And the suit isn’t even aimed at saving the game, but merely to fight back against SOE shutting down those ever-so-effective internet petitions which have been springing up in the SOE forums and elsewhere in hopes of converting SWG to a free to play title. You know those always get the job done!
Game Politics News and Kotaku are reporting that a group of 50 Star Wars Galaxies players are threatening a class action suit against Sony Online Entertainment because they claim that SOE is hindering their efforts to “save” the game from being closed.
Acting more than a few steps away from reality, the group is specifically suing SOE because they claim that the company has been locking petition forum threads (which along with poll threads, are explicitly forbidden by SOE’s forum rules) and banning those responsible, both pretty much within SOE’s rights and covered by the end user license agreement.
And the kicker is that SOE really has no control over keeping SWG alive. LucasArts, which owns the Star Wars IP, has the final say on the subject, and they are never going to agree to anything but a full closure of the game, petitions or no.
LucasArts not only has a vested interested in supporting Star Wars: The Old Republic (and probably a contractual one as well), but they have a responsibility to protect the Star Wars IP and ensure that it is seen in the best light possible. Letting SWG degrade over time, unsupported and with a population on the decline, does not serve that end.
Some seem to think that this is a nefarious plan to force SWG players to play SWTOR, something some are now claiming they will never do. But a few subscribers (and few is the operative word here) isn’t the motivation. It is protection of the IP and contractual obligations to EA and BioWare.
The writing is on the wall. SWG is done, gone, will exist no longer after December 15, 2011.
Nobody wants to see their favorite game go away. And people get especially attached to MMOs. Emotions on the forums are running high. But this whole assault on SOE is going to acc0mplish nothing. There are more than five months left before the game goes away, use it. Accept what is inevitable, make the time left meaningful, but be ready to say good-bye.