Star Wars: The Old Republic was a massive MMORPG launch back in 2011. The game is often called one of the last great MMOs to come out of that era. It was steeped in Bioware story telling with huge plotlines to follow. Factions between the Sith and the Republic, along with Light and Dark side Force choices made for your character. Over time, SWTOR as it is called now continued to see a lot of success. However, as rumors circulate that Bioware Austin may be moving on to new projects, is it time for the republic to end?
Electronic Arts has been supporting SWTOR for a long time, the company recently closed down a Star Wars project due to its single player nature. A sign many herald as EA’s strategy of supporting online game play to continue revenue streams from games. Something that SWTOR has definitely taught them. The question becomes, how much does SWTOR continue to make for the company?
With games like Anthem on the horizon EA is definitely expanding into the online space. They already host huge numbers in FIFA online play for fans. As we have seen with many MMOs they never truly go away. SWTOR likely supports a hardcore community of players who continue to explore and build their characters. How much of a development team do you need on the project to support everything going forward?
The expansion schedule for the game was solid in its first five years. DLC content began with Rise of the Hutt Cartel and was followed all the way through 2016. Now though, the game most recently put out an update in December. This smaller output of content is still adding Warzones and options for players. However, their last community announcement was back in May officially. There is still talk on the forums. So this begins the question, is 2018 the last year of Star Wars: The Old Republic?
A lot has happened since the launch of the game. Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for one. Three new movies have been released. EA has put huge resources into the Battlefront series and came under fire this season as Battlefront II suffered from negative fan reviews over its Lootbox system. All of these elements make for a very interesting story. Yet, through it all SWTOR remains, and is likely still a solid revenue stream for EA. However, the loot box controversy even shed light on the possibility of EA losing the Star Wars license from Disney.
The final thought here is simple? Will EA shut down SWTOR? That answer is likely No, for the time being. The game is still a revenue stream and there are no emerging signs brewing that it would be turned off. That is not to say something drastic could happen in the next few months. It could for sure. Moving new resources in a studio onto a game is nothing new for EA, several studios help with bigger projects over time and this is pretty common. However, if Bioware Austin is beginning a new product, then more limited resources will be put toward SWTOR for the future. Which, so far into 2018 we have not heard much from the franchise. With Star Wars changing so much in these last few years, we certainly hope the game stays. Still, it would not be a major surprise if less and less is done with the title.