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RIP: Star Wars Galaxies 2003 - 2011

By - Source: CVG | B 30 comments

So long SWG, and thanks for the memories.

After an eight-year run, Sony Online Entertainment has officially pulled the plug on the subscription-based MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. The virtual epic adventure across George Lucas' Force-themed universe came to a close today thanks to the end of a licensing contract between Lucas and SOE. It also conveniently shuts down operation as a newer, BioWare-developed Star Wars MMOG prepares to launch next week: Star Wars: The Old Republic.

According to several different reports, the virtual Empire-ridden universe went offline following various closing events in the early hours of the morning. The developers even participated in these events, deploying a host of X-Wing fighters and shooting off fireworks similar to the show seen in The Return of the Jedi. PC Gamer actually provides a lengthy insight called "Inside the final hours of Star Wars: Galaxies" which paints a bitter-sweet goodbye to a universe carved out by developers and subscribers alike.

"The death of a player-driven MMO like SWG is different to that of a more prescriptive game," PC Gamer writes. "What is being lost is not just the accumulated experience and credits of thousands of players, but the cities and sculptures that the advanced object manipulation system allowed players to create. Pod-racers created from hundreds of tiny parts; a custom starport built from the ground up. Unless Sony open the game up to the community, all of these are gone forever, beyond the reach of archeology."

Star Wars Galaxies producer Tony "Teesquared" Tyson also posted a lengthy letter to the SWG community on Friday, offering his sincere thanks for sticking with the sci-fi MMOG for all these years. "Looking back on Star Wars Galaxies and all these years I am so thankful for being able to be a part of the Star Wars Galaxies community both as the Producer and as a fan," he writes. "It would not have been the incredible experience that it was without you, the players and fans, the dedicated team of people who worked on it over the years and the fantastic Star Wars galaxy itself, which offered us a very unique and compelling place to explore, fight, play, make friends, and build our homes.

"This is a book of memories, so let me start with a few of my own..."

The game had a rocky path to travel from the start, launching in 2003 with a mixed reception from both the critics and Star Wars fans. On a visual level the game received a thumbs up, but most of the negativity stemmed from the game's overall instability, the overwhelming complexity of the gameplay, combat imbalances of the professions and more. The number of subscribers gradually dropped over time, forcing SOE to completely redesign the gameplay mechanics for combat and armor/weapon systems. Soon after, SOE overhauled the entire Star Wars MMOG in 2005 with an update called "New Game Enhancements." This "upgrade" simplified the gameplay and reduced the number of player classes, but it also caused a huge backlash from the majority of existing subscribers.

But despite the troubled waters, Star Wars Galaxies became part of the foundation that has made online PC gaming what it is today. You may not have been a subscriber, but you knew what it was and where it could be played. You knew all about the drama stemming from the revisions, and may have even wanted to give it a test run at some point. Like EverQuest, Ultima Online, Asheron's Call and Dark Age of Camelot, it has left its mark in PC gaming history, and for many, will be truly missed.

"On behalf of the Star Wars Galaxies team, thank you," SOE stated. "We have truly enjoyed getting to know you - our dedicated players - over the years. From in-game events to Fan Faires, we appreciate your continued loyalty and support. It would not have been possible without you."

Who here needs a tissue? (sniff)

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    zanny , December 17, 2011 11:21 PM
    Why don't developers open source games like this when they kill them off? Or at least release their server software so there could be user hosted servers.
  • 13 Hide
    frye , December 18, 2011 12:14 AM
    ZannyWhy don't developers open source games like this when they kill them off? Or at least release their server software so there could be user hosted servers.


    Like George Lucas would let that happen.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    teaser , December 17, 2011 10:30 PM
    Shame
  • 1 Hide
    Draven35 , December 17, 2011 10:57 PM
    byebye!
  • 19 Hide
    zanny , December 17, 2011 11:21 PM
    Why don't developers open source games like this when they kill them off? Or at least release their server software so there could be user hosted servers.
  • 2 Hide
    Draven35 , December 17, 2011 11:30 PM
    because this game is based off of a star wars license that ran out...
  • 2 Hide
    stingstang , December 17, 2011 11:56 PM
    Was I a slightly lesser man, I would have cried at the end of that article in PC gamer.
  • 13 Hide
    frye , December 18, 2011 12:14 AM
    ZannyWhy don't developers open source games like this when they kill them off? Or at least release their server software so there could be user hosted servers.


