Monday, February 09, 2015

Shadow Realms Cancelled In Favor of SWTOR

Interesting news from Bioware Austin. They cancelled Shadow Realms, and explicitly stated that they would be focusing resources on SWTOR:
But the biggest focus for our team in BioWare Austin will be on Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. As every Star Wars™ fan knows, this is a massive year in the Star Wars universe. We have some great plans for expanding this epic game this year, and look forward to sharing the news about those plans with our players in the coming weeks.
I can't wait to see Syncaine's reaction.

It does make sense that Bioware will try to use the new Star Wars movie as an opportunity to attract more people to TOR. If it doesn't suck horribly, a new Star Wars movie will bring in a lot of fans who want to play a Jedi or Sith (or maybe even a non-force user if there is a character as good as Han Solo).

In the Producer's Road Map, also released today, Bioware reiterated that they would be focused on story going forward (as opposed to last year when they released Galactic Starfighter and Housing):
Some of you might remember before launch, we talked a lot about the “four pillars” of RPGs – combat, exploration, progression and story. Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is an MMO, but it’s also a BioWare game. Three years ago, we set out to deliver a product that contained the best of two worlds – the immersive story experience from a single-player RPG and the vast array of systems and social connection from an online multiplayer game. Since launch, we have mainly focused on the latter, adding Galactic Strongholds, achievements, legacy perks, reputation tracks, and Galactic Starfighter. But with the success of the Shadow of Revan expansion, we think it’s time that we return to our roots and what truly makes our game unique: story. 
Shadow of Revan was just the beginning. In 2015, we are committed to bringing you more character-driven adventures in the Old Republic universe. You’re going to see a unified story, with a focus on themes that unite our eight classes – everyone is a veteran from the Galactic Civil War with a complicated past and an uncertain future. You’ll see a greater emphasis on your character’s personal history, and on the choices you make. I don’t want to say too much more since we are still in the midst of development, but what we have planned really gets back to the Star Wars™ fantasy at the heart of our game.
The part I am not thrilled about is the "unified" story. That strongly implies that the story will be the same for both Empire and Republic. I'm sort of resigned to not having class stories any more, but I really hope that at least the Empire experience is different from the Republic experience.

Edit: I forgot to mention the most important part of the new Star Wars movie. The Cartel Market will probably sell a cross-hilt lightsaber!


  1. I didn't know about Shadow Realms so I don't have an opinion about that apart from that more resources for my favourite MMO are always good.

    I'm not thrilled at a shared class-wide storyline either, but luckily there are enough other things I enjoy in the game to not be heartbroken. :)

  2. Just New BioWare being New BioWare I guess? Beefing up the skeleton crew a bit to cash grab on a movie, and putting down some project that wasn't all that great to fund it? Someone has to get on cranking out those movie-based cash shop items right? Tough to sell a movie-based hotbar I would imagine.

    Plus if the movie doesn't happen, the skeleton crew keeps rowing until the contract ends. Not much to see here (though the further confirmation that the 4th pillar was an unsustainable disaster via the merger is nice, though it's like someone confirming the sun rising in the morning).

  3. I have to admit I consider this good news. I wasn't thrilled by what I'd heard of Shadow Realms at all (I don't like TSW-like settings). Obviously it's nice to hear they'll be back to focusing on a game I actually like to play instead.

  4. For me --and my household filled with Ahsoka fans-- the Togruta playable race is the best thing that came out of the letter.