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New Free-To-Play Star Wars MMO Revealed

Are you the targeted demographic for SOE's next Star Wars game?

Today, Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts announced Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, a free-to-play MMO based on the Clone Wars TV show on Cartoon Network. Clone Wars Adventures, as you might have guessed from the license, is a kid-focused MMO, set in that same time period as the show (around Episode 2 of the new trilogy), and powered by the same engine used for Free Realms, SOE's other free-to-play MMO. The game is expected to launch on the PC this fall.
 

 You and your friends can hang around your player house and do one-finger handstands. Excitement!
Wait. What? Hold the phone. Pump the breaks for a second. LucasArts may have announced a game, but their press release also revealed some weird business occurring with the Star Wars franchise. 

First, between Star Wars: Galaxies, Clone Wars Adventures, and The Old Republic, we will soon have three completely different Star Wars MMOs on the market. There will be more MMOs set in the Star Wars universe than any other franchise in the genre. How crazy is it to think of the MMO as a genre where a franchise can be over-saturated? We'll find out, I'm sure. 
 
 Using my lightsaber to cut holes in walls? A thrilling Star Wars experience!
Second, this announcement serves as pretty firm evidence that LucasArts is continuing its business relationship with SOE, even as it works with BioWare on The Old Republic. One of the questions that emerged after the announcement of Old Republic was whether LucasArts would allow SOE to keep making/supporting Star Wars Galaxies once the game came out. After all, SWG has spent the past seven years alternating between being a poor representation of the SW universe, an overused punchline, and a PR nightmare. One would think that LucasArts would be anxious to ditch SOE and let BioWare, a company that has proven it can make a successful licensed product, take the reigns of the franchise entirely.  However, the announcement of this game reveals that LucasArts and SOE are perfectly content to keep working together. I highly doubt that, in the wake of their ongoing partnership, LucasArts would force SOE to shut down Star Wars Galaxies. 
 
In fact, this announcement suggests that the Star Wars property has been split up into parts and divided amongst the developers; SOE has this Clone Wars MMO license as well as its "Post Original Triliogy" MMO license, while EA and BioWare have an Old Republic MMO license. I would imagine that LucasArts rationalizes the way Star Wars has been broken up by stating that that these are three different games aimed at completely different audiences, hardly competing with each other: 
 
  1. Star Wars Galaxies, steeped in the lore and design of the original trilogy, appeals to older Star Wars fans.
  2. The Old Republic, with its Warcraft-influenced art style and its connection to Knights of The Old Republic, is for the 18-to-29-year-olds who weren't alive when the movies first came out. These are the folks for whom KOTOR represents Star Wars and WoW represents the MMO.
  3. Clone Wars Adventures, with its ties to the show on Cartoon Network and its free-to-play structure, is for younger kids, fans of the TV show and (potentially) the new trilogy, who are much more drawn to free games.
 
 It's OK if this doesn't appeal to you! You're not in the demo! And you'll buy Old Republic anyway!
Jeez, I can't believe I wrote that last paragraph; Licenses split amongst developers and different interpretations of properties for different demographics. Can you believe that, at one point in time, Star Wars was a movie franchise, let alone just a movie? Star Wars is now a property, handled the same way Marvel licensed out their characters and groups; hundreds of different interpretations of the property, designed to target different segments of the market. Star Wars is now targeted to different age groups and designed to maximize familiarity with the property. It's not the Star Wars Universe anymore; how can there be "canon" in a franchise that can be so easily redesigned to reach out to a different audience? 
 
I'm not trying to preach or wax nostalgic or anything. This is just what Star Wars is now. It couldn't be further from what the series used to be or what any franchise used to be. This is just how entertainment is made, and the Star Wars story is a good reminder that, as consumers, we are dealing with businesses, and businesses are in the business of making money.
 
Business. 
  
But enough of that nonsense. Clone Wars Adventures. There's a trailer. Here it is! 
  
 
 
And here are some screenshots of the game's various modes to boot!
 

