SOE Bids Fond Farewell to Star Wars Galaxies

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SOE Bids Fond Farewell to Star Wars Galaxies

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CEO John Smedley says it was a good decision to let the license for the venerable sci-fi MMO expire, as if a million voices cried out and were suddenly silenced.

Star Wars Galaxies has been around for eight years. Launched in 2003 to much fanfare, players were excited to inhabit the world of Lucas' Star Wars original trilogy. Of course, the open world, er, galaxy, mechanics didn't satisfy all MMO players, and SOE tried to correct some of the game's errors with a major update in 2005 that only ended up pissing the fanbase off even more. Galaxies survived six more years, but last month SOE sadly announced that it will turn off the servers for good on December 31st , 2011. Taking the stage at the opening address at SOE Fan Faire 2011 as a EQ dwarf holding a lightsaber, community Relations director Linda Carlson lamented the game's closure and implored the fans to celebrate the time they have left in Galaxies, a sentiment which CEO John Smedley echoed. But unfortunately, Smedley said that it was time for SOE's license with George Lucas' company to end.

"It breaks the heart of everybody that this world has to come to an end," said Carlson. "When the final announcement was made, you could feel the reverberations through the company. We felt it here," she said gesturing to her heart, "and it hurt." She then played a video the devs made celebrating some of the iconic moments, characters and settings of Galaxies.

"Jedi, bounty hunters, entertainers, the whole lot of you, I salute you," said Carlson. "But you know what? We're not done yet. We still have seven months to get together, we can celebrate the game, we can share our memories, we can still have a hell of a good time. I hope you join us all as we follow the last few months of Star Wars Galaxies."

If so many members of SOE cared about the game and its fans, then why was the decision made to end the game after so many years?

"It was time to turn it off. We have a contractual relationship that's ending in 2012, The Old Republic launching, a bunch of other business things with LucasArts," Smedley said. "And then you look at the odds of a pretty large portion of the audience moving to TOR, which looks like a terrific game. I think that's going to be really well-received by the population." You can't deny Smedley's business sense there.

"But it hurts," Smedley said. "We knew, with the checkered past [of Galaxies], that this would not be a popular decision, but it was just one that we had to make."

If the intellectual property of Galaxies was wholly owned by SOE, then the decision might have been moot because the game would likely continue to make money for a long time, even with TOR lurking. "That's the problem with licenses: they end," Smedley said. "We're going to continue to do some licensed work, but we're largely going to stick to original IP [going forward] because then we won't have this issue. We'll never have this problem with EverQuest."

Interestingly enough, Smedley said that SOE had already renegotiated to extend the license a few times. "Back in 2001, not '03 when we launched, but back in 2001 when we [first] negotiated it, a five year license seemed like a really long god damn time," Smedley said. "EverQuest was only a year or so old at that point. Could we have renegotiated? Maybe, but I don't think that would be the right thing for the company."

Still, the closing of Galaxies clearly affects John Smedley. "I'm bummed about it," he said with a frown, and I believed him.

Because of the somewhat early announcement that the servers will turn off at the end of December 2011, SOE has some great plans in store for the ending of the game's eight-year run. "The team is working on all of the details," Smedley said. Is the Death Star going to blow up again? "I don't know about that but they've got something else in mind with the Galactic Civil War. I think [Star Wars Galaxies] is going to go out in a memorable way. With a bang, not a whimper, that's for sure."

Permalink

I wonder if anyone considering ToR for the long haul will take this as a wake up call because the same thing WILL happen all over again.

Ahh well, sucks for the folks who have been paying the subscription fees for the past 8 years. Hopefully it was time well wasted for them.

Sorry Smed, but SWG died in November 2005 and has been whimpering along ever since.

And I don't think millions of voices cried out over this, just the thousands left playing hehe.

Can STG survived and defeat it fate? Will the fans saved it?

It's sad but SWG had a DAMN good run. They did a lot of things that MMOs don't even do today, like player houses and dog fights. Pretty cool really.

-Sigh-

Just let it die, just...

Just because they played SWG dosen't mean they will gladly swap to ToR. Two different games and i doubt they would want to play ToR by virtue of it being Star wars. If they did they wouldn't be fighting it as much.

