users through 2012 may be too optimistic," says Colin Sebastian of R.W. Baird.

Of course, if the game is as addictive as the company hopes, people may not have a choice but to subscribe, especially if they want to hear everything that the galaxy has to say.

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