There has been ample talk of late about the state of Star Wars The Old Republic. The minimal communication from the Developers of late and the slow content release cycles has gotten many players increasingly concerned about the future of the game.

To add more fuel to the fire, Kotaku recently published an article about Bioware doubling down on its new IP, Anthem. The article confirmed what I have suspected for some time in that the majority of Developers at Bioware Austin were now working on Anthem. This isn’t something new for Bioware Austin. As the article alluded to, Bioware Austin stuff were pulled from other projects (ie. SWTOR) to work on Dragon Age Inquisition and Mass Effect Andromeda before they were released. SWTOR survived those instances and it can survive Anthem too.

But one paragraph, in particular, has really riled up the SWTOR community.

BioWare has also discussed ending development on the multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic, those sources said, although one person familiar with the studio told me recently that plans are still up in the air. – Jason Schreier

This paragraph seems to imply that there was discussion recently about ending development on SWTOR. Honestly, this conversation has probably happened a few times over the years and with the stakes being really high for Anthem, it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise.

At this point, even if Keith Kanneg (SWTOR’s Lead Game Producer) did come out and address player concerns about the state of the Game, I doubt it would do much to satiate the player base. Only announcing new content and releasing a Road Map will do that. But that doesn’t mean the player base shouldn’t be held accountable (more on this later).

We also have to consider the money, time and resources that went into United Forces (Server Merges). As I’ve said before, why spend all that money on merging the servers if you’re going to stop development on the game a few months later?

As part of this rollout, we have made a substantial investment in hardware, software, and network infrastructure to dramatically improve our service and make your experience awesome. – Keith Kanneg, Fall Road Map 2017

Another thing mentioned in the Kotaku article I found of interest was how the extreme toxicity about EA in the gaming community as a whole has had a negative impact on morale within Bioware studios. This the second article I’ve read recently which has mentioned increasing player toxicity having a negative impact on Developers. An article by a Developer Morgan Jaffit published on Polygon also discussed player toxicity and abuse becoming an increasingly common concern among developers. Player negativity, abuse and toxicity has indeed been getting far worse over the last couple of years in particular.

Negativity about EA has without a doubt had a negative impact on SWTOR. I am getting increasingly concerned about the ever-growing negativity surrounding SWTOR’s future and the impact it will have on the game. It has become more than just a meme now. People are shouting it from the rooftops turning away potential players for fear of sinking with the proverbial ‘TORtanic’.

I understand it’s getting harder to stay optimistic with no new content announced for the year just yet (beyond what we got in 5.7) for SWTOR. But we know they have the right vision for the game. Their focus is back on the ‘MMO bits’ (haha) and creating content for all aspects of the game. We just have to give them a little more time to carry out that vision. Implementing United Forces took up a lot of their time and resources last year. So this year, hopefully, we’ll get more of the content we all love.

I went on a bit of a Twitter rant at the start of the year about ‘dead game’ rhetoric and how dangerous it is. Part of the thread that pertained to SWTOR is embedded below.

Yes, we’re barely a month into 2018 and this rhetoric is already exhausting. That offhand paragraph in the Kotaku article has only made things worse in the SWTOR Community. The Community can and should do better. Ultimately we should be asking ourselves, do we want the game to succeed? Because the way much of the community has been behaving, they don’t want it to.

The game has undoubtedly had its ups and downs but does it deserve to be burnt to the ground when the Developers are actively (albeit slowly) making the effort to bring things back on track? No.

We just had Game Update 5.7 come out this week. It shouldn’t be too much longer until we hear more about what content the SWTOR Developers have in store for us this year.


Update: Keith came onto the forums recently and hinted at future plans for the game including an Expansion. You can read more about it in my article SWTOR’s Game Producer Sets the Record Straight.


What did you think of the Kotaku article? Do you remain hopeful for SWTOR?

 

About Xam Xam

Owner of MMO Bits, and formerly the owner of Xam Xam Says, Xam Xam is an Aussie who has been playing MMO's for over 5 years and can't get enough of them. She mainly plays Healing Classes but will also DPS and reluctantly Tank (if she has one). She prefers to PvP but doesn't mind doing all the other 'MMO bits' as well.

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