LucasArts rejected taking Star Wars Galaxies free-to-play

A few weeks ago, Sony Online announced that it would be shutting down service in mid-December for its long running sci-fi MMO Star Wars Galaxies. At the time of the announcement Sony Online CEO John Smedley stated, "LucasArts has a new game coming out, and the contract would be running out in 2012 anyway, so we feel like it's the right time for the game to end." The "new game" is the upcoming launch of BioWare's long awaited MMO Star Wars The Old Republic.

Since the announcement many fans of Star Wars Galaxies have expressed their displeasure about the decision. Many have wondered why Star Wars Galaxies, which currently has a monthly subscription model, couldn't be converted to a free-to-play business model. Many other well established MMOs such as Lord of the Rings Online and Champions Online have successful switched to the free-to-play model. However the game's publisher LucasArts has now sent out a statement to GamePro that pretty much closes that idea for Star Wars Galaxies.

According to the statement, "SOE and LucasArts investigated every option to keep the game open, including taking it to a free to pay model. However, that model just isn't financially viable. Changing the business model for an experience like Star Wars Galaxies takes a major investment and overhauling of the existing infrastructure of the game. We're unfortunately at a point in our life cycle where a change of this magnitude is just not possible."

LucasArts's statement adds that it and Sony Online have a number of plans for the game between now and its shut down, adding, "It may be bittersweet, it may feel like it's happening before it should, but we have approximately five months remaining where we can all enjoy the game together. We sincerely hope the community will join us."

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Open skill system, triangulated combat balance, profession interdependency, player economy, open exploration, real world animations based on conversation, ability to shape the world with housing and cities, etc...

The CU was the initial nail in the coffin, as it removed the base concepts of the game, where magic heals did not exist (unless you were a Jedi and took healing). The 'consumables' of the kits that even the Doctors needed in the game were more true to reality, even in a Star Wars Universe, everything was a skill to use something that had to be created.

The CU also removed the complexity of the combat system, as it went to a base armor system, instead of the prior system where every piece of armor was important, in case that is where the blow landed, and then calculated based on that armor and the type of blow and the type of damage, and on and on. Professions could also target parts of the body with specific hits, for example, a Rifleman could nail your head specifically.

The triangulation of balance eliminated the FOTM, as no profession or combination had an advantage. The three heath/action/mind pools were used by the profession for their skills, and also kept the triangulation of weakness in the game. For a while a certain 'combination' would be see as good by players, but it go away as another combination would be deadly to the previous combination.

I remember several profession combinations, like some with TKA, as they could get the player dizzy and on the ground, but all if they met a doctor that could heal their dizzy, the doctor with a sword could drive their head into the ground.

I really miss the whole 'realism' aspect the game held to with consumables, the triangulation of balance, social requirements that were not just 'grouping for a raid', but were from buying furniture, getting parts to have a good weaponsmith make a gun or sword, etc.

It is sad to see the things that made SWG grab people not even be noticed by developers today.

Balance in MMOs is impossible today, so instead they define 'roles' or use an illusion where all players are the same and only the type of attack is different, but the 'net' affect of the damage + control + heal + defensive is always even. Which is generic and sad after seeing what had been in pre-CU SWG.

----

Lucas Arts would not want the crap SWG is today to even be out there with things like the new MMO coming online this year.

If they or Sony cared about SWG or their customers at ALL, they would have reversed the changes or offered 'classic' pre-cu Servers, and they would not consider it then and it seems like they won't consider it now. Even if they didn't want to offer updates, as the players tended to create their own adventures, so it still would be fairly cheap to have a pre-cu server.

Oh well, maybe some developers will get the concepts that made SWG so immersive and a 'world', but until then SWG hard core fans on average don't mess with MMOs, as nothing is good enough.


thenetavenger said,
Open skill system, triangulated combat balance, profession interdependency, player economy, open exploration, real world animations based on conversation, ability to shape the world with housing and cities, etc...

