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Star Wars – The Old Republic Announced

Yesterday, LucasArts and BioWare officially announced Star Wars: The Old Republic, confirming what many had suspected for a long time: that the long-time Star Wars rpg maker had plans to enter the MMORPG market, and that LucasArts was desperate to retry an entry into the market and needed a prestigious game company like BioWare to make gamers listen. Well, LucasArts was correct, and the blogosphere is full with good reviews of the new game, despite the severe flaws of LucasArts’ last MMORPG collaboration with Sony, “Star Wars: Galaxies.” check it out
So, what distinguishes this version from the others? For starters, it was created from the ground up by BioWare, a studio known for its work in the space saga and role-playing games. BioWare would have a recipe that could dethrone World of Warcraft as the top dog in the multi-billion dollar MMO market if it could successfully make the leap to developing a fantastic enormous multiplayer RPG. In fact, the US MMO industry is approaching $2 billion, while the Asian MMO industry is approaching $3 billion. Because of the global appeal of the Star Wars brand, this might be a game-changer. In many ways, Star Wars’ appeal surpasses Warcraft’s: although Warcraft is well-known among gamers worldwide, the sci-fi is well-known by practically everyone in the globe, gamer or not. Even in international markets, such an appeal could entice new first-time huge multiplayer gamers.
However, given this game’s failure to elicit such a good response, how can BioWare’s attempt be any different? To begin, “Galaxies” aimed to deceive gamers in order to make a quick cash. LucasArts did not play a significant role in the development of the game, instead only granting Sony a licence to do so. Sony then proceeded to have the heinous idea of taking a mediaeval MMORPG engine, Everquest, and essentially repainting the mediaeval environments to seem like they were from Star Wars. The more amusing aspect of Galaxies was that, despite being a “Star Wars” game, there was no space battle at launch, and the chance of becoming a Jedi was slim. To top it off, the combat required little skill because it mostly involved auto-attacking, or what many gamers refer to as “sandwich combat,” in which you can click, set a target, start attacking them, and then walk away to eat a sammich.