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Late last month, Sony Online Entertainment announced that they're closing down the long-running MMO Star Wars Galaxies. At SOE Fan Faire 2011, SOE chief exec John Smedley revealed the reason for the shut-down.
"It was time to turn it off. We have a contractual relationship that's ending in 2012, The Old Republic launching, a bunch of other business things with LucasArts," Smedley said (via The Escapist. "And then you look at the odds of a pretty large portion of the audience moving to TOR, which looks like a terrific game. I think that's going to be really well-received by the population."
It's pretty much what I expected: Lucas Arts isn't going to allow two Star Wars MMO's to compete for core gamers. Also, SOE's smart enough to know that their eight-year-old game was going to get bruised pretty bad by a brand new game backed by heavy-hitters like EA and BioWare.
"That's the problem with licenses: they end," Smedley said. "We're going to continue to do some licensed work, but we're largely going to stick to original IP [going forward] because then we won't have this issue. We'll never have this problem with EverQuest."
Smedley added that they could have renegotiated with LucasArts to extend the license. However, he said he didn't think "that would be the right thing for the company."
Galaxies will shut down on December 15th. Before then, SOE plans to release the Galactic Civil War 2 - Space update for the game. They're also hinting at a special event to end the MMO.