So, folks, are you right in the target demo for Clone Wars Adventures? Which age-group speaks most to the kinds of games you want to play? And do you want to see other franchises force you into a demographic in the same way?
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Posted by MattBodega

Today, Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts announced Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, a free-to-play MMO based on the Clone Wars TV show on Cartoon Network. Clone Wars Adventures, as you might have guessed from the license, is a kid-focused MMO, set in that same time period as the show (around Episode 2 of the new trilogy), and powered by the same engine used for Free Realms, SOE's other free-to-play MMO. The game is expected to launch on the PC this fall.
 

 You and your friends can hang around your player house and do one-finger handstands. Excitement!
Wait. What? Hold the phone. Pump the breaks for a second. LucasArts may have announced a game, but their press release also revealed some weird business occurring with the Star Wars franchise. 

First, between Star Wars: Galaxies, Clone Wars Adventures, and The Old Republic, we will soon have three completely different Star Wars MMOs on the market. There will be more MMOs set in the Star Wars universe than any other franchise in the genre. How crazy is it to think of the MMO as a genre where a franchise can be over-saturated? We'll find out, I'm sure. 
 
 Using my lightsaber to cut holes in walls? A thrilling Star Wars experience!
Second, this announcement serves as pretty firm evidence that LucasArts is continuing its business relationship with SOE, even as it works with BioWare on The Old Republic. One of the questions that emerged after the announcement of Old Republic was whether LucasArts would allow SOE to keep making/supporting Star Wars Galaxies once the game came out. After all, SWG has spent the past seven years alternating between being a poor representation of the SW universe, an overused punchline, and a PR nightmare. One would think that LucasArts would be anxious to ditch SOE and let BioWare, a company that has proven it can make a successful licensed product, take the reigns of the franchise entirely.  However, the announcement of this game reveals that LucasArts and SOE are perfectly content to keep working together. I highly doubt that, in the wake of their ongoing partnership, LucasArts would force SOE to shut down Star Wars Galaxies. 
 
In fact, this announcement suggests that the Star Wars property has been split up into parts and divided amongst the developers; SOE has this Clone Wars MMO license as well as its "Post Original Triliogy" MMO license, while EA and BioWare have an Old Republic MMO license. I would imagine that LucasArts rationalizes the way Star Wars has been broken up by stating that that these are three different games aimed at completely different audiences, hardly competing with each other: 
 
  1. Star Wars Galaxies, steeped in the lore and design of the original trilogy, appeals to older Star Wars fans.
  2. The Old Republic, with its Warcraft-influenced art style and its connection to Knights of The Old Republic, is for the 18-to-29-year-olds who weren't alive when the movies first came out. These are the folks for whom KOTOR represents Star Wars and WoW represents the MMO.
  3. Clone Wars Adventures, with its ties to the show on Cartoon Network and its free-to-play structure, is for younger kids, fans of the TV show and (potentially) the new trilogy, who are much more drawn to free games.
 
 It's OK if this doesn't appeal to you! You're not in the demo! And you'll buy Old Republic anyway!
Jeez, I can't believe I wrote that last paragraph; Licenses split amongst developers and different interpretations of properties for different demographics. Can you believe that, at one point in time, Star Wars was a movie franchise, let alone just a movie? Star Wars is now a property, handled the same way Marvel licensed out their characters and groups; hundreds of different interpretations of the property, designed to target different segments of the market. Star Wars is now targeted to different age groups and designed to maximize familiarity with the property. It's not the Star Wars Universe anymore; how can there be "canon" in a franchise that can be so easily redesigned to reach out to a different audience? 
 
I'm not trying to preach or wax nostalgic or anything. This is just what Star Wars is now. It couldn't be further from what the series used to be or what any franchise used to be. This is just how entertainment is made, and the Star Wars story is a good reminder that, as consumers, we are dealing with businesses, and businesses are in the business of making money.
 
Business. 
  
But enough of that nonsense. Clone Wars Adventures. There's a trailer. Here it is! 
  
 
 
And here are some screenshots of the game's various modes to boot!
 

So, folks, are you right in the target demo for Clone Wars Adventures? Which age-group speaks most to the kinds of games you want to play? And do you want to see other franchises force you into a demographic in the same way?
Posted by adri4n

yess!

Posted by themartyr

zoiks

Posted by Mrskidders

Im not sure about all this Star Wars stuff.  STO has hardly made a huge impact but ill be interested to see what happens.  WoW has such market domination it seems unstoppable again.

