Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic Moves To New Developer

UPDATE – The transition has been completed.

A new blog post on BioWare’s site reveals that Broadsword Online Games is now in the driver’s seat with EA still publishing the title.

“I’ve been working closely with Keith Kanneg, who leads the SWTOR team, to give the game and the team the best opportunity to grow and evolve. And so, while EA will remain SWTOR‘s publisher, development of the game will move to our partner and friends at Broadsword, a boutique studio with expertise in managing online games. Both the Broadsword studio and SWTOR team members will be joining forces and working tirelessly to support “every player, every day,” ensuring that these worlds and these communities continue to thrive and grow. Their Founder and President, Rob Denton, even has direct experience with SWTOR, having helped lead the team during the development and launch of the game during his time at EA.

In a follow-up, Gary McKay, the general manager at BioWare, breaks down what this news means going forward.

“Well, most importantly, it means that players will continue to enjoy the SWTOR they know and love, and as Keith mentioned in a recent community post, all current plans are still in place. There are also exciting new features planned that the team is not quite ready to talk about yet, but suffice it to say that players can expect improvements and new content into the future. This is a company that will give SWTOR the room to grow and flourish, with the continued commitment and full support of Lucasfilm Games, and the continued partnership with EA.”

Of course, with a move of this calibre, it also means that there may be job cuts, McKay says.

“No big change comes without challenges. Among them is the fact that most of the current team will be invited to accompany the game on its move to Broadsword, though unfortunately not every role will make the move. This is the hardest part of this transition, and these decisions were not made lightly. We are of course doing everything we can to support the affected team members, who have an opportunity to find new roles within EA. In addition, we’re aware that the team members who are being asked to move to a new studio will also be adapting to change, and we will be working with Broadsword to make the transition as comfortable as possible.”

Original article below:

Per IGN, EA and BioWare are seemingly moving the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic to a third-party studio. The move results from BioWare’s commitment to both the Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Dreadwold projects in development.

The report from Rebekah Valentine mentions that Broadsword Online Games—developer of Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot is the successor as the studio and EA signed a letter of intent, and a new deal would be finalized at some point later this month. Broadsword is run by Mythic Entertainment co-founder and BioWare VP Rob Denton, who coincidentally worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic when it launched.

“Almost 12 years after launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community. We’re so proud of the work the team has done, and the future of the game and the community continues to be very bright. 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 specializes in delivering online, community-driven experiences. Our goal is to do what is best for the game and its players,” EA says when reached for comment.

Nearly half of the 70 to 80 people working on The Old Republic will move to Broadsword. Those who don’t wish to move will have the opportunity to find a new internal position with one of EA’s other studios; otherwise, layoffs are expected.

Since launching in 2011, Star Wars: The Old Republic has seen several expansions and offered a free-to-play version. Most recently, patch 7.3 launched, bringing a new story, new Flashpoint, the Shrine of Silence, and PvP changes.