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."
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