The CU was the initial nail in the coffin, as it removed the base concepts of the game, where magic heals did not exist (unless you were a Jedi and took healing). The 'consumables' of the kits that even the Doctors needed in the game were more true to reality, even in a Star Wars Universe, everything was a skill to use something that had to be created.

The CU also removed the complexity of the combat system, as it went to a base armor system, instead of the prior system where every piece of armor was important, in case that is where the blow landed, and then calculated based on that armor and the type of blow and the type of damage, and on and on. Professions could also target parts of the body with specific hits, for example, a Rifleman could nail your head specifically.

The triangulation of balance eliminated the FOTM, as no profession or combination had an advantage. The three heath/action/mind pools were used by the profession for their skills, and also kept the triangulation of weakness in the game. For a while a certain 'combination' would be see as good by players, but it go away as another combination would be deadly to the previous combination.

I remember several profession combinations, like some with TKA, as they could get the player dizzy and on the ground, but all if they met a doctor that could heal their dizzy, the doctor with a sword could drive their head into the ground.

I really miss the whole 'realism' aspect the game held to with consumables, the triangulation of balance, social requirements that were not just 'grouping for a raid', but were from buying furniture, getting parts to have a good weaponsmith make a gun or sword, etc.

It is sad to see the things that made SWG grab people not even be noticed by developers today.

Balance in MMOs is impossible today, so instead they define 'roles' or use an illusion where all players are the same and only the type of attack is different, but the 'net' affect of the damage + control + heal + defensive is always even. Which is generic and sad after seeing what had been in pre-CU SWG.

----

Lucas Arts would not want the crap SWG is today to even be out there with things like the new MMO coming online this year.

If they or Sony cared about SWG or their customers at ALL, they would have reversed the changes or offered 'classic' pre-cu Servers, and they would not consider it then and it seems like they won't consider it now. Even if they didn't want to offer updates, as the players tended to create their own adventures, so it still would be fairly cheap to have a pre-cu server.

Oh well, maybe some developers will get the concepts that made SWG so immersive and a 'world', but until then SWG hard core fans on average don't mess with MMOs, as nothing is good enough.


There was no true triangulation of balance, because the mind pool was healable through stims, and mind buffs were not nearly as potent as top end doctor buffs which boosted health and action pools.

So any profession that could do mind bleeds had a distinct advantage.

Interesting isn't it? I haven't read one reply here by someone who was actually a fan of the game. It's quite a different story when your favorite MMORPG that you've put years of playtime into and made scores of friends is given a death notice.

Nothing really new to see here other than the usual Neowinian crowd of onlookers just reflexively posting about something they know absolutely nothing about.

Soulsiphon said,
Interesting isn't it? I haven't read one reply here by someone who was actually a fan of the game. It's quite a different story when your favorite MMORPG that you've put years of playtime into and made scores of friends is given a death notice.

Nothing really new to see here other than the usual Neowinian crowd of onlookers just reflexively posting about something they know absolutely nothing about.

Well said.

Soulsiphon said,
Interesting isn't it? I haven't read one reply here by someone who was actually a fan of the game. It's quite a different story when your favorite MMORPG that you've put years of playtime into and made scores of friends is given a death notice.
That depends. I, along with many other people, was a fan of the game. For me it's death notice was with the release of the NGE. For other, longer-playing gamers, it was with the release of the Combat Upgrade.

You can tell me that I don't know what current players are experiencing upon receiving this news, but don't tell me that I know absolutely nothing about it. I've already mourned the loss of this once-fantastic game.

Intrinsica said,
That depends. I, along with many other people, was a fan of the game. For me it's death notice was with the release of the NGE. For other, longer-playing gamers, it was with the release of the Combat Upgrade.

