Last month we discussed news that Sony Online Entertainment will be shutting down Star Wars Galaxies
, which has been running since 2003. Sony officials recently spoke at Fan Faire to explain the business decisions behind the closure
. Unsurprisingly, licensing and upcoming competition from BioWare's Star Wars
MMO played a big part. CEO John Smedley said,
"We have a contractual relationship that's ending in 2012, The Old Republic launching, a bunch of other business things with LucasArts. And then you look at the odds of a pretty large portion of the audience moving to TOR, which looks like a terrific game. ... That's the problem with licenses: they end. 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. Back in 2001, not '03 when we launched, but back in 2001 when we [first] negotiated it, a five year license seemed like a really long g****** time. EverQuest was only a year or so old at that point. Could we have renegotiated? Maybe, but I don't think that would be the right thing for the company."