Posted by Colin

Kinda cool.
Posted by CL60

Why? Seems pointless when The Old Republic is coming out.

Posted by fillmoejoe

Now you just need Star Wars farmville edition. Complete domination.

Posted by mracoon

The trailer was looking decent until the narrator started speaking.

Moderator
Edited by HansKaosu

Star Wars = Win 
Cartoon Star wars = fail 
Freemium and F2P = fail 

Posted by odintal
@CL60 said:
" Why? Seems pointless when The Old Republic is coming out. "
Well I know it says free to play but a lot of those have a huge amount of microtransaction stuff that is a big money maker.  
Posted by adoggz

yeah... I'll end up checking this out when it comes out to see if there might be any enjoyment in it to be had.

Edited by President_Barackbar

 I don't like the insinuation that 18-29 year olds associate Star Wars with KOTOR. I'm 18 and while I do like that SW era, the classic trilogy will ALWAYS represent Star Wars for me. I wish Lucas would allow more post Ep VI expanded universe games, as there is a lot of great lore and untapped potential there. But don't think for a minute that most people who weren't alive when the movies came out associate something else with Star Wars.
 
EDIT: Also, it is a huge mistake to think that SWG appeals to the fans of the Original trilogy. With the NGE update, SOE and Lucasarts put in more and more Prequel era content into SWG. It is NOTHING like it was originally.

Posted by fox01313

Strange that they are putting out a free mmo & Bioware's paid one, seems to me that there might be a conflict or having fans ditching the Bioware one for the one that costs nothing.   
 
Any one of the star wars mmorpgs might be really good if they let me play as one of the mouse droids armed with a lightsaber to just cut through people's ankles.

Posted by Dany

Umm....is the Galaxy MMO still up?
 
that is 3 mmos for star wars...that is just crazy

Posted by JediAutobot

This is just odd.

Edited by Olivaw

Man, I remember when I played Star Wars Galaxies.
 
Fond memories. Apart from the whole "playing the game" thing. The space expansion was pretty darn good, though!
 
But The Old Republic. That'll be way better.

Posted by c1337us

I don't think so Tim.
Edited by Jaytow

People who KOTOR represents star wars?
 
 
No the first three movies represent star wars to just about every 10+ year old alive. 
 
You really believe that 18-29 year olds think of KOTOR when the words star wars are said?.... ARE YOU SERIAL!!!?

Posted by Kilnik

"You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessler run in less than 12 parsecs. "
 
See what I did there?

Edited by The_Laughing_Man
@Kilnik said:
" "You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessler run in less than 12 parsecs. " See what I did there? "
Sadly.....I most likely will be giving this a try.... 
 
O and a Parsecs is a unit of space. Not time. So thats a little plot hole there among the massive amounts of others. 
Posted by ArbitraryWater

If I was 10 and had no understanding of what Star Wars related things are good, then this game would be for me. And really Matt, the demographic for Star Wars Galaxies is: Sad, depraved people who have a misguided sense of MMO loyalty. Kind of like the Matrix online people. 

Posted by Deusoma

I'm not interested in any of the three Star Wars MMOs, but I will comment on one thing: 
 
When a full half of a trailer is unrelated footage, that's a very bad sign. See also: Star Trek: D-A-C.

Posted by Willy105

Since Clone Wars is a better property than the rest of Star Wars, I may actually feel like playing this more than The Old Republic.
 
Especially since it's free!

Posted by masternater27

Clone Wars series is actually pretty good.  It takes about 5 episodes to turn from really kiddy and cheesy to being something us grown up can enjoy too though

Posted by kishan6

Apparently some gamers watch something called a television? 
fascinating

Posted by ShaneDev

I dont care about the free  MMO and I dont see my self paying for the old republic, even if its based on the KOTOR stuff also who anywhere thinks that KOTOR represents Star Wars for a generation of people? 
 
By the way this was a well written article good job!! 

Posted by EvolutionX0

*sigh* clone wars...

