…in a galaxy far, far away, the NGE hit Star Wars: Galaxies. The date: November 15th 2005¹.
Five years later, despite server closures and merges and a minimal population, the game is still going and content has still been added to the game including, amongst other additions, the planet of Hoth which went live on November 20th 2008. The latest patch, Game Update 18, was released last month.
SWG was the first MMO I devoted a lot of time but I, along with the rest of my guild, ended up leaving shortly after the NGE hit. Even though I’ve now spent considerably more time not playing it than I did playing it, I still have fond memories of the game. I’m under no illusion that the game itself was lacking in several areas but it was different at the time and it could be a lot of fun and extremely social. A glance at the Player Cities list on the official website and I still recognise a couple of cities that still exist after all this time on our old server and that’s nice to see. Our old city, unfortunately, is not one of them.
A new Star Wars MMO is coming out next year – EA Bioware’s Star Wars:
Knights of The Old Republic Online, which, it seems to me, is eagerly anticipated and derided by MMO players in equal measure. Sony could do worse things than take advantage of this by making SWG free-to-play as there may well be a fair few players – like me – who would be tempted to go back and see what’s changed. And if SWTOR ends up being delayed at all then SOE could end up being quids in by attracting some of those who can’t wait for their Star Wars MMO fix and may be willing to shell some hard earned cash on some Mandalorian armour from the SWG shop.
SWG’s ancient graphics and hokey systems are no match for a modern game engine and I’m not sure that anyone could have forseen that it would have lasted another five years but, like the Jedi, it’s fire has not yet gone out of the universe².
¹ If I’d got my act together, I would have posted this last week. I didn’t manage either.
² I am truly sorry for this sentence.