In July, CEO of EA John Riccitiello revealed the existence of a second Star Wars massively-multiplayer-online-game, or MMOG, as they’re known. The first, Star Wars Galaxies, was initially popular when released in 2003, but after sweeping changes were made to the gameplay in late 2005, players left in their droves. This new attempt at hooking the vast intellectual property that is Star Wars into a MMO framework looks like it could be successful.
The game will be based on the popular Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) RPGs, which are set nearly 4,000 years before the events of the films and the unpopular prequels. It’s got tonnes of Jedi Knights, all of whom are fighting an army of the Sith. The games revolved around choosing between the light and the dark side, and sold very well on the Xbox and PC platforms.
KOTOR 3 was brought up, but the developers felt that they’d be able to do far more if they were to do it in an online environment. Lead Designer James Ohlen said:
“Our fans ask, ‘Why aren’t you doing Knights of the Old Republic 3?’ What we’re really doing is Knights of the Old Republic 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12-plus. We have that much content and that many stories…We really get to do a lot of things we really wouldn’t get to do in [a] KOTOR 3.”
Players will be able to join the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire, but that’s not the same thing as “good” and “evil”. Players who are a member of the republic will be allowed to join the dark side, and there will be light-side Sith. Head Writer, Daniel Erickson justifies this:
“The Sith were literally chased out of the galaxy by the Jedi. You had an entire culture and people who were pushed out of known space. So you get these guys who come back and have a big chip on their shoulder. So if you’re playing on their side as a good guy, you’re not going to just go run over to the Republic, because the Republic tried to wipe out your entire people.”
The MMO is still firmly in development, but apparently you’ll be able to get a lightsaber relatively early on in the game. Absolutely no word on pricing or release dates, but if Bioware apply the same high standards to this as they did to the KOTOR games, then there’s no reason why it won’t be incredible.
Gamespot Interview with the developers (via CrunchGear)