Iconic RPG studio BioWare has been removed from its long-running MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic after over a decade of service.
Released in 2011, the sprawling Star Wars MMO was one of the most expensive games ever made. The free-to-play online RPG is the last official product to use the Old Republic setting, although it is now non-canon.
EA has confirmed rumours that BioWare is no longer going to be handling the Star Wars MMO as the studio moves to support new AAA RPGs. With new Mass Effect and Dragon Age games on the way, the studio has been forced to leave Star Wars behind.
Instead, the MMO will be looked after by Broadsword Online Games, a studio known for MMOs such as Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot. Headed by ex-BioWare vice president and Mythic Entertainment, who started The Old Republic game, the MMO does seem to be in good hands.
“Almost 12 years after launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community,” EA said in a prepared statement. “We're so proud of the work the team has done, and the future of the game and the community continues to be very bright."
“We're evaluating how we give the game and the team the best opportunity to grow and evolve, which includes conversations with Broadsword, a boutique studio that specialises in delivering online, community-driven experiences. Our goal is to do what is best for the game and its players."
Broadsword Online Games isn’t yet the curator of BioWare’s massive MMO, but EA expects the deal to close as soon as this month. According to reports, the studio will be joined by approximately half of BioWare’s Old Republic staff to keep development of new content rolling.
Despite being 12 years old, The Old Republic is still graced with frequent updates, events and expansions. The game’s eight expansion, Legacy of the Sith, was released on February 15, 2022 for players of the MMO.
In the latest expansion, BioWare raised the game’s level cap to 80, revamped its character customisation, and expanded its already robust class system. The MMO shows no sign of slowing.
BioWare’s classic RPG series, Knights of the Old Republic is also making a comeback. Alongside the troubled KOTOR remake, the original games have been ported to modern systems, although they are also not without issues.
Star Wars’ Old Republic timeline is not canon at the time of writing, instead being replaced by the new, shinier High Republic. However, there is hope that some of the old canon’s classic stories can be reintroduced into the new timeline.