This reminds me when "Matrix Online" ended and it was some sort of big, epic battle until everyone was literally put to sleep or something by the Matrix. Wacky stuff.

Still, it's always a bummer to see a long-running game go down. Maybe their next MMO will be more successful, I dunno.

It's a sad time to be a dev on Galaxies. Not only is their game being shut down, a game they poured years of their lives into creating, but they're also receiving the unwarranted, though predictable, wrath of their fans.

Huh, seems like this and the news of The Agency being canceled came pretty close together... bad week for MMOs.

Anyway, on topic, I'll miss Star Wars Galaxies. It always seemed like an idea that just needed some extra polish, so it's sad to see it go. I'm at least glad that they're giving it a big send-off, unlike most MMOs that just slowly die. I hope they give their fans, however many there are left, a good ending.

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
Just because they played SWG dosen't mean they will gladly swap to ToR. Two different games and i doubt they would want to play ToR by virtue of it being Star wars. If they did they wouldn't be fighting it as much.

Yeah, but you'd think TOR would make a bigger effort to try to win the Galaxies fans over.
I mean, if you offered them a ton of bonuses for being Star Wars MMO fans for years, that they'd get a bit of a warmer welcome and some gamer rep.

I know its different companies 'n all, but you think they could cooperate on something like this.

Mister Benoit:
I wonder if anyone considering ToR for the long haul will take this as a wake up call because the same thing WILL happen all over again.

If you mean lasting 8 years, I hope you're right. If you mean they make a big change after release that everyone hates and it clings to a sad facsimile of life for several years, I hope you're wrong :P

OP: I thought it was closing December 15th? That's what your other article and the one I read on Massively states, unless the date changed at the Fan Faire.

Erana:

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
Just because they played SWG dosen't mean they will gladly swap to ToR. Two different games and i doubt they would want to play ToR by virtue of it being Star wars. If they did they wouldn't be fighting it as much.

Yeah, but you'd think TOR would make a bigger effort to try to win the Galaxies fans over.
I mean, if you offered them a ton of bonuses for being Star Wars MMO fans for years, that they'd get a bit of a warmer welcome and some gamer rep.

I know its different companies 'n all, but you think they could cooperate on something like this.

While that would go a looong way to alleviate the separation issues(Cmon 8 years with the characters and poof nothing to show for it) the two are entirely different games, different systems, different feels, and different eras of the genre.

A good deal of Galaxies fans(at least my friends) are not a fan of the expanded universe. In any way shape or form.

Double post.

What little I tried of Star Wars Galaxies was some of the most boring rubbish I ever played.
Even for an MMORPG.
I won't miss it.

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:

Erana:

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
Just because they played SWG dosen't mean they will gladly swap to ToR. Two different games and i doubt they would want to play ToR by virtue of it being Star wars. If they did they wouldn't be fighting it as much.

Yeah, but you'd think TOR would make a bigger effort to try to win the Galaxies fans over.
I mean, if you offered them a ton of bonuses for being Star Wars MMO fans for years, that they'd get a bit of a warmer welcome and some gamer rep.

I know its different companies 'n all, but you think they could cooperate on something like this.

While that would go a looong way to alleviate the separation issues(Cmon 8 years with the characters and poof nothing to show for it) the two are entirely different games, different systems, different feels, and different eras of the genre.

A good deal of Galaxies fans(at least my friends) are not a fan of the expanded universe. In any way shape or form.

While i empathise with the SWG fans, this makes me feel better about giving up wow because the same thing will happen to it when Titan comes along, albeit a long way down the line.

Greg Tito:

CEO John Smedley says it was a good decision to let the license for the venerable sci-fi MMO expire, as if a million voices cried out and were suddenly silenced.

John Smedley wouldn't know a good decision if it formally introduced itself to him.

Taking the stage at the opening address at SOE Fan Faire 2011 as a EQ dwarf holding a lightsaber,

Why the hell would an EQ Dwarf be wearing the armour of Tunare?

"It breaks the heart of everybody that this world has to come to an end,"

I bet Rebekah Brooks said similar.

We're not done yet. We still have seven months to get together, we can...

make you spend more money and time on something that's now destined to be put down like a sick dog.

"But it hurts," Smedley said.

You lying toad.

