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By now you all know that Star Wars Galaxies will be switched off in the coming months, but what you might not know is that it was destined to be turned off in 2012 according to their current contract. Also, the game has already had its "end date" extended twice, far beyond the original planned five year license.
"A lot of people don't know about this because we don't talk about it, but we've already extended the game end a couple of times. When we originally approached LucasArts back in 2001 for the original license, we planned it to be a five year window for the game. And that seemed like a hell of a long time! This was back in the early days of EverQuest with had only been out for just over a year, so we didn't know about the shelf life of these things."
Smedley cited business reasons, the way the product had performed, and the fact that Star Wars: The Old Republic is on the way soon from EA as contibuting to the decision to end the title. While he admits that SWTOR is being created by a talented team, they'll need "At least two million subscribers at launch to support that game. I know how much it cost to make that title, and that's what they need."
But Smedley was still shocked by the actual death knell for the game. "That really hurt," Smedley said soberly, "We had a dedicated group of people working on that thing, and it will be really sad to see it go." But he added that the game will "Go out with a bang" as they have big plans for the end of Galaxies. As for why they didn't hold the announcement of the closure until after Fan Faire, Smedley said "That would have been a dick move." He feels that pain just as much as the fans do.