You can tell me that I don't know what current players are experiencing upon receiving this news, but don't tell me that I know absolutely nothing about it. I've already mourned the loss of this once-fantastic game.

hear hear! Though I stuck around after the NGE and started fresh on another server with my brother and we played and enjoyed the game for a further 5 years before I got bored of the zero content upgrades after the 6 'heroic instances' were implemented. The game has had its day, and quite frankly I'm surprised that it didnt shut down a lot sooner than announced. Even the countless trading card game expansions cant keep the game alive.

Soulsiphon said,
Interesting isn't it? I haven't read one reply here by someone who was actually a fan of the game. It's quite a different story when your favorite MMORPG that you've put years of playtime into and made scores of friends is given a death notice.

Nothing really new to see here other than the usual Neowinian crowd of onlookers just reflexively posting about something they know absolutely nothing about.

I WAS a fan of SWG ( It was even my first MMORPG ever ) before SOE decided to implement CU and the NGE. From this point, like a lot of other fans, this was the death sentence for SWG and, for me, SWG died.

I followed this game when it was launched... it slowly went down the crapper due to a lot of different things, but bottom line for me... it had it's day in the sun, and it's time to relax to the beaches of oldness.

They are about to release Bioware's the Old Republic... I can imagine they don't want to steal any thunder with offering Galaxies for free. They don't just want Star Wars fans they want the mass market too. Make sense business wise and also, it might take some development to make Galaxies free to play. Usually companies plan this an announce when they are ready (or almost ready) to roll it out...

mranderson1st said,
They are about to release Bioware's the Old Republic... I can imagine they don't want to steal any thunder with offering Galaxies for free. They don't just want Star Wars fans they want the mass market too. Make sense business wise and also, it might take some development to make Galaxies free to play. Usually companies plan this an announce when they are ready (or almost ready) to roll it out...

except they are with separate companies, so wanting the 'mass market' is not what they are worried about.

I would think that the execs know that the usefulness of SWG, and the cost to profit ratio is past it's prime and the new things coming out will wipe any benefit to their bottom line.

Skin said,

except they are with separate companies, so wanting the 'mass market' is not what they are worried about.

I would think that the execs know that the usefulness of SWG, and the cost to profit ratio is past it's prime and the new things coming out will wipe any benefit to their bottom line.


It does not matter if another company is doing another product. You usually don't want to canabalize a new investment in IP. That is why it seems LucusArts is having the say rather than Sony. I would think SOE would not care and be glad to eat into the sales of a competing MMO if they would turn a profit.

"Since the announcement many fans of Star Wars Galaxies have expressed their displeasure about the decision."

All 2 of them

FISKER_Q said,
"Since the announcement many fans of Star Wars Galaxies have expressed their displeasure about the decision."

All 2 of them


lol I was gonna say that too! lol

It was a good game until SOE messed with it just like they messed with Everquest2... I went back to SWG last year to see and I swear it's a ghost town...

NeoRaZor said,
It's free to play if you use the emulator... and it's pre-2003 crap patch (AKA the patch that brought space ships).
Wow, I'd forgotten about those guys! I've just been to visit them again and they've really moved forwards. If I wasn't on a Mac right now I'd totally go and give that a shot.

NeoRaZor said,
It's free to play if you use the emulator... and it's pre-2003 crap patch (AKA the patch that brought space ships).

At the moment... The object is to reproduce the game as of patch 14.1, by which time JTL was in the game. Work on the JTL section has been undertaken, and accelerated especially since the news of SOE shutting down the live game.

Besides space, it's actually fairly playable right now.

jmc15john said,
Star Wars galaxies used to be a great game until they were bought out by Sony. What a shame.

Maybe I'm getting Stars Wars Galaxies mixed up with another game. Hmm.

jmc15john said,

Maybe I'm getting Stars Wars Galaxies mixed up with another game. Hmm.

Planetside, maybe? Either way SoE royally ****ed both games up.

jmc15john said,

Maybe I'm getting Stars Wars Galaxies mixed up with another game. Hmm.


This was definetely the case with Matrix Online