On the 8th anniversary of Star Wars Galaxies, Sony Online Entertainment have decided to shut down the long-running Scifi MMORPG: Star Wars Galaxies. The planned date for closing is December 15th 2011. The decision to close the game has been met with waves of protest from players and fans of the game, who lodged massive protests and petitions in the Star Wars Galaxies forums. Their efforts were futile it seems, as they were promptly deleted by SOE and deemed as having ’caused disruption’. Players are trying to take it further by taking legal action against having their forum posts deleted, but somehow I feel that is not going to get them very far.
It is definitely a cause for concern when a company brings out a big MMORPG title, then when it ceases to be profitable simply take it down again, leaving thousands of players empty handed. The players have been loyal customers for years, pumping thousands of dollars into a game in order to build their character(s) and online assets, only to have them deleted at the whims of the company running the game. Do players have a right to retain something for all their efforts and money spent? Should the company release the source code for the game to the public after they shut it down thus allowing players to continue to develop the game? When you run a MMORPG for 8 years you build a community. Friendships are forged, and empires are built. Is it really fair to have all this deleted without another word?SOE also ran the popular MMORPG: The Matrix Online, which was shut down in July 2009. The same story applies to that game. Although it wasn’t profitable enough for SOE, there was still a demand for that game, yet nobody will ever be able to play it again. Even those who spent a fortune playing it. Doesn’t seem right to me.
Star Wars Galaxies will be sorely missed by many, although there is some hope for Star Wars MMORPG fans, with the impending release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is most likely going to be hugely popular when it comes out. Especially with the demise of it’s older brother SWG. Also there will be a big event for the closing of Star Wars Galaxies, and the last couple of months will be free for those already subscribed. So there will at least be something to look forward to for the players before their game is closed forever.