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New Star Wars MMO in the Works

Like the Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive reported earlier today, talks about a MMOG set in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic universe are rumors at best, although both LucasArts and BioWare Austin have dangled clues in front the fans like carrots leading horses. October 21 is the date of the "big reveal" where both companies plan to unveil the phantom menace lurking behind the scenes for years.

According to Massively (story), the site believes the title to be Star Wars: The Old Republic. The site even uploaded scans of the press invitation, showing both the back and front, revealing absolutely nothing save for a very familiar background and a small tease inviting the recipient to "attend the official unveiling of the game that’s been rumored about for years." CVG also backs up the big reveal as the KOTOR MMO as well as the UK newspaper The Daily Star. EA president John Riccitiello even confirmed back in July that BioWare is indeed working on the Star Wars MMO.

BioWare’s outstanding reputation precedes them, especially when it comes to Star Wars and role-playing games. Beginning with Baldur’s Gate in 1998, the company has established itself as a first-class developer, producing classic games such as Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and more. Recently the company developed its first Nintendo DS title, a role-playing game based on the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Other non-BioWare games using the company’s engines include Icewind Dale and the just-release RPG, the Witcher.

While gamers wait patiently on the new Star Wars MMO game, the other Star Wars-based MMORPG, Star Wars Galaxies, continues to run without much fanfare. After a lackluster kick-off, both Sony and LucasArts decided to revamp the game, changing major features and thus infuriating current subscribers. As of this writing there are four expansion packs for SWG: Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookies, Trials of Obi-Wan and Champions of the Force. However, a study conducted on one particular night revealed that just over 10,000 subscribers were playing at the time. Sony of ocurse denies that the numbers have ever gotten that low.

It’s questionable what a new Star Wars MMO will do in regards to the SOE/LucasArts venture. However, with BioWare backing the new project, it’s very likely that SWG subscribers will jump ship. Unless Sony and LucasArts devise a plan to re-energize the straggling MMORPG, both companies may see a dramatic drop once BioWare’s MMO hits the market.

Of course, the joke may be on all of us: the big reveal may be something other than a Star Wars-based game. Who knows. Maybe we’ll see a MMO based on LucasArts’ western-themed FPS, Outlaws.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • resonance451
    Bioware's post KOTOR games haven't been nearly as good as that jewel of a game. I know it's not a popular opinion, but there you have it. And we already have a confirmation that it was in development back in July, not just rumor. The developer all but said, "yes, we're working on a KotOR MMO."

    I personally will be playing this game nonstop for months on end if it's up to my expectations. This is probably the gaming experience I've been waiting for since being blown away by KotOR and disappointed by how unfinished KotOR 2 was.
  • techguy911
    If its anything like current swg they can keep it twitch combat in a mmo has already proven to fail.
  • techguy911
    replace the faltering Star Wars Galaxies MMORPG.

    Faltering is an understatement i whent online jumping from city to city server to server the game is EMPTY they might as well cancel swg.

    If they were smart and put up pre cu servers but thats not going to happen with current management.

  • SWG is not dead as many pple say, we have a solid comunity, of course not as populated as PRE-NGE but still is one of the best games out there. Is not a childish game for 13 kids , complex and based in comunity.
    But one thing is sure all of us will jump to KOTOR online just for the 5 years of pain that SOE have deal on us. NGE was a bad blow but not a killing one, KOTOR will. ( And about the dead servers...many of them are but the populated ones are amazing) Also the game nowdays is much , much better than CU. (been playing since day 3)
  • velocityg4
    I truly hope this does not mean there will never be a KOTOR 3. I could not imagine following a complex mobile storyline in an MMO environment. Though I am sure some KOTOR fans would be happy I am also sure many would be outraged as well. Not everyone likes multiplayer games. I for one enjoy the solace of quietly playing against the computer and not having to listen to 13 year old kids swearing.

    I also refuse to buy MMO's. I just can not see buying a game that has a finite lifetime. By relying on the servers you will not be able to play the game 20 years from now like you can with system contained games. Nor can I see paying a monthly fee. What if you have a month you do not feel like playing the game, that is money wasted. Further I have over 30 games on my computer could you imagine paying a monthly fee for all of them :o Even worse my former roommate whom had over a 100 PS2 games

    Finally after beating a game I like to go back and use cheat codes which you can not do online. Like I used a save game editor in KOTOR one and two to make super Jedi, or start as a Jedi and make the whole party Jedi. This adds in my opinion a lot of extra fun playability that you do not get in MMO's.
  • resonance451
    That's a terrible argument. You'd spend much more time on MMOs given that they're far more interactive. At most, even as an MMO freak, you'd only be playing 3 or 4 games because it's impossible to keep up otherwise. The average MMO gamer will only be playing one or two MMOs, and I'm sorry but there are very, very few games from even 5 years ago I'm interested in playing. Ask your former roommate how many of those PS2 games he still plays. I wouldn't be surprised if the number is less than 5.
  • zak_mckraken
    I need some explanations here but I'm confused on how the licencing of the Star Wars franchise works. LucasArts is NOT the owner of the franchise rights? If they are, wouldn't they refuse to give rights to Bioware to create a Star Wars MMO so that Galaxies wouldn't die?

    As for the game itself, if the rumor is indeed true, it will be nothing but amazing! KOTOR is a masterpiece and a good MMO set in this universe will most likely because the #1 MMO out there. That's assuming the game is "good", obviously. Past MMOs have shown us that being based on a popular universe is not enough to keep people's interest: Galaxies, D&D, Lord of the Rings, Shadowrun. all those games were terrible or just not enough to get off the shadow of WoW.

    I've played WoW for the past 2 years but a good Star Wars MMO is just the thing I need to get rid of that addiction! Of course, a new (and possibly more dangerous) one will replace it...