Star Wars : The Old Republic and Star Wars Galaxies
October 22, 2008
So yesterday the one of the worst kept secrets in MMO land was finally revealed : Bioware’s next big foray into the Star Wars universe will be a massively multiplayer title. No big surprise here, the announcement in many ways being a mere formality following the considerable speculation and leaks surrounding the project in the past few months. Bioware’s returning to the Old Republic setting does make perfect business sense in light of the popularity of the Knight’s of the Old Republic franchise. Releasing an MMO in this segment of the Star Wars timeline is a pretty safe bet and it’s success, to some degree or other, seems guaranteed.
While the launching of an MMO set in the Old Republic era of Star Wars is for me an exciting prospect, I can’t help also feeling a twinge of sadness for the eventual fate of Star Wars Galaxies, which may with time become simply known as ”That other Star Wars MMO”. Yes, I know it is already a rather old title and has suffered some serious player base attrition with the whole NGE episode, which incidentally is around the time I started playing SWG, yet I also know that it has recently been enjoying a modest resurgence in popularity, with many returning players seeming rather pleased with the direction in which the game is going.
With the oncoming appearance of a competitor on the Star Wars MMO scene, I am worried for the title and it’s viability, and many questions come to mind concerning it’s future. How will the fact that is no longer the only Star Wars themed title in the MMO market affect it ? Will it be able to develop distinctly enough from the Bioware game to retain it’s originality and give it’s current subscribers reasons to stay and maintain their accounts ? Will SOE keep supporting it to a decent enough level ?
I hope the answer to all of these questions is yes, but I have the feeling that this is far from certain. A while ago I remember listening to a Yivvits and Mr Bubbles SWG podcast where the hosts seemed to be saying they would leave Galaxies in a heartbeat if the Bioware game lived up to it’s promise. And this is from some pretty dedicated SWG players, which I would say is reasonable cause for concern.
Only time will tell I guess.