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'Star Wars: The Old Republic' shows off Collector's Edition

A bumper $150 Collector's Edition for online game Star Wars: The Old Republic has been confirmed by Electronic Arts, meaning that a release date announcement is surely imminent.

That date is likely to be announced during the San Diego Comic-Con (July 21-24), at which The Old Republic's developers have a heavy presence.

The special edition, priced at £130 and €150 in the UK and Europe, includes a 9-inch statue of the renegade Sith Lord Darth Malgus, a journal annotated by Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, map, soundtrack CD, exclusive in-game items and game access prior to its official launch.

The PC game, which has an estimated development budget that lies between $80m and $100m, was previously due spring 2011.

Instead, RIFT was March's subscription-based challenge to World of Warcraft, at a time when many other MMOs are turning free-to-play (see Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, APB).