Star Wars: The Old Republic could be in serious trouble
The dark side of the Force could be winning, as BioWare decides to shift focus away from Star Wars: The Old Republic and could be winding down our time with the beloved MMORPG. The developer has drawn its lightsaber and potentially stabbed The Old Republic in the gut but failed to deliver the final blow.
While there's been a recent push into the galaxy far, far away, with the Jedi: Survivor and high hopes for the likes of Ubisoft's open-world game and Quantic Dream's Star Wars Eclipse, let's spare a thought for the old guard. The Old Republic has been our loyal friend since 2011, but is its end near?
BioWare is abandoning Star Wars: The Old Republic
IGN reports that Electronic Arts is "in talks" to move development on The Old Republic away from BioWare and to the third-party studio of Broadsword Online Games. Broadsword is relatively unknown when compared to BioWare, having worked on MMO's like Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot.
If the deal goes through, over half of The Old Republic's development team would move to Broadsword, while the rest could be offered jobs elsewhere at EA or face possible layoffs. It comes as part of a push for BioWare to focus on single-player games, including Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and Mass Effect 4.
Broadsword is headed up by former BioWare Vice President and Mythic Entertainment co-founder Rob Denton, and having worked on The Old Republic in its early days, he is well-versed in the title. According to IGN, EA had signed a letter of intent, which could see the deal finalised "as soon as this month."
What's next for Star Wars: The Old Republic
Explaining the current rumblings, an EA spokesperson said, "Almost 12 years after launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community. We're so proud of the work the team has done, and the future of the game and the community continues to be very bright.
"We're evaluating how we give the game and the team the best opportunity to grow and evolve, which includes conversations with Broadsword, a boutique studio that specializes in delivering online, community-driven experiences. Our goal is to do what is best for the game and its players."
With sources telling IGN that around 70-80 staff are currently part of The Old Republic's core development team, the future of BioWare Austin remains in doubt - especially after it gave employees remote work options early last year.
Nothing lasts forever, but there are still some playing The Old Republic after all these years. Steam Charts confirms that the game has a 30-day peak of 11,574 players, which is a damn sight more than the recent release of Redfall. Still, it's a far cry from CS:GO sitting pretty with 1.76 million peak in the same period.
While it's not quite Order 66 yet, a move away from BioWare after over a decade of loyal service has us questioning how much longer Star Wars: The Old Republic can continue before it fades away like an aged Yoda.