BioWare Cancels Shadow Realms RPG Development

Fanghawk

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BioWare Cancels Shadow Realms RPG Development

Shadow Realms, BioWare Austin's first new property since 2011, has been cancelled so the team can focus on other projects.

2014 was a good year for BioWare. Not only did Dragon Age: Inquisition receive countless Game of the Year awards - including <a ahref=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/12789-The-Escapist-Game-of-the-Year-2014-Best-Movie-and-More.6>our own - the developer announced <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/136808-Shadow-Realms-is-BioWares-New-Online-Multiplayer-Game>Shadow Realms, its first new franchise since 2011's Star Wars: The Old Republic. Due for release in 2015, Shadow Realm was a modern fantasy RPG pitting four player characters <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/137214-BioWares-Shadow-Realms-4v1-Multiplayer-Preview>against a fifth who controlled the powerful shadowlord. As you've probably guessed by my use of the word "was", that will no longer be the case. BioWare Austin has announced it will cease all development on Shadow Realms and redirect attention to Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Old Republic, and a new Mass Effect game.

"While the team did amazing work on the game concept and we got lots of great feedback from our fans at events and through other game testing, right now there are other projects for the team to work on within the BioWare studios for the coming year and beyond," BioWare Austin General Manager Jeff Hickman explained. "We've got an incredibly talented team here at the Austin studio, and they are excited and already deep on new projects within the BioWare family, ones that will make some great BioWare games even better."

According to Hickman, BioWare Austin is currently occupied with several projects, including Dragon Age: Inquisition enhancements, the new Mass Effect sequel, and other new IP. But the biggest focus BioWare Austin will be Star Wars: The Old Republic, which you can be sure is getting renewed attention thanks to <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/138813-Star-Wars-Episode-VII-The-Force-Awakens-Official-Trailer>Star Wars: The Force Awakens. "We have some great plans for expanding this epic game [The Old Republic] this year, and look forward to sharing the news about those plans with our players in the coming weeks."

It's a shame BioWare's modern fantasy setting won't be realized, but given the number of irons in the fire perhaps it isn't surprising. Thankfully, Hickman's comments suggest that new BioWare IP is underway, even if games like Mass Effect and The Old Republic are taking center stage right now. In the meantime, BioWare is working on a way to thank everyone who signed up for the Shadow Realms alpha, and will be sharing new info on its games in the near future.

Source: <a href=https://shadowrealms.com/blog/an-important-update-on-shadow-realms>Shadow Realms

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Fappy

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That IP didn't look the least bit interesting, so I can't say I am sad to see it go. I'd like them to explore a new IP, sure, but Shadow Realms just seemed really bland.
 

J Tyran

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So they are getting assigned to the DLC mill? Shame really even if they never really shown us anything all that interesting, bigger shame they are not scrapping it to work on Jade Empire 2.

That would have actually gotten me a little excited.
 
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I'm not disappointed to hear it. Regardless of how the game looked, I think it's actually a good sign that they are cancelling projects they are working on in order to focus on other projects.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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While Bioware definitely needed a new IP to work on, they needed to play to their strengths and focus on epic single-player experiences and grand storytelling. Shadow Realms appeared to be neither of those things, so I can't say that I'm sad to see it go.

Still, I wish they would stop working on SW:TOR already. I find it hard to believe that their MMO pet project is making them any money, and its brand of F2P has driven me away. You shouldn't hamstring free players who are simply trying to play through the story with XP penalties you have to pay to remove.

More Mass Effect is good, provided they pull their heads out of their ass and fix their writing. It's taken a noticeable downturn as of late, with their efforts to please the Social Justice Party watering down their stories.

I'm also hoping Bioware will go back on their earlier statements and release some new playable characters for Inquisition DLC. I'm still having a hard time finding likable characters besides Varric.
 

Gxas

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"We're abandoning our new IP to churn out more sequels."

And the community, oddly, is ok with this? I'll never understand the current state of gaming, I guess.
 

Sight Unseen

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SlumlordThanatos said:
Still, I wish they would stop working on SW:TOR already. I find it hard to believe that their MMO pet project is making them any money, and its brand of F2P has driven me away. You shouldn't hamstring free players who are simply trying to play through the story with XP penalties you have to pay to remove.
SWTOR reportedly earned $106M last year, making it the 12th highest earning multiplayer game.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/23/the-10-highest-grossing-online-pc-games-in-2014-hearthstone-dota-2-cant-compete-with-league-of-legends/

I agree with everything you're saying, but the game IS earning money. And lots of it.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Sight Unseen said:
SlumlordThanatos said:
Still, I wish they would stop working on SW:TOR already. I find it hard to believe that their MMO pet project is making them any money, and its brand of F2P has driven me away. You shouldn't hamstring free players who are simply trying to play through the story with XP penalties you have to pay to remove.
SWTOR reportedly earned $106M last year, making it the 12th highest earning multiplayer game.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/23/the-10-highest-grossing-online-pc-games-in-2014-hearthstone-dota-2-cant-compete-with-league-of-legends/
Huh.

