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BioWare has decided to cancel their action RPG Shadow Realms. Jeff Hickman, general manager at BioWare Austin, explained the decision in a new blog post.
"While the team did amazing work on the game concept and we got lots of great feedback from our fans at events and through other game testing, right now there are other projects for the team to work on within the BioWare studios for the coming year and beyond," Hickman said on the Shadow Realms website. "We’ve got an incredibly talented team here at the Austin studio, and they are excited and already deep on new projects within the BioWare family, ones that will make some great BioWare games even better."
"These include additional ongoing enhancements to the award-winning Dragon Age: Inquisition, as well as the next game in the Mass Effect series and other new IP."
BioWare Austin's central focus, however, will be on Star Wars: The Old Republic. Hickman says that they're going to keep expanding the MMORPG throughout this year. Their future plans for the game will be announced in "the coming weeks."
"For all the people that registered for the Shadow Realms Closed Alpha, we’re working on a way to say thank-you for signing up. To all those players that gave us feedback at Gamescom and PAX, and those that shared their thoughts and impressions in the past months, we thank you for being part of the conversation."
Shadow Realms took place in the modern day. Heroes from our world would travel to a parallel world called Embra that is being overrun by the Shadow Legions. They would then fight these dark forces using spells and firearms.
Players would complete missions with up to three allies. However, A.I. creatures weren't the only danger facing them. One player would act as Shadowlord and try to stop them. This Dungeon Master-like character would set traps for the heroes, attack them with spells and also send minions after them.
BioWare first revealed Shadow Realms at Gamescom this past summer. They planned to hold an alpha test soon afterward but announced in October that they were delaying it so they could "take a deep look at the state of the game." In January, Kotaku reported that the game was being dramatically overhauled but may be cancelled.
I'm disappointed that BioWare has decided to shelve the game. While I prefer their single-player RPGs, I think Shadow Realms would've been far closer to my interests than Old Republic ended up being. The Shadowlord multiplayer made Realms sound like a competitive version of a pen-and-paper RPG. I hope they revisit that idea somewhere down the road, even if it's part of a different game.