martes, 5 de julio de 2011

tar Wars Galaxies has been slated for termination

Not from the game - just awesome.

If you felt a disturbance in the Force this weekend, like thousands of voices cried out for an instant and were then silenced, it’s because Star Wars Galaxies has been slated for termination. The move comes after rounds of talks between Sony and Lucas Arts, the company that owns and maintains pretty much every element of the Star Wars franchise. It’s not completely out of the blue, by the way, as their contract was slated to end in 2012 anyway. Perhaps there was always a chance that they could come to some kind of agreement and extend the life of the contract, but with a new Star Wars MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game – sometimes called MMOs for short) coming out in 2012 from Lucas Arts, it was decided that the end of 2011 was a good time to wind down the game.

The game is going into “soft shutdown” mode. Starting last week, 3, 6, and 12 month subscriptions were disabled. The game also spawned an associated trading card game, the ecommerce software for which has also been turned off. In an attempt to keep current players inside the Sony family of online entertainment options, Sony is offering users access to a network of other MMOs including DC Universe Online. Maybe these wayward Jedi can find solace keeping the citizens of Gotham safe at night.

Sony has come out as apologetic but pragmatic when unveiling the news:

“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. During the last week that SWG is available…we’re going to end with a bang and we want the final chapter of the galaxy to be written in part by the dedicated and passionate SWG community. Details will be announced at a later date.”

Combined with the access to those other MMOs, this could be a great way to turn the shutdown into a win for the company and the users. MMOs like Star Wars Galaxy, World of Warcraft, and everyone else (who secretly or not-so-secretly wants to be WoW) regularly engage in giant world/galaxy/universe-changing events to introduce new features or world alterations and make the players feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Turning a loss into a gain is a lesson that all online businesses, from Sony to an independent retailer running their own shop with simple ecommerce software can learn from.

Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley reiterated that the closure was a business decision and not driven by any of Sony’s recent hacking problems which may have resulted in a breach of credit card information used on its ecommerce software and other delicate information stored on its servers. Whatever the real reasons, Star Wars fans are getting one last hurrah with their favorite MMO and a few free months at the end there, before going out with a bang.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario