Star Wars Galaxies, the original massively-multiplayer online role-playing game based on George Lucas' universe, will go offline later this year after more than eight years of service, Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts announced today.
In a letter to Star Wars Galaxies players, the game's developers call the closure of the MMO and its trading card game spin-off a "very difficult decision," putting an end to the virtual world on December 15, 2011. SOE promises that Galaxies will "go out with a bang with a galaxy-ending in-game event in December."
In an interview with Massively, SOE's John Smedley says the decision to end Star Wars Galaxies was a "business decision" largely related to the arrival of BioWare's Star Wars MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, expected to launch within the next year. Smedley downplays speculation that recent hacking attempts, lay-offs or a still dwindling player population were behind the closure.