I stand corrected. Still boggles my mind.
Gxas said:
"We're abandoning our new IP to churn out more sequels."

And the community, oddly, is ok with this? I'll never understand the current state of gaming, I guess.
The reason people seem to be okay with this is because Shadow Realms doesn't look like a game Bioware would make. After all, they tend to focus on a single-player game with great characters and an epic storyline, and that's what we want from them, not a slightly different version of Evolve.

I agree that Bioware needs new IP, but Shadow Realms wasn't the IP that they needed to make.
 

Sight Unseen

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Nov 18, 2009
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SlumlordThanatos said:
Sight Unseen said:
SlumlordThanatos said:
Still, I wish they would stop working on SW:TOR already. I find it hard to believe that their MMO pet project is making them any money, and its brand of F2P has driven me away. You shouldn't hamstring free players who are simply trying to play through the story with XP penalties you have to pay to remove.
SWTOR reportedly earned $106M last year, making it the 12th highest earning multiplayer game.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/23/the-10-highest-grossing-online-pc-games-in-2014-hearthstone-dota-2-cant-compete-with-league-of-legends/
Huh.

I stand corrected. Still boggles my mind.
Believe me, I agree :p
 

Norix596

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Aww that's too bad - after falling off Bioware stuff a number of years ago I was fairly interested in this.
 

laggyteabag

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I must admit, it wasn't something that I was interested in, so I'm not going to shed a tear over its cancellation, but I do wish that they have better luck with other new IP. That being said though, hopefully the work that was going to go into this can go into other existing projects to make them better. I look forward to seeing what they do in the future.
 

kael013

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SlumlordThanatos said:
Gxas said:
"We're abandoning our new IP to churn out more sequels."

And the community, oddly, is ok with this? I'll never understand the current state of gaming, I guess.
The reason people seem to be okay with this is because Shadow Realms doesn't look like a game Bioware would make. After all, they tend to focus on a single-player game with great characters and an epic storyline, and that's what we want from them, not a slightly different version of Evolve.
Yeah, how dare they try to diversify! /sarcasm. I was actually looking forward to their slightly different version of Evolve (it's called asymmetric gameplay - Evolve isn't the first to do it). Sure it may have crashed and burned, but in making it and getting feedback on it, BioWare would have learned new mechanics, etc. that they could have used to spice up their other games and avoid what I like to call the "CoD syndrome" (more of the same with a cool new feature).

This is the problem with game dev companies: they do too much of the same, eventually they're stuck making the same for eternity since that's what the consumer expects out of them. Where's the growth and diversity (and fun) in that?
 

Elfgore

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The game's idea, of super heroes in a modern setting, was actually pretty decent. It would of made on hell of a ARPG with like seven or eight powers available to choose between and level up. But that 4v1 shit is becoming a little too common and nothing made this one stand out like Evolve. Getting some expansions for Inquisition or more work put into Mass Effect 4 is a worthy trade.
 

StriderShinryu

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I want to be sad about this but I just can't muster the feelings. I actually really thought it sounded like an interesting world they were creating but the actual game being a forced online multiplayer thing just sounded, well, bad. If they somehow transitioned the work into something I actually cared about, I'd be good.
 

pearcinator

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Yeah I was really disappointed with the reveal of that IP. The teaser trailers looked like it would be a psychological, paranormal horror game but it looked like a generic multiplayer crap. I am happy that it's been cancelled.
 

Sanunes

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There were several issues with this game from the get go one was it was online only and the other is that is was going to be PC only. I couldn't see the project continuing without it going over some type of overhaul.
 

electric method

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Can't say I am shocked to see this game get yanked. BioWare Austin was created to create and maintain SW:ToR. That's all BW Austin was supposed to be doing. Now, it's fairly obvious why BW Austin hasn't fixed the abomination alpha Hero Engine, or replaced it, that SW:ToR uses. Why Shadow of Revan launched with crippling lag and bugs. Then again, most of BW Austin are former Team Mythic members who's only claim to fame/infamy was that god awful Warhammer MMO.