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Star Wars Galaxies Players File Suit Against Sony

By - Source: VentureBeat | B 56 comments

Apparently a petition wasn't enough, as now many Star Wars Galaxies subscribers have filed a class-action lawsuit against SOE to keep the MMORPG open.

Earlier this week, LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment said that the long-running Star Wars Galaxies MMORPG will be shut down on December 15 due to the end of the licensing agreement, declining subscriptions and competing MMORPGs. Immediately speculation arose claiming that the decision was based on the launch of a "competing" MMOG from EA and BioWare in Q4 2011 called Star Wars: The Old Republic. Admittedly there's no question that the timing of closing SWG and launching SW:TOR doesn't seem like mere coincidence.

Upset over the announcement, more than 2,500 SWG fans (and counting) launched a petition to keep the virtual world up and running. After it went live, SOE reportedly started locking forum topics and banning players related to the petition. The company later defended its actions by saying that "promoting an online petition causes disruption within the community and does not provide gameplay feedback that our development team can use." The explanation was contradictory to say the least.

The petition itself offers up several options in order to keep the MMORPG alive and kicking: (1) Making the game free to play (2) Making the game free to play, with premium content available for those wishing to purchase a subscription (3) Maintain the Trading Card Game as part of Star Wars Galaxies, and continue to charge for purchases made to the TCG (4) Continue to offer free character transfers from one "Galaxy" (server) to another, while monitoring population levels on each server, to facilitate further server closures in order to reduce operational expenditures.

But apparently the petition isn't enough. VentureBeat reports that several SWG subscribers have written in claiming that they actually filed a class-action lawsuit against SOE to prevent the company from shutting down the game. The lawsuit also centers on SOE swinging it's Ban-Hammer in the forums, and how one player was labeled as the protest "ring leader" and threatened with a permanent ban from all SOE games. Even more, SOE allegedly threatened to sue this specific "ring leader" for trying to cause "unlawful harm to the company."

Naturally the lawsuit won't stand up in court thanks to every single player agreeing to the company's end-user license agreement. Not only does the company have every right to close the MMORPG, but the right to kick troublemakers off its forums. Still, the lawsuit isn't surprising given the SWG drama that's unfolded over the past eight years. Fans have been passionate about the game from day one and will continue to act accordingly long into the launch of Star Wars The Old Republic.

Still, it will be interesting to see how this "lawsuit" unfolds, so stay tuned.... and may the schwartz be with you.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    mrmike_49 , July 1, 2011 5:20 AM
    I'm getting REAL tired of seeing and hearing how companies abuse their users on the forums: censorship is rampant, almost total. Most mods are petty bureaucrats and would be tyrants (that's the kind of people who volunteer to be unpaid mods!). The postings are censored so as to "not offend" either your great grandma or your 8 year old kid. All in all, I've come to the conclusion that company owned game forums should be obsolete
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2011 5:21 AM
    SOE has always been horrible at caring about it's subscribers. They just don't care.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    mrmike_49 , July 1, 2011 5:20 AM
    I'm getting REAL tired of seeing and hearing how companies abuse their users on the forums: censorship is rampant, almost total. Most mods are petty bureaucrats and would be tyrants (that's the kind of people who volunteer to be unpaid mods!). The postings are censored so as to "not offend" either your great grandma or your 8 year old kid. All in all, I've come to the conclusion that company owned game forums should be obsolete
  • Display all 56 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2011 5:21 AM
    SOE has always been horrible at caring about it's subscribers. They just don't care.
  • 9 Hide
    alikum , July 1, 2011 6:18 AM
    mrmike_49I'm getting REAL tired of seeing and hearing how companies abuse their users on the forums: censorship is rampant, almost total. Most mods are petty bureaucrats and would be tyrants (that's the kind of people who volunteer to be unpaid mods!). The postings are censored so as to "not offend" either your great grandma or your 8 year old kid. All in all, I've come to the conclusion that company owned game forums should be obsolete

    Wholeheartedly agree
  • -9 Hide
    theohtechguru , July 1, 2011 6:42 AM
    can we say #ANTISEC strikes again! lulz
  • 1 Hide
    henydiah , July 1, 2011 6:51 AM
    very detrimental to our fans and throwing away
  • -1 Hide
    yettyman , July 1, 2011 7:52 AM
    Well looking at it from their point of view. The subscriber base must not be large enough to justify supporting it so a company isn't going to risk losing money for a very low chance of making it.

    Also forums on websites can do whatever they want. They run them, maintain them, and you don't have to use them. If they have rules that you don't want to follow or the mods tell you not to do something you don't really have a reason to complain.
  • 4 Hide
    iolas , July 1, 2011 8:06 AM
    People still want to play SWG? It hasn't been its brilliant self since the CU back in 2005. Frankly, after 2005, SWG has been trash.
  • 8 Hide
    hostel_bant , July 1, 2011 8:07 AM
    No lawsuit has been filed. As drafter of the petition, and a spokesperson for those trying to save Star Wars Galaxies, there has been no talk whatsoever of any lawsuit being filed.

    For those not familiar with our community, there are several irrationally negative people who are still upset at SOE and Lucas Arts over massive game changes implemented in 2005. It is my belief that a group of these like minded individuals, or as someone else suggested, an outside group, contacted various news sources in an effort to disparage the petitioning group.

