Many of us remember, with differing degrees of fondness, Star Wars Galaxies. The 2003 MMORPG underwent many substantial changes in its lifetime before its close in 2011, and YouTuber nerdSlayer chronicles the rise and fall of the game in his recent video, “Death of a Game: Star Wars Galaxies.”
nerdSlayer breaks his video down into two parts: first, he narrates the game’s timeline from its creation to its demise, and second, he analyzes what went wrong that caused the game to die. In the case of Galaxies, it’s interesting to reflect upon what should have been a very sound pedigree for the game’s development. LucasArts partnered with none other than the distinguished talent of Verant Interactive, best known for EverQuest. In addition, one of the lead developers on Galaxies was Raph Koster, lead designer from the other well-known MMORPG of the time, Ultima Online. Despite this, Galaxies had a very rocky start and faltered at different points in its life cycle, which nerdSlayer attributes to corporate influence.
For the second half of his video, nerdSlayer runs down a list of reasons Galaxies failed: rushed game launch, the combat, lack of content, the Combat Upgrade patch, the New Gaming Experience and the nostalgic perception that the pre-NGE era was significantly better, the implementation of how a player could become a Jedi, and the erroneous assumption that the game could be carried solely on the Star Wars name. He finishes with general observations about the influence of Sony Online Entertainment for better and for worse and where you can find pre-CU or post-NGE emulations today.