With the imminent launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, fans of the long-running Star Wars Galaxies MMO were saddened by the news that the game is being shut down at the end of the year. There have been questions as to why no other payment options are being offered in order to keep the game afloat. Today, a LucasArts statement cleared up some of the confusion.
"The decision to shut down the game has not been an easy one. SOE and LucasArts investigated every option to keep the game open, including taking it to a free-to-play model. However, that model just isn't financially viable. Changing the business model for an experience like Star Wars Galaxies takes a major investment and overhauling of the existing infrastructure of the game."
"We're unfortunately at a point in our life cycle where a change of this magnitude is just not possible," continues LucasArts. "The harsh reality is that we've reached a point where the game is no longer a sustainable business."
As hard as it may be to for dedicated players to accept this, it really seems that Galaxies has run its course, and the time has come to put it to bed. Other MMOs have launched and gone free-to-play in half the time that it's been around. LucasArts has said to expect plenty of fun and excitement over the next five months, but come 2012 there's only going to be one Star Wars MMO out there.