Star Wars Galaxies Is Dead

Star Wars Galaxies, the original massively multiplayer online role-playing game, will go offline later this year after more than eight years of service, Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts announced today.

In a letter to Star Wars Galaxies players, the game's developers call the closure of the MMO and its trading card game spin-off a "very difficult decision", putting an end to the virtual world on December 15, 2011. SOE promises that Galaxies will "go out with a bang with a galaxy-ending in-game event in December".

In an interview with Massively, SOE's John Smedley says the decision to end Star Wars Galaxies was a "business decision" largely related to the arrival of BioWare's Star Wars MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, expected to launch within the next year. Smedley downplays speculation that recent hacking attempts, lay-offs or a still dwindling player population were behind the closure.

Star Wars Galaxies first launched in the winter of 2003.

Dear Star Wars Galaxies™ Community Member, We write to you today to inform you that on December 15, 2011, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and LucasArts will end all services (MMO and Trading Card Game) for Star Wars Galaxies (SWG). The shutdown of SWG is a very difficult decision, but SOE and LucasArts have mutually agreed that the end of 2011 is the appropriate time to end the game.

We are extremely grateful to all of the SWG fans. We have had the rare opportunity to host one of the most dedicated and passionate online gaming communities and we truly appreciate the support we've received from each and every one of you over the course of the past eight years.

In recognition of your incredible loyalty, we are extending special Fan Appreciation offers to the current SWG community. We also plan to go out with a bang with a galaxy-ending in-game event in December and hope to see you all there. The details relating to these offers and events as well as the timeline and specifics regarding the discontinuation of the service, are provided below.

Again, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our player community for making SWG one of the best online communities in gaming history.

Sincerely,

Sony Online Entertainment & LucasArts


Comments

    Oh sad.
    Why the hell couldn't they just make it free to play?
    Free to play is the new black.

      Couple factors:

      LucasArts didn't renew SoE's licence to use the IP, meaning SoE couldn't do anything with it even if they wanted to. Eg: Vanguard's practically dead, but Sony owns the IP so they can keep it on life support all they want. But Did SoE push to have the contract renewed, risking potential expense on a low-reward, very niche project, or did LucasArts rule the option out completely? We don't know, and unless there's a leak, we won't know.

      SWTOR quite possibly releases around the same time. It's a fairly safe bet LucasArts is hoping that a percentage (not necessarily a HIGH percentage) of SWG players who were more interested in the franchise than the sandbox will make the jump to SWTOR.

      With resources tight over at SoE (see layoffs earlier in the year), it's unlikely they put up much of a fight to keep SWG when they could move those resources over to a potentially-lucrative new IP.

      Server costs. Not realistic with no income.

    "...the original massively multiplayer online role-playing game..."

    Really? Huh. Learn something new every day!

    Had an awesome time a few years back with this mmo. Kinda sad to see it go even though i have no desire to play it anymore.

    SWOR i guess will take any remaining players i guess. Catch ya Europe-Farstar!

      Its sad that they think TOR will fill SWG's void.
      The 2 games are nothing alike, and i highly doubt TOR will provide such a stable and continued support like SWG has over the last 8 years.

      Sandbox really is a dying platform, and TOR will stick the dagger into the only Starwars sandbox game out there.

      TOR will be a great campaign story game with great dialogue, and a nice plot.
      But the free roam experience that massively recently referred to as "the uncle owen experience" will cease to exist.

      Not to mention that old republic era is far less interesting and brutal in comparison to GCW era.

      Quite sad.

        I agree with you buddy. The universe that is the original triolgy is been far forgotten with the new generation and i would imagine there will be nothing like this in terms of scale ever again.

        Free to play would of been a great idea but SOE wouldn't i guess justify the costs of keeping even a couple of servers open.

          Cost is irrelevant if you don't hold the licence to the Intellectual Property. See my above comment.

        TOR looks like a pretty good sw mmo, going by the intro video they released.

        Your power level is dictated by the number of light sabers you can wield at one time, and as you level up you get MOAR light sabers.

        Can't wait to be rollin' with ma sith dude who's got SIXTEEEN light sabers duct taped around.

        I would love to defend and possibly get hopeful about TOR, but it's cut-scenes are the stupidest, most over the top cut scenes in video games since force unleashed 2, and we all know how good that game is. le Sigh.

    """Star Wars Galaxies, the original massively multiplayer online role-playing game..."""

    What about Ultima Online, released in 1997, 6 year before Star Wars Galaxies, for which Richard Garriot coined the term MMORPG?

    Or are you using the term 'original' in a way I am unfamiliar with?

      I think they mean original Star Wars MMO

    Sweet. Now maybe my cousin will actually play ANY OTHER GAME.

    No matter what anyone might say, this game might not have been the best but it still was the best star wars game that was ever made. You could visit a lot of planets from the universe of star wars as the famous tatooine (or however its actually spelled), choose any profession from Bounty hunter to soldier and Jedi, become a pilot for the faction you belonged to and take command of your favourite spacecraft may it have been the famous millenium falcon model or the deadly fast A-wing!

    You could even own your house and you own guild town! Make your own events with NPCs generated on your own! You were also able to travel the world using your very own speeder or speedbike or even the famous basilisk, devastating war machine of the Mandalorians! But maybe would you prefer the more mobile version of the AT-ST?

    No matter what anyone will think or say, this game is a great game to be remembered. Id only it was possible to play it years later as it is possible to play for instance ... the good old Tie Fighter game!

    I think SOE really let the customers down by not working on a SWG 2, fixing all the mistakes made in the first one. Hell I play that little star wars clonewars minigame they have and the lightsaber combat and animation is far superior the TOR by way of comparison.

    They should have fought harder to retain the IP, maybe lucas wanted to much. I think the Bioware game is going to be a flash in the pan. It doesn't have the community or staying power unless you are into raiding new content every 3 months or so.

    Crafting, weak
    sandbox play weak
    space, weak to nonextistent, shooter on rails.

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