Star Wars: The Old Republic has been a huge undertaking for developers, Bioware. It’s taken massive investment and untold man hours to bring it to light. It’s also Bioware’s first MMO, which makes it a risky move into an unfamiliar genre. We asked Star Wars: The Old Republic game director, James Ohlen why Bioware decided to move online. He revealed that the decision was made by Bioiware’s founders, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, who thought the MMO genre could be the future of the RPG.
“Back in 2004/2005 it was something we knew we needed to get into,” he said. “It seemed to be one of the possible future paths for role-playing games in general. One thing Ray and Greg are always doing is looking at ways to make sure Bioware is not going to be left behind. So they’re looking at all the futures going and then try to make sure we kind of diversify, and that was one of the areas we wanted to diversify in.”
Besides, Ohlen points out that Bioware aren’t entirely unfamiliar with multiplayer. “We’re now known for single player RPGs. But Baldur’s Gate was multiplayer back in the day, so was Neverwinter Nights. In fact Neverwinter Nights, a lot of people used that toolset and engine to create little mini massively multiplayer games. [Laughs] So we do have experience with multiplayer. We just hadn’t built a huge online game before.”
Since then, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 have all done very well, and The Witcher 2 and Skyrim have all proved that the single player RPG is far from dead. The success of Star Wars: The Old Republic doesn’t seem to have affected Bioware’s love of single player RPGs, either. Mass Effect 3 is due out in march, and Dragon Age 3 is currently in development. If you’ve just started The Old Republic, you can join our guilds. Our European guilds, The Mint Imperials and The Revel Alliance are on the Nightmare Lands server. In the US, the Coconut Monkeys are on The Crucible Pits.