If rumors are to be believed, Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts are working on a casual MMO set in the Star Wars universe and based on the technology behind SOE's recently released Free Realms.
This rumor comes courtesy of MMO fansite Ten Ton Hammer, who claim to have heard all of this from an "inside source." Here's their take on the situation:
Ten Ton Hammer has learned from an inside source that Sony Online Entertainment has once again partnered up with LucasArts to do another Star Wars MMO. While we have not yet learned the title of the upcoming game, it sounds like SOE is planning to use the browser-based Free Realms engine to power the game, and the game's setting will be the Clone Wars.
This news is far from certain, but it does create a number of interesting questions. Assuming this casual MMO is for real, would it not cannibalize players from BioWare's Star Wars MMO Knights of the Old Republic? Even if the two are aimed at vastly different market segments, just how many lightsabers and Ewoks can the market bear before becoming oversaturated?
Plus, given that SOE's other attempt at a Star Wars MMO (the above-pictured Star Wars Galaxies) is widely seen as a catastrophic failure by anyone with a pulse and two eyes, why would LucasArts again entrust the company with their most valuable franchise?
Then again, after the last three Star Wars films we have no trouble imagining George Lucas signing off on absolutely anything if presented with a large enough bag of cash.