A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, BioWare poured an insane amount of money, developers, and voice talent into making Star Wars: The Old Republic. And now, after over a decade of running this galactic game, BioWare is getting out of the MMO business altogether.IGN is reporting that Electronic Arts is moving SWTOR’s development and operations from BioWare over to Broadsword Games — yes, the same EA/Mythic-spinoff studio that runs the 25-year-old Ultima Online and 21-year-old Dark Age of Camelot. As part of the transition, about half of the 80 or so members of the SWTOR development team will make the move to Broadsword while the rest will either be laid off or find a different position at EA.
“According to sources familiar with the matter, Broadsword and EA have signed a letter of intent, with the deal expected to be finalized as soon as this month,” IGN said. “The agreement would see The Old Republic handed over to current Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot developer Broadsword Online, which is run by former Mythic Entertainment co-founder and BioWare VP Rob Denton, who previously worked on The Old Republic in its early days.”
Broadsword was formed in 2014 when Denton and several other Mythic Entertainment devs left EA to create a studio to handle Mythic’s classic MMOs. SWTOR’s addition will give Broadsword its third and youngest title to handle.
Worth noting here is that Denton founded Loric Games along with other Mythic Entertainment and BioWare veterans last year; they’re also working on a new survival game.
EA will continue to publish SWTOR, which is expected to continue developing patches and content going forward. For its part, BioWare will apparently refocus its efforts on its single-player RPG franchises.
“Almost 12 years after launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community. 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 specializes in delivering online, community-driven experiences. Our goal is to do what is best for the game and its players.”