EA is close to finalizing an agreement to transfer development of Star Wars: The Old Republic from BioWare to third-party studio Broadsword Online Games, we learned at IGN.
According to sources familiar with the deal, Broadsword and EA have both signed letters of intent, and the deal is expected to be finalized as soon as this month.
The agreement will see The Old Republic hand over to Broadsword Online, the current developer of Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot titles, which is run by former Mythic Entertainment co-founder and former BioWare Vice President Rob Denton, who previously worked on The Old Republic in its early days.
After publishing this information, EA issued the following statement:
Almost 12 years after its release, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community. We are very proud of the work the team has done, and the future for the game and the community remains very bright. We value how we give the game and the team the best opportunity for growth and development, which includes conversations with Broadsword, a studio that specializes in delivering community-driven online experiences. Our goal is to do what’s best for the game and its players.”
Approximately 70-80 people are part of The Old Republic’s core development team, more than half of whom are expected to move to Broadsword, the rest with EA will have the opportunity to look for jobs elsewhere within the company, but will also likely be laid off .