Posted by Lies
@Kilnik said:
" "You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessler run in less than 12 parsecs. " See what I did there? "
A PARASEC IS A UNIT OF DISTANCE NOT TIME RAAAAGEEEEEEEE
Posted by spiceninja

I like the Clone Wars TV show and this game actually looks good. It'll hold me over until the Old Republic is out.

Online
Posted by Vonocourt
@The_Laughing_Man said:

O and a Parsecs is a unit of space. Not time. So thats a little plot hole there among the massive amounts of others.  "

 Well, that would be more of a factual error rather than a plot hole. Though people have worked out ways that the line would work,and the people who believe Lucas wrote the sequels first can go by his explanation that it was just Han Solo lieing and Obi-Wan saw through his shit but kept quiet.
Edited by PenguinDust

I remember hearing about this a while ago.  I think it will be cool for the kids, but I have no desire to mess around in the Clone Wars cartoon universe.  I'll save my free time for Bioware's Old Republic next year and leave the adventures of young Anakin to the tots who are looking for something to replace Hotel Penguin.

Posted by Milkman

Woah, woah, woah!
 
Star Wars Galaxies is still up and running? What kind of community could that game possibly have at this point? That must be like Matrix Online times ten. God, that must be an ugly scene.

Online
Posted by Jayross

I spy Orange Portal?

Posted by Drifballoon

I suggest we all sign up for this to make one Giant (pun intended) tounge-in-cheek quicklook

Posted by Atomasist

No.

Posted by TehJedicake

looks lame

Posted by doe3879

didn't read the full article 
but you are telling me that the same company is publishing 2 Starcraft mmo relativity close together, 1 Free and 1 monthly payment? 

Edited by legoland12342
@doe3879 said:

" didn't read the full article  but you are telling me that the same company is publishing 2 Starcraft mmo relativity close together, 1 Free and 1 monthly payment?  "

Correction: the article is about Star Wars, not Starcraft.  And this MMO release (alongside The Old Republic) will result in a third Star Wars MMO being on the market.
 
Regardless, F2P MMO's always have the potential to be good.  Anyone still interested in/heard of Black Prophecy?  Making the move to F2P/Freemium will appeal to a larger user base, and potentially give it a longer run.   At least, that's what I can make of it.
Posted by odintal
@The_Laughing_Man said:
" @Kilnik said:
" "You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessler run in less than 12 parsecs. " See what I did there? "
Sadly.....I most likely will be giving this a try....  O and a Parsecs is a unit of space. Not time. So thats a little plot hole there among the massive amounts of others.  "
The question remains if you knew that before or after it was pointed out on Family Guy.
Posted by TomA

That show is so godamn terrible. Although there is an episode where George Tekei does  guest voice.

Posted by Coombs

Hopefully it will keep alot of the annoying twelve years olds out of the Old Republic

Posted by Vykrel

they didnt think the last crappy Clone Wars game was enough, apparently...

Posted by RichardLOlson

I"m kinda worried...I mean next thing we'll see is a cartoon network MMO based on all the cartoon network cartoons.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@odintal said:
" @The_Laughing_Man said:
" @Kilnik said:
" "You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessler run in less than 12 parsecs. " See what I did there? "
Sadly.....I most likely will be giving this a try....  O and a Parsecs is a unit of space. Not time. So thats a little plot hole there among the massive amounts of others.  "
The question remains if you knew that before or after it was pointed out on Family Guy. "
Long long before. 
Posted by JackiJinx

...there are three Star Wars MMOs?  
 
What.

Posted by Kahoona

A Star Wars MMO made by SOE?  Fuck that shit.

Posted by xenexprime

it is obvious by the trailer that this game caters to kids, and based on other Free games targetting kids such as the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean MMO, Wizard101 MMO and Free Realms by Sony, there's a huge kids audience out there.

Posted by BabyChooChoo

This doesn't look right... 
 
It looks like a minigame collection. I definitely saw some tower defense in there with some speed bike racing along with some on rails looking space combat and 1-on-1 lightsaber combat, but none of it looks like an actual MMO.

Posted by TheChaos
@RichardLOlson said:
" I"m kinda worried...I mean next thing we'll see is a cartoon network MMO based on all the cartoon network cartoons. "
Well.....
Posted by Mabui

Looks like Freerealms Starwars edition.

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