We'll never have this problem with EverQuest."

Given that we re-write the rules every few years but still can't fix the teleporter gnomes.
And DCUO needs to be turned off soon.

Still, the closing of Galaxies clearly affects John Smedley. "I'm bummed about it," he said with a frown, and I believed him.

Only one in that entire crowd that did. Smeldey has been a pain in the ass to SOE players since he took over.

I think [Star Wars Galaxies] is going to go out in a memorable way. With a bang, not a whimper, that's for sure."

It died in the aftermath of the NGE. Your new lightsaber cut through it as if it wasn't there, and the clothes fell to the floor.

You're still orbiting Yavin looking for the Rebel Base, Darth Smedley. But the Rebels have your plans, and where your exhaust port lies.

And Emperor Lucas is still holding the chains.
http://www.torontosun.com/2011/07/08/lucas-quashes-star-wars-fan-event

With all of these MOO's coming and going, all of which I have never played, I wonder if something of value is lost.
Old games can usually be played forever using emulators. You can always go back for the nostalgia or have a look at something great you might have missed. But when an MMO is gone, it's pretty much gone for good.

Dr. wonderful:

Can STG survived and defeat it fate? Will the fans saved it?

CORN OOOOOOOOOOOOOON THE COOOOOOOOOOOOOOB

OT; Well, another game is dead. No real surprise, although it seems to have been dead since 2005.

Tiamat666:
With all of these MOO's coming and going, all of which I have never played, I wonder if something of value is lost.
Old games can usually be played forever using emulators. You can always go back for the nostalgia or have a look at something great you might have missed. But when an MMO is gone, it's pretty much gone for good.

In the case some of the oldest MMO there is emulator out there, so basically even when they shut down people will still be able to play Ultima Online and Everquest, since they had unofficial servers for years.

Tiamat666:
With all of these MOO's coming and going, all of which I have never played, I wonder if something of value is lost.
Old games can usually be played forever using emulators. You can always go back for the nostalgia or have a look at something great you might have missed. But when an MMO is gone, it's pretty much gone for good.

Well there's always SWGEmu.

To finish the MMO, There should be a mission to hunt down and kill Jar Jar Binks

Mister Benoit:
I wonder if anyone considering ToR for the long haul will take this as a wake up call because the same thing WILL happen all over again.

...The hell makes you so certain? Did you look into a crystal ball or something, what?

I think on the last day, The Death Star should take out 1 planet every hour xD

But anyway, sad day for Galaxies, i've never played it (although i was going to a few years back, then WoW dragged me in ) but it looked like a decent game.

But still, TOR looks promising, can't wait <3

crappy game dead? Awesome! Moar plz :)

iniudan:

In the case some of the oldest MMO there is emulator out there, so basically even when they shut down people will still be able to play Ultima Online and Everquest, since they had unofficial servers for years.

You can reverse engineer the servers, but it will still be a very different experience to a supported game. As far as I know, all the original quests and other game content will be gone.

How is Smedley still employed in that position?

He's made more bad game decisions than any dev I ever saw, and he does not and never did understand the desires of his consumer-base.

I have mixed opinions about this.

In general I call "bullshit" on the claims because SoE is apparently still running "Clone Wars Adventures". What that means is that they are still dealing with George Lucas, and apparently still have access to the Star Wars liscence. If "Clone Wars Adventures" is going down, I have heard absolutly nothing about it, and honestly they are still pimping it as one of their new IPs pretty heavily.

SWG has enough players right now to continue making money, especially if some of the servers are condensed.

Don't get the wrong impression here though, on some levels I think it's a good thing to send a game off with a degree of dignity. Personally I think Blizzard should have done this with World Of Warcraft after "Lich King", but well... that never happened for financial reasons, irregardless of what would probably have been for the best for the IP and the eventual launch of WoW2.

While I'm sorry to see it go, I think Sony's desician is largely based on the amount of money the game is making, rather than it not generating a profit at all. After all why run those servers, if the same amount of space/electicity/personell could be used for something else that might potentially make an even bigger wad of profits. Of course it's not politic to say something like that, so we have the guys from the company engaging in bald faced lies to the fan base. I have no idea what they are thinking when they rant about not wanting to maintain the Star Wars liscence while saying "by all means, try our OTHER, kiddie oriented Star Wars game" as one of the options after the 15th when they open up their other games to SWG players.

