The sad news has come through that Star Wars Galaxies will be shutting down on December 15, 2011.
To be honest, I’m a little surprised. SOE don’t have the habit of shutting down their MMO games like NCSoft do. (NCSoft close a MMO at the drop of a hat.) With the exception of the Matrix Online, SOE haven’t dumped any of their lineup, and the Matrix was killed because they lost the IP rights to keep it going.
I wonder if that is the reason for SWG’s demise. There have been rumors for a while that Lucasarts may pull the plug on the licence. Perhaps with SW:TOR upcoming, Lucasarts feels it is time to let SWG die.
On the other hand, there was speculation during the great SOE/PSN hackattack that the dollar losses may force SOE to shut down some less profitable games. Sony as a company isn’t doing all that well, so this might well be a cause.
Still, it’s a little surprising that SWG is being shutdown without an attempt to bring it into the F2P arena. That has saved a few less well performing games. I’d think that going F2P would bring quite a few new players in. And frankly for Star Wars a cash shop could provide all sorts of marvellous cosmetic items, perhaps even including monacles. Lot’s of cash could be made. So perhaps it was a Lucasarts decision after all.
In anycase, I don’t like to see any game close down. There’s always a bunch of dedicated players who, despite the changes and trials of the MMORPG lifestyle, stick with their game year after year. It’s a sad day.