Bioware will soon hand over the development and operation of its Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO to Ultima Online studio Broadsword Online.
First reported by IGN, word had it that EA and Broadsword agreed for the latter to take over the online game later this month.
Thos who play the game shouldn’t worry too much, as The Old Republic should be in good hands, as the studio is ran by former Mythic Entertainment co-founder and BioWare VP Rob Denton, who previously worked on the MMO.
After the story broke, EA released a statement with assurance the switch is what’s “best for the game” and “its players.”
“Almost 12 years after launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community,” said EA. “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.”
Further comment was made on the game’s official forums by BioWare executive producer Keith Kanneg. In the statement, Kanneg, accountable for the SWOTOR franchise and the live operations of EA’s live service games for Bioware, said to hang tight and expect more details on the switch later.
Kanneg released made the statement on the forums to calm those thinking the game was going the way of the Dradan.
“This is a new beginning, not the end,” said Kenneg.”We have more stories, modernizations, and MMO content already planned out beyond 7.4. While details are being discussed and finalized behind the scenes, let’s not spin this into incorrect theories.
“I am asking you to hang tight and we’ll follow up later with more details when we can.”
EA will remain the game’s publisher, and the report states that half of the SWTOR team will move on to Broadsword to continue the development of the MMO. Remaining team members will be able to find other roles elsewhere within EA, but may also face being laid off.
SWTOR was announced in 2008, and after a few instances of outlets getting some hands-on time with the game, released on December 20, 2011, with a $200 million development budget. Developed by BioWare Austin and a team at BioWare Edmonton, the story is set shortly after the establishment of a weak peace between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. It started as a paid service title, before going to a hybrid free-to-play model in 2012. As of 2019, the game has made over $1 billion in revenue for EA.
Over the years, it has seen eight expansions, additional end-game content, and various in-game events, making it one of the most updated MMOs out there in terms of content over the last 12 years.