By now you’ve heard, WOW is going free to play (at least the first twenty levels..). Love it or hate it, World of Warcraft was (and still is) undoubtedly the most popular MMO in history. World of Warcraft was so popular at one point that it boasted an insane 12 million subscribers. That’s 12 million people paying a MONTHLY fee of $15.00. Blizzard and Activison were making so much money that they could probably feed a hungry 3rd world nation sloppy joes on a regular basis (yum).
So this is how it all ends. It’s been a long journey for Star Wars Galaxies. I wasn’t there in the beginning but close to it. Today, Sony Online Entertainment released the following statement:
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 [link omitted].
It’s obviously a smart move. The once populated corners of the galaxy have become but huddled masses on Coruscant and Tatooine, most of which are little more than street hawkers and desperate bots dancing for credits in exchange for buffs. Sure, some diehard folks would have stuck with the game once SWToR is released, but the reality of the situation is clear. Rather than try to compete in the current MMO landscape (and especially against SWToR), it’s time to give this game the proper sendoff.
I played for a few years, and like many others, was a drifter in the Galaxy — A lonely neutral droid engineer who tended to his resource extractors and crafting stations across multiple planets. Somewhere along the way the entire game system was revamped in the world shattering NGE, which made the game play more like an “arcade MMO” (that’s a thing right?) than a tactical one. Personally, I didn’t mind. I never played as a Jedi, nor did I ever desire to grind my way to get there. I just played to be a part of the world, and I eventually moved on too.
Occasionally SoE would offer a free week or two here and there for previous subscribers to come check out the latest publish — I started an alt, a Spy of sorts, because it was relatively easy to solo — and while it was nice to dabble for a few weeks, I could never find a reason to stay. It became too difficult to find parts and people to repair my Starship, and most of the other players I did encounter either wanted to duel or sell me something, neither of which I was interested in.
So now’s your last chance to see SWG, you must have an active account in good standing by Sept 15th, to fight for the fate of the Galaxy (at least the instance of it on your server).
Feel free to share your SWG stories in the comments.