Friday, June 24, 2011

SWG shutting down

This has to be the most stunning MMO news in a while to me: Star Wars Galaxies will be shutting down on December 15th. I saw "SWG shutting down" as the title of a thread over at MMORPG.COM and just assumed it was a troll post at first. But, no, really, it's shutting down (official announcement here).

You can find an interview with John Smedly about it here. It contains as direct an admission that the NGE was a mistake as I've seen, it's kind of a gloomy read. While I can't say I was a huge fan of the game personally, I did find the sheer number and depth of sandbox activities available there impressive as hell. It is also a game that had a really devoted community. The few times I tried it I always found players of the game to be helpful and welcoming.

I really thought that we were going to see two full featured Star Wars MMOs coexisting peacefully for the next few years. The mechanics of SWG and The Old Republic are so wildly different they really would have competed very little with each other. I feel really bad for all the players still devoted to the game. If an announcement like this came down the pipe about LoTRO, it would be a real kick in the gut to me. I also feel bad for the devotes of sandbox MMOs, we will be losing one of the more expansive ones.

Rest in peace SWG, you'll be missed.


  1. I have to agree. There would be little cross over between the two games. I'm not sure how savvy LucasArts is about such things.

    And I'm willing to bet that SOE is tired of paying those license fees for a game that is such a small draw.

  2. That was not a nice birthday present to announce. I was happy to see that SWG had its 8th anniversary; had completely forgotten about that.

    And then comes the news that they will shut down the game.

    I agree that from a gameplay perspective it could have co-existed witht he Bioware game, but that is probably not how the people at LucasArts see things.

    Still 6 months to play the game; I was thinking of trying it out again when I saw the 8th anniversary note. With this note I am definitely going to try it out again before they turn the lights off.

  3. You knew this was going to happen at some point, but the announcement doesn't make it any less surprising. It makes you think that TOR is not that far away from release.

  4. Oh, LucasArts LucasArts LucasArts...that's all I have to say. I haven't played SWG in a looong time so I can't say any deep lingering connections to the game have remained, but it's always sad when an MMO shuts down. Even sadder when it's over internal politics like contracts and stuff. Honestly, if the game had not been attached to an IP, I think it could have stuck around for many more years.

  5. @Anjin: I would guess that LucasArts has little idea what the difference between a sandbox MMO and thempark MMO is. Presumably the browser based Clone Wars "mmo" is different enough that even LucasArts gets that it won't compete much.

    There might also be some proportion of the SWG playerbase that there primarilly becuase it's the only full featured Star Wars MMO in town, but I have to think most of those guys would have given SWToR a look regardless.

    @Sente: I'm at least going to give the trial another shot some time this summer I think.

    @Jaydub: I knew the game would shut down eventually. I just didn't expect it to be so soon.

    @Mmmogamerchick: I wonder too if they would have gone through with the NGE if it hand't been Star Wars themed. A few hundred thousand steady subs (i.e., what they had before the NGE) would have been quite impressive for a random sci fi sandbox MMO, it just didn't seem all that impressive for a Star Wars MMO.