Work on the long-running Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG is reportedly set to be taken on by a third-party developer, given a need for BioWare to refocus on the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises going forward. Per reporting from IGN, parent company EA is currently ‘nearing an agreement’ to shift ongoing development to Broadsword Online Games.
Sources speaking to the website believe EA has signed a letter of intent, with the deal planned to go through by the end of June 2023. Per IGN, Broadsword Online Games is well-equipped to handle the transition, as it’s run by a former BioWare VP, Rob Denton – who also worked on The Old Republic during his time with the studio.
While EA has not outright confirmed this decision, it did provide a statement to IGN that indicated change is likely:
‘Almost 12 years after launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community … We’re evaluating how we give the game and the team the best opportunity to grow and evolve, which includes conversations with Broadsword, a boutique studio that specialises in delivering online, community-driven experiences. Our goal is to do what is best for the game and its players.’
As EA makes clear, The Old Republic still has a dedicated player base – a fact which has likely contributed to the reported decision to shift development of the title to a new studio, rather than shut it down entirely.
As long as there’s passion for a game, it should remain live. So while The Old Republic‘s reported removal from BioWare is surprising, it’s also likely the best move for the ongoing game.
IGN believes around 70-80 people are currently working on The Old Republic at BioWare. Many of these developers will reportedly move to Broadsword, while others will be reassigned.
The next content updates for the game are expected to release as normal.