When Star Wars Galaxies shut down nearly three years ago, it left a community longing to return to the Star Wars sandbox where they could build their own city, own a ship, join the Empire or Rebellion, and basically live out their life in the galaxy far, far away. While bringing back “Star Wars Galaxies” with that name and exact code is difficult with EA owning the exclusive Star Wars rights and SOE developing the original game, it would be possible for someone to do a Star Wars sandbox MMO in the same vein of SWG. Here are five reasons why that style of game deserves to return:
Sandboxes Are Very Popular Now
From the insane popularity of Minecraft to the early success of Landmark, the sandbox genre is huge. It’s a testament to how before its time Star Wars Galaxies was. If the game were released a decade later, it would’ve been a huge hit and we would’ve never seen the NGE that transformed it away from a sandbox to a WoW-style theme park. Landmark has proven that a sandbox can work in the free to play environment, and the fact that SOE has realized that sandbox MMOs are the way to go, shows that Galaxies is a game that deserves a return.
Star Wars is Back
Now that Disney has bought Lucasfilm, we’re not just getting one new Star Wars movie, we’re getting new Star Wars movies from now to who knows when. That’s a lot of Star Wars. When Galaxies was released Episode III was still on the way and as far as anyone knew that would be it for Star Wars. But with a constant stream of Star Wars, Galaxies could see a consistent influx of new content and ideas for years to come. That’s a really good reason to bring it back.
The MMO Market is Less Saturated Now
In 2003 the MMO market didn’t crash and burn like it has recently and with World of Warcraft’s release a year later, Galaxies was quickly seen as an odd style of game when everyone was trying to copy WoW. A decade later MMOs have been reduced, there are fewer in the market, and companies are more concerned with quick MOBA cash-grabs to try to lure people away from LoL and DOTA2. People simply aren’t making MMOs anymore. Less competition means SWG could shine.
The Old Republic Sucks
We’re well aware that The Old Republic has its fans that have stuck with the game even when virtually everyone else has abandoned it. But like most other MMOs that have folded in the recent years, the game is yet another WoW clone and absolutely not the game that Star Wars Galaxies players wanted to get stuck with. It also has one of the worst, and most punishing, free to play models in the industry which almost forces you to pay the monthly fee just to make the game playable. Star Wars fans deserve better.
The Community Will Return
Star Wars Galaxies was shut down for a couple reasons. One, SOE’s license with Lucasarts was expiring and they didn’t want to bother renewing it. And two, it was generally believed that The Old Republic would be a runaway hit, take all the SWG players, and be a long-running game Star Wars fans would love. That second thing didn’t happen as TOR is a completely different type of game than SWG and doesn’t have the stuff that the SWG community played the game for. That means you have all these orphaned gamers looking for their home, and if someone were to revive SWG with modern graphics and a modern payment system…the players will return.