Star Wars: The Old Republic

The past decade has made it clear that gaming, not film, is the medium where the great Star Wars tales of this generation are being told. While George Lucas was busy working on the mediocre-at-best Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Baldur’s Gate developer BioWare was crafting the outstanding role-playing game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which earned PC Gamer’s Game of the Year award in 2003.

These past two years, while LucasFilm was making this year’s childish and critically panned animated feature, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, BioWare was working secretly on its next project: Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer RPG set 3,600 years before Lucas’s films, and sharing the original trilogy’s spirit of fantasy adventure, mature yet jovial tone, and appeal for all ages. BioWare has picked up the torch that Lucas dropped somewhere along the way; this is where the fans of old-school Star Wars storytelling belong.

No pressure or anything - although Dr. Ray Muzyka, cofounder of BioWare, is already well aware of the stakes. “It’s something I think we recognize as a real challenge: to meet and exceed the expectations of fans. And that’s something that’s very sobering, because we’re big fans ourselves. We want to make sure that our audience gets something they can look at and say, ‘Wow, this is the best MMORPG I’ve ever played, and I love it, and it’s everything I wanted a Star Wars game to be.’ That’s a big challenge, but we want to take that on,” he says as The Old Republic is unveiled at BioWare’s Austin studio. “We want this to be the biggest thing we’ve ever done at BioWare.”

But with BioWare’s Edmonton, Canada studio hard at work on games set in universes they themselves created (Dragon Age, and presumably the second part of the Mass Effect epic), why did the developer decide to devote so many of its resources to someone else’s story? “We love Star Wars, is the easy answer,” says Muzyka. “George Lucas created something that’s pretty amazing, with all this rich potential, and there are so many great things you get to do. It’s a universe that we’re very passionate about from having worked on Knights of the Old Republic and from just loving the great elements in Star Wars.”

With The Old Republic, BioWare’s stated goal is to put you into your personal Star Wars fantasy. No, not the one where Princess Leia asks you to polish her golden bikini; the PG-13 one, where you’re a hero fighting an epic battle between good and evil, and your actions determine the fate of the galaxy.


  • JediTy - December 1, 2008 4:57 p.m.

    endgame makes a good point. creating MMOs propably isnt exactly the easiest thing. All those people that are getting pissed off because MMOs are "hard" and what not. I enjoy a challenge. But put yourself in their shoes, OK? you most likely dont even know how to make a simple "collect ten cherries" game. So dont blame Bioware and LucasArts for that
  • endgame - December 1, 2008 4:37 p.m.

    bioware made the right choice as allways. this is going to be awesome., what? ppl do not agree? yes, i'm sorry, u guys r all so smart and have so much experience with making mmos. i think bioware should "let everyone go" and hire u guys. yes, since u guys r so awesome and all knowing. LOL AT EVERY PERSON WHO'S AGAINST WHAT BIOWARE DOES!!! i really feel sorry for u.. heh.
  • JudgeDeath - November 25, 2008 3:17 p.m.

    I personally think this is a great idea. I mean, sure, Star Wars: Galaxies wasn't the best game, but there's a reason for that. It had no commercial appeal, and it got left on the floor. The same goes for Lord of the Rings online. Both are excellent MMO's, but they are all lacking commercial appeal. If Bioware can (and if anyone can, Bioware can) make this into the game everyone wants it to be, they will have a powerhouse on their hands. They will need to focus on the basics mostly: Storyline. Star Wars is known for having one of the most in-depth storylines in the sci-fi world, even today. When they made KotoR, they expanded that tenfold, and people loved it. That is one of the main reasons for World of Warcraft's success. Also, they need to work on the simplicity of gameplay. No one likes a game that's too complicated to even start playing. That's what I think was wrong with Galaxies. They need to make it simple, for the younger age, and add more complicated tactics and such for the more hardcore MMO gamers out there. I mean, if they follow the path World of Warcraft has put down, they should have no problem making this into an excellent MMO.
  • radicle94 - November 22, 2008 4:25 p.m.

    if there was an $15 monthly fee only the most devoted will buy the game because thats $180 a year not including the game cost. WoW doesnt even charge that much.
  • grappler51 - November 21, 2008 10:39 p.m.