    Those person's engaged in actively trying to petition Star Wars Galaxies are very disheartened over this alleged lawsuit, as they feel it paints them in a bad light. We are committed to using every legal means at our disposal to lobby SOE and LA to keep this game open. The concept of taking legal action will only be considered as a last resort measure in the face of unlawful action.

    For further comments, and to contact me for any further statements, please visit the petition website.
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveswg/blog
  • -2 Hide
    jamesedgeuk2000 , July 1, 2011 8:53 AM
    Im sure the protests/threats will stop SOE from killing the game, it worked with The Matrix Online didnt it Oh... Wait...
  • 7 Hide
    fellfromgrace , July 1, 2011 10:36 AM
    Every online game that I know states they reserve the right to shut down servers and stop service anytime they want. It's doubtful there is even any lawsuits being filed but even if they are it's a waste of time and money.

    Move on people.

    The way the game sounds before Sony ruined it sounded absolutely amazing but it's never coming back.

    Best bet now is to look for public servers. Hell if all you petitioners got together you could just found your own private server.
  • 4 Hide
    omac1a , July 1, 2011 11:26 AM
    At what point does a company stop supporting a game? If it's not making money then what's wrong with shutting it down? I loved LOST and would love to still see it on TV, but I'm not going to sue Bad Robot for not making any more episodes. As for banning people about the petition thing, that's kind of a dick move.

    Aren't there any 'rogue' servers out there where people could migrate to?
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2011 11:35 AM
    Ok some people just...dont...get it
    1) The forum is a privately owned forum. Owned mind you by SOE, they can legally establish ANY rules they want, including censorship. There are NO rights to freedom of speech on that forum. Players/people can start up any number of blogs and or fan based web sites and complain all they want as loud as they want. Their ability to protest is not hindered. Just because they arent allowed to do so in someone elses house is not infringement on their freedoms of speech.

    2) Sue SOE all you want..it wont go anywhere, all the protesters up in arms and wanting to sue SOE for SWG being shut down is silly to say the least. SOE has no RIGHTS to keep the game open if LucasArts says NAY. Is everyone conveniently forgetting that SOE has a CONTRACT with LucasArts, and that LA has always maintained the right to pull that plug should they so desire. Guess what? They DESIRE! SOE has no recourse, hence suing SOE is a waste of time and effort since its LA that has pulled the plug on the rights to use their material. LA is under no OBLIGATION whatsoever to be FORCED to provide their content to people they dont want to have or to use it and to assume they should it ludicrous. Get over it people..its a trash game lauded by the rest of the gaming world as such. It doesnt BELONG to any of the players, it is the sole property of SOE who ONLY has the right to support it via agreement with LA. LA pulled their permission. End of story..game over.

    "This isnt the game your looking for.....move along"
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2011 12:14 PM
    just go to swgemu instead
  • 1 Hide
    seller417 , July 1, 2011 1:11 PM
    I would be interested in a free server...if anyone knows of one (with game play prior to '05) plz post a link. That game was really fun when it 1st launched.
  • 0 Hide
    Hatecrime69 , July 1, 2011 1:35 PM
    there are still people playing after the whole 'combat upgrade' fiasco? You'd think they'd all be drooling over bioware's star wars mmo and not give a damn about sony's 'I don't care' attempt at a star wars mmo
  • 0 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , July 1, 2011 2:02 PM
    "Naturally the lawsuit won't stand up in court thanks to every single player agreeing to the company's end-user license agreement. Not only does the company have every right to close the MMORPG, but the right to kick troublemakers off its forums. Still, the lawsuit isn't surprising..."

    What the crap is wrong with people nowadays! It's a bunch of adults acting like kids when their parents take their toys from them. I'm so tired of the "me" generation--it is literally making me sick to my stomach.

    NO ONE promised it would last forever. It's their game and they can shut it down if they want to. And now players are surprised that after years of complaints about SWG from fans, mixed with the enthusiasm for the upcoming SWTOR, Sony "suddenly" announced they were dropping support for SWG?

    Doodoodoodoo doodoodoodoo...
  • 2 Hide
    ProDigit10 , July 1, 2011 2:25 PM
    That's what you're going to get when you're making everything online and cloud!
    People end up having nothing in the end, while I at least still have a working CD ROM of a PC game I purchased 10 years ago!
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2011 3:21 PM
    Except, those forums aren't public, they are owned by the company and they can do whatever they want? Ignorant people complaining about censorship when they have no idea what they are talking about is what bothers me.

    You want to bitch and moan about the game closing? Do it in private, doing so on SWG forums is basically going into someones house and telling them off, then when they kick you out, you try to sue them. Makes no sense.
  • 0 Hide
    learn2beajournalist , July 1, 2011 3:48 PM
    There is no lawsuit. If you had actually read the VentureBeat article before writing this link bait.

    From VentureBeat: A number of Star Wars Galaxies players have written to VentureBeat and said they want to file a lawsuit against Sony Online Entertainment. But there’s zero chance that will happen.

    They "WANT" to file a lawsuit. Someone needs a crash course in journalism.
  • 1 Hide
    techguy911 , July 1, 2011 4:12 PM
    The people that want it closed far exceed the ones that don't because of the CU and changes afterwards more players quit than total players that joined or played the game since.
    I was one of those and i know 50 personally they ruined a great game at expense of loosing a huge player base it deserves to be shut down, maybe swgemu will get off the ground since they won't have sony breathing down their necks.

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