Star Wars: The Old Republic development to be handled by a third-party studio
BioWare is planning on taking a step back from the MMO to focus on the development of future Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles, with its operations being handed over to a third-party studio.
- On June 6, sources told IGN that Electronic Arts (EA), the publisher of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), had signed a letter of intent with Broadsword Online Games, which is expected to keep the game supported in place of its original developer, BioWare. Broadsword is the current developer behind Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot and was founded by Rob Denton, a former Mythic Entertainment co-founder and BioWare executive who previously worked on SWTOR.
- Following the publication of IGN's report, EA issued a statement stating that it was "evaluating" how it could give "the game and the team the best opportunity to grow and evolve," including "conversations" with Broadsword. It went on to say that its ultimate goal is to do "what is best for the game and its players," but it did not explicitly state that Broadsword would be the studio in charge of development going forward.
- Currently, 70 to 80 people are working on the title, with more than half of the staff expected to transfer to Broadsword. Those who remain at EA will most likely be assigned to other projects within the company or will be laid off as part of the publisher's recent job cuts. EA will continue to publish the game in the future.
- SWTOR was released in December 2011, and it was dubbed one of the most expensive games in terms of development costs. The title was an instant success for EA and BioWare, with over one million subscribers in the first three days, though it began to lose many of its subscribers in the months that followed, eventually introducing a hybrid free-to-play model. Patches and PvP seasons are regularly released, bringing new content to the game.
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- According to a former developer, despite a seven-year development cycle, BioWare's Anthem was completed in just 15 months. For nearly a year and a half, the developer and other team members allegedly worked up to 90-hour work weeks.