    This looks awesome! I don't play MMOS but i'm getting this. As long as theres no monthly fee
  • TheCorpulent1 - November 21, 2008 5:35 p.m.

    This article does make some parts of the game sound interesting, but I still doubt I'll play this. Between the monthly fees, having to deal with jerks online, and the inevitable grinding (MMOs wouldn't be MMOs without it), it just seems like more trouble than it's worth. I really wish they'd just given us a third installment in the KOTOR series instead.
  • ChogWolf - November 21, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    I call Bull... Bioware is just looking for a piece of that WOW cash..
  • DarthSeaBass - November 21, 2008 12:47 p.m.

    I'd guess it all depends on who's publishing if it's EA then i'd say it definately will have a monthly fee along with overpriced "expansions" that are just glorified patches.
  • Drosa - November 21, 2008 2:25 a.m.

    Like most, I would rather have a KotOR III. However, the more I read out the MMO the more promising it sounds. If Bioware can actaully pull it off I'll give it a try.
  • jar-head - November 21, 2008 2:04 a.m.

    well i have played SWG, it was pretty fun, but bioware should be more focused on mass effect 2 And kotor 3, and not take the risk of making an MMOG, But, like in swg, people were Craving of how someone would put KOTOR With online capabilities, thats where bioware corp comes in.
  • Sebastian16 - November 21, 2008 12:36 a.m.

    I absolutely agree with Revan.
  • Thecakeisalie - November 25, 2008 10:12 p.m.

    They better find a way to put this on consoles or somebody is goona get hurt
  • JediTy - November 25, 2008 1 a.m.

    Ive gotta say, Im stumped. At first I was excited about this game, but the graphics are cheesey, MMOs ususally have sub. fees, and I wont like it unless its an actionMMO. Im also liking this idea. Its good because there is no "tutorial island" or "Starters Quest" or anything like that. You can pick your species, Class, side, and story. You can fly to many planets in YOUR Ship that YOU made and not have to steel it from "Davik the Crime Lord." So in many ways, this game sucks, and rocks. Ive never picked a best Star Wars game, or a worst, because theyre all just "Not Bad." This one could make the best or the worst. Thats All.
  • Sebastian16 - November 22, 2008 1:52 a.m.

    Of course there will be a monthly fee with all that content and whatnot. SWG sucked total ass, and it cost $15 a month. So I'll crucify myself if there is not a monthly fee that comes along with it.
  • Weasel - November 21, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    Sounds pretty good thus far, but at this stage of development they're still free to promise the moon and stars above when it comes to actual gameplay and content. It all sounds good in an article, but it's anyone's guess as to how it'll actually work until it's been on the shelf for 3 months and has been patched into playability. Having said that, i'm cautiously optimistic, and if I can get a HK-50 (or whatever) droid companion it will definitely have my attention. If it were anyone but Bioware though, i'd probably barely care.
  • jimsondanet - November 21, 2008 10:01 a.m.

    monthly fees suck people should only have to pay for the original then added content if chosen hopefully with the increased dev of free mmo's relying on content purchasing, monthly fees will be squashed
  • RadianTrild - November 21, 2008 7:12 a.m.

    I hope they don't charge a monthly fee to play it. That is the only reason i have never, and will never purchase a game like WoW. Son't they make enough money as it is?
  • Defguru7777 - November 21, 2008 2:29 a.m.

    I'm not into MMOs, but this sounds really freaking awesome.
  • Bobafett - November 21, 2008 1:58 a.m.

    I agree with you guys but i also remember the promises about how good the force unleased would be so dont get too excited i would wait until i try it before i say its really good.
  • Nuyen - November 21, 2008 12:45 a.m.

    I agree with Revan aswell.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000