All told I am hoping that when they do shut it down they at least have the class to release the code as pubic domain, much like what happened with Sierra's "Imagination Network" games like "Shadow Of Ysebrius". I know there is a major emulation project going on right now, and it would be nice if Sony's blessing, and perhaps assistance (with the release of the code) could help that along and give the implicit guarantee that they aren't going to start trying to send lawyers after them.

Still, as bad as the news is, I think it's made worse by the way Sony is going about it. I think this situation sort of summarizes what is wrong with the gaming industry as a whole. There might be good answers about the liscence and so on, but not justifying their desicians and claims while ranting about liscencing, while running another Star Wars game does not reflect on Sony in a positive fashion.

Truthfully I would think that after robbing their customer base with the "other OS" option, and then getting themselves hacked, that SoE would be desperate to keep what fans and good will it has. Shutting down SWG now, especially with the reasons being given (ie what seems to be obvious BS), makes me think that Sony is actively trying to commit corperate seppeku.

Three words: New Game Enhancements.

Get out of the way SWG, SoE needs to concentrate on Planetside 2 :DD

I am not much for MMORPGs, but SWG was one of them that I was able to really get into for a time. It is sad to see it go, but it has been on life support for a while.
If they made it free for the last couple weeks or something, I would go so far as to install the station launcher on my new computer just to hunt for one last bounty before it was all over.

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
Just because they played SWG dosen't mean they will gladly swap to ToR. Two different games and i doubt they would want to play ToR by virtue of it being Star wars. If they did they wouldn't be fighting it as much.

This.

Ive looked at SWG v ToR they look nothing alike...Im sure a diehard SWG fan is someone who enjoys the...whatever it has that made it original (sandbox MMO) and look at ToR its just World of Star Wars...or KotOR w/ annoying people taking my quest items...

We've all seen the robotic AI and character appearence...

Since SoE doesnt want SWG anymore....can someone else pick it up from LucasArts?

I wonder if there will be a rise in Private Servers...

Wasn't Star Wars Galaxies a horrid game anyways that only a handful of super dedicated players played? How does this even matter?

Lt. Vinciti:

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
Just because they played SWG dosen't mean they will gladly swap to ToR. Two different games and i doubt they would want to play ToR by virtue of it being Star wars. If they did they wouldn't be fighting it as much.

This.

Ive looked at SWG v ToR they look nothing alike...Im sure a diehard SWG fan is someone who enjoys the...whatever it has that made it original (sandbox MMO) and look at ToR its just World of Star Wars...or KotOR w/ annoying people taking my quest items...

We've all seen the robotic AI and character appearence...

Since SoE doesnt want SWG anymore....can someone else pick it up from LucasArts?

I wonder if there will be a rise in Private Servers...

I kinda expect that within a year of going offline it will be bought by something like Gamers First. At that point they begin reworking it to its former glory, polish it up, re release it, and make a killing.

Because if i understand the mind of George lucas he won't let his IP stop raking in cash and to be honest salvaging SWG to its former glory would be a good step towards his IP looking better.

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:

Lt. Vinciti:

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
Just because they played SWG dosen't mean they will gladly swap to ToR. Two different games and i doubt they would want to play ToR by virtue of it being Star wars. If they did they wouldn't be fighting it as much.

This.

Ive looked at SWG v ToR they look nothing alike...Im sure a diehard SWG fan is someone who enjoys the...whatever it has that made it original (sandbox MMO) and look at ToR its just World of Star Wars...or KotOR w/ annoying people taking my quest items...

We've all seen the robotic AI and character appearence...

Since SoE doesnt want SWG anymore....can someone else pick it up from LucasArts?

I wonder if there will be a rise in Private Servers...

I kinda expect that within a year of going offline it will be bought by something like Gamers First. At that point they begin reworking it to its former glory, polish it up, re release it, and make a killing.

Because if i understand the mind of George lucas he won't let his IP stop raking in cash and to be honest salvaging SWG to its former glory would be a good step towards his IP looking better.

SWGEMU Is alraedy up.. Pretty damn big Starwars Galaxy's private server with its own developerteam.

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