Star Wars: The Old Republic dev calls studio move "a new beginning, not the end" for the MMO

Star Wars The Old Republic
(Image credit: BioWare)

A Star Wars: The Old Republic developer has reassured fans that the MMO moving studios is "a new beginning, not the end."

Earlier this week, it was reported that Star Wars: The Old Republic could be leaving BioWare to continue development at another studio - Ultima Online developer Broadsword, to be exact. As you'd expect, fans were a little apprehensive about the change, with many concerned that this meant the popular MMO was heading towards the end of its life. 

Following all of the news, some of BioWare's former and current developers shared their thoughts on the proposed switch, reassuring fans that their beloved Star Wars MMO was safe. One of these developers is BioWare executive producer Keith Kanneg, who worked a senior developer on SWTOR having joined the development team prior to its 2014 expansion.

"Whoa whoa, everyone... I was hoping me telling you about the upcoming releases would help you understand this is a new beginning, not the end," Kanneg posts on Star Wars: The Old Republic forum. "We have more stories, modernizations, and MMO content already being planned out beyond 7.4." The post ends: "While details are being discussed and finalized behind the scenes, let's not spin this into incorrect theories. I am asking you to hang tight and we'll follow up later with more details when we can."

Elsewhere, Chris Schmidt, former design director at BioWare (now a game director at Infinity Ward), shared a detailed Twitter thread explaining exactly what they think of EA's recently announced plans. "For SWTOR: this is a good thing," Schmidt explains, "for BioWare: This is a big loss."  

The developer elaborates in several follow-up tweets. After giving context to what it was like working at BioWare Austin (the studio behind SWTOR) as well as the MMO business in general, Schmidt adds: "This feels like an exciting new chapter to me, and I’m optimistic about what this means for that team and the game." 

The thread continues: "As far as [BioWare], it would have certainly been in their best interest as a business to maximize exposure and support for SWTOR publicly over the years since the SWTOR revenue has allowed for the…unusually long…dev cycles to continue for the last several games." 

"But now, without SWTOR," Schmidt adds, "there will be less places to hide heads, R&D, and time. You’ve got blockbuster single-player experiences hitting high Metacritic scores with…2-3 year dev cycles? And the [BioWare] pattern has been…double? Triple that? I think it will be interesting to see how the EA/BW relationship continues to evolve in this new world." 

Looking for something new to play? Take a look at our best MMORPG games list.  

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.