A source close to BioWare confirmed to us today that the studio’s upcoming untitled massively-multiplayer online RPG will be centered around the Star Wars universe, specifically that of Knights of the Old Republic, which the developer released in 2003. The game garnered critical acclaim and spawned a less-popular sequel, released by Obsidian two years later.
The game is being developed by the company’s Austin studio, formed in 2006 and headed by BioWare Creative Director James Ohlen, whose past credits include the first KOTOR, Neverwinter Nights, and Baldur Gate’s I and II.
BioWare said at one time they’d be disappointed if they didn’t do a million subs with this MMO, whatever it is. Seems like that it has a strong IP attached to it for them to be that sure of those kinds of numbers. Given their track record with Lucasarts, a Star Wars MMO seems likely.
Or maybe Bioware is super sneaky and is making a Rainbow Bright MMO, and has merely seeded the entire Austin game dev community with disinformation.
Gimme $10,000 and I can probably find out for sure. The Bioware office is 100 yards away from mine. I’ll use lasers to eavesdrop for you, and ply the peeps I know there with hookers and blow for man-on-the-ground intel confirmation.
It almost has to be true from the standpoint of what other license do they hold that would translate well to an MMO game? KOTOR is as close to a “sure thing” license you could have.
I mean, I suppose they could be doing an MMORPG based on the Baldur’s Gate / Icewind Dale stuff, but do they even still hold the right licenses to do D&D stuff like that? A Plansescape MMO would be cool, but too limited in it’s possible audience. Star Wars KOTOR is the only thing that makes sense, and the only thing likely to get funding, thus it’s the most likely to be true.
Of course, but it only takes a popular license to sell the idea to investors. Star Wars is such, and KOTOR is Star Wars without all the baggage that comes with trying to place your game in the framework of an existing mythos of movies/books/cartoons.
That’s like saying “There was already a fantasy MMO, but that didn’t stop this other fantasy MMO.” I think the oddness here would be having two active MMOs using the same license, Star Wars. And it’s not like an MMO KOTOR would be Star Wars Galaxies 2, not a direct sequel. I’m assuming, at least.
I said in the other thread that I thought it unlikely from the stand point that they had been so vocal about wanting to focus on IP’s they controlled, which KOTOR obviously isn’t, but I’ve had a change of heart on that.
For one, I’d forgotten about the Sonic RPG.
Second, I’m beginning to wonder if the “original IP” strategy has actually turned out to be a failure. They started talking that way before Jade Empire came along but since then we have Jade Empire doing OK but not great (at least not great enough to warrant an immediate sequel, which is unheard of in console gaming), Bioware doing the Elevation Partners deal and now EA deal (which suggests maybe the financials weren’t great), and the Sonic game.
So where does that leave Bioware? They have Jade Empire, Mass Effect (still unproven despite the hype), and Dragon Age to themselves. It could be that a KOTOR MMO looked pretty tempting after all.