    Like George Lucas would let that happen.
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , December 18, 2011 1:44 AM
    too bad, I wanted to give it a try :( 
  • 0 Hide
    lunaticwoda , December 18, 2011 2:49 AM
    The early days were wonderful times. As a very veteran MMO player SWG was one of my favorite MMO's of all time. You can have good graphics game-play etc but SWG was unique, it's most powerful feature was the community. Its not like today's games like WoW where you grind grind grind than raid. You could play SWG for hours at a time not caring about that stuff and ENJOY the game and socialize. It will truly be missed

    Also for those interested. In SWTOR (Dark Reaper) server we will continue the SWG legacy in the guild "Tatooine Hit Squad" Join us today! whisper Lunaticwoda :D 
  • 1 Hide
    webbwbb , December 18, 2011 2:57 AM
    Galaxies lives on! http://swgemu.com
  • 2 Hide
    memadmax , December 18, 2011 3:53 AM
    I hope a server admin somewhere gets really really brave and accidentally dumps the server software on the web =D
  • 0 Hide
    liquidchild , December 18, 2011 3:58 AM
    On a slighty chipper note, SWTOR is bad ass...and hopefully it will some day add in some of the good stuff from SWG
  • 0 Hide
    demonhorde665 , December 18, 2011 4:13 AM
    ask me lucas arts shoudl give galaxy players a free copy of SWTOR , sure you loose 50 bucks on that , but seriously the game wil have a subscription of 14 bucks a month i doubt they would l;oose money doing that
  • 0 Hide
    Hellbound , December 18, 2011 5:30 AM
    SWG will be missed.. It was the first MMo I played from begining to end, since beta 1 through closing..
  • 0 Hide
    JimmiG , December 18, 2011 7:35 AM
    One of the many reasons I don't like online-only games *goes back to play some Morrowind (2002)*
  • 0 Hide
    sissysue , December 18, 2011 12:15 PM
    JimmiGOne of the many reasons I don't like online-only games *goes back to play some Morrowind (2002)*

    Can't remember what I did with my copy but it was fun. SkyRim is good but the random crashes suck. I like the fact if you want the best weapons you better get your smithing skills up to at least 60 so you can upgrade enchanted weapons. PC only, Nexus mod community is the place.
  • 0 Hide
    Dyseman , December 18, 2011 2:38 PM
    NGE Ruined my experience on SWG. My past was EQ launch until DAoC launch until SWG launch until NGE (New Game Experience) then I went dormant. Played WoW Beta but eventually went to EQ2 from Launch until the launch of RIFT. That game gave me no satisfaction, so I quit 2 months after it's launch and just now, I've started with SWTOR. Was getting antsy for some MMO fun again.
  • -1 Hide
    alextheblue , December 18, 2011 3:23 PM
    sissysueCan't remember what I did with my copy but it was fun. SkyRim is good but the random crashes suck. I like the fact if you want the best weapons you better get your smithing skills up to at least 60 so you can upgrade enchanted weapons. PC only, Nexus mod community is the place.
    I haven't had Skyrim crash on me for a long time, a couple of patches back. Even before the patches, I think I crashed a total of three times, and it wasn't random. It was immediately after using quick travel. If you're getting a lot of random crashing, you might want to look at your system as the culprit.
  • 2 Hide
    thillntn , December 18, 2011 4:56 PM
    $ony strikes again.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , December 18, 2011 5:43 PM
    had nothing to do with it being Sony... I bet the liscence for SWTOR is exclusive, i.e. "we will be the only star wars mmo"

    I will always remember SWG as being the first MMO i got sick of grinding on.
  • 0 Hide
    Christopher1 , December 18, 2011 6:32 PM
    Draven35had nothing to do with it being Sony... I bet the liscence for SWTOR is exclusive, i.e. "we will be the only star wars mmo"I will always remember SWG as being the first MMO i got sick of grinding on.


    Yeah, grinding is the biggest problem with these games, to be blunt on the matter. That is why I don't play any MMO's anymore and have gone back to regular RPG's and hidden-object Big Fish games.

    Grinding = killing the game for me and many others.
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