Bioware working on Star Wars MMO?

Rumours were bubbling around the muddy stream of the interwebs yesterday that developer/publisher LucasArts had laid off around 75-100 of its employees. The cull apparently involved anyone from testers to the producer of Lego: Indiana Jones, which was only released a few days ago.

It was only back in April that former EA Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Rodriguez, took over the position of President at LucasArts. Are these sackings the result of some EA-style ruthlessness perhaps? A post from an anonymous LucasArts employee on the Gamasutra forums seemed to back this up, stating “There are some that believe that more money can be made by licensing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones IP to third party developers than through in-house development,” hinting that the change in leadership “could spell trouble for the LucasArts division.”

Some disgruntled ex-employee’s have also been spilling their guts about future LucasArts projects that are apparently currently in production. These include a third-title in the Bioware-developed Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic series. While the previous games in the franchise have been strictly singleplayer-only affairs, KOTOR 3 is supposedly a Massively-Multiplayer Online game. It wasn’t mentioned whether this game would be on PC or consoles.

Other titles that were leaked are Star Wars: Battlefront 3, the Official (i.e. non-Lego) Indiana Jones game, a lightsaber game for the Wii, and another Lego game based on the Indy universe.

Unsurprisingly LucasArts and Bioware have made no offical announcements regarding these sackings or future titles. Videos have already been seen of the ‘realistic’ Indy game (in fact, it was one of the first glimpses of the Euphoria human physics engine that was used to such great effect in GTAIV) and a sequel to Lego Indy is a no-brainer, so these are almost definitely real.

Free Radical Design (of Timesplitters and Haze fame) have been working on a secret LucasArts project that is almost certainly Battlefront 3, and a ‘proper’ Lightsaber game with 1:1 motion-detecting has been every Star Wars fans wet dream since we first saw the Wii Remote. So DarkZero would bet money on all these rumoured titles eventually being confirmed.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to dress up like StormTroopers and then crash an Ewok party.