The rumors about BioWare working on a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game based on the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series were given new life when it was announced Tuesday that BioWare and LucasArts had joined into an alliance to create a “ground-breaking interactive entertainment product” - a super-exciting way of saying “we’re making a video game.” They also created an equally vague website, LucasArtsBioWare.com, which consists solely of the press release and links to BioWare’s mailing list sign-up form and their forums.

Hopefully they’ll give us more to chew on soon. Given the fact that BioWare Austin has been working on an unnamed MMORPG since last year, it’s a natural assumption that it would be based off of KOTOR, a critical and commercial success. The involvement of LucasArts, the gaming arm of George Lucas’ empire, and the sagging subscription numbers for Star Wars Galaxies, the MMORPG published by Lucas Arts in 2003, only strengthen the case.

BioWare has a track record of producing solid, story-based single player RPG’s based on existing franchises. The Knights of the Old Republic games were set thousands of years before George Lucas’ movies and though there’s scant information on the era, I thought they did a great job with creating vivid characters and worlds that fit into Star Wars lore, and in many ways enhanced it. I’d be very interested to see what they’d do if given the opportunity to create an entire MMO universe. Will their skill with single player RPG’s translate well to multiplayer environments? (ed note: Blizzard also produced great single player games before tackling World of Warcraft, I’d say this is a safe bet) Star Wars is still a very popular and bankable franchise and that license by itself could make this game a strong contender on the MMORPG scene – sorry, this alleged game. We still don’t know for certain but a KOTOR MMORPG, though it’s an annoying acronym to keep writing out, certainly seems like a promising “ground-breaking interactive entertainment product.”

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