What do you do when the hobby that occupied all of your time is taken away? You fire up a good ole’ class-action lawsuit, of course. A group of Star Wars Galaxies players, upset about the closure of the eight year-old MMORPG are claiming that Sony is silencing their many cries out for help on the SWG forum, deleting and locking posts that demand the game become free-to-play or stay open somehow. Due to the impending launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Sony and LucasArts have decided to shut the aging online RPG down.
“Dear Subscribers, We’ve decided to kill your kitten,” said one frustrated fan on the game’s Facebook page. “But Can we interest you in a Puppy, A Gerbil, a Parrot, And a Llama, all for one low subscription price?”
More than 2,500 players have signed a petition demanding that Sony keep Star Wars Galaxies up and running as a free-to-play game, reports VentureBeat. They claim that the game should be modified to be run off of microtransactions, or the sale of virtual goods within the game. On top of that, they’d like Sony to consolidate players onto a smaller number of servers and allow more character transfers to keep things running. Sadly, what they don’t realize is that converting a subscription-based MMORPG to a completely new style of play isn’t a switch Sony can pull. It would take months of effort and dozens of developers, all for a game that is essentially being replaced.
With a subscriber base that never breached 1,000,000 and a dwindling player base in the thousands, it’s difficult to see Star Wars Galaxies as more than a failure, even by pre-World of Warcraft standards, where few games exceeded 1-2 million subscribers. In today’s market, WoW is the new standard and even it is having some problems. Having said that, we do acknowledge some very great ideas that SWG boldly attempted to bring to the RPG world, including entirely human-made cities and houses, vehicles, giant cities, character customizations, and careers in crafting and smuggling that didn’t all involve doing nothing but killing animals over and over every day. Though many of these efforts fell short of their goals, they were fun nonetheless.
Sony, for its part, hasn’t handled the situation well. It’s moderators have been fighting the grieving players, who are obviously in denial of their favorite game’s upcoming death, on the game’s official help forums, locking and moving topics without officially commenting on the small uprising. Obviously it has not learn that fear of losing their game has led to anger from fans and anger could lead to hatred and hatred can only lead to the dark side.
Do you think players will get anywhere by suing Sony for shutting down the game?