GameSpot is reporting on recent rumors that LucasArts has been shopping Star Wars Galaxies around to other MMO developers, including BioWare and Cryptic Studios. Here's a snip from their story:
Given Galaxies' bumpy ride, and the fact that many game contracts expire after three years, it is not inconceivable that LucasArts, holder of all Star Wars rights, might want to shop around the license. According to informed sources in the industry, that's exactly what the company is doing. Two shops have been mentioned as talking with LucasArts--Cryptic Studios, home to MMORPG City of Heroes, and Canada-based BioWare, maker of the action RPG Jade Empire.
Of the two, BioWare appears the more likely candidate. Besides the fact it developed the critically acclaimed and wildly popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the developer just founded a new studio in Austin, Texas--home of SOE's Austin branch--which employs several ex-SOE staffers. The shop's sole project is an unidentified MMORPG set in a science fiction universe, just as Star Wars: Galaxies is.
What's the official line on all this? "The SWG license stuff is completely untrue," was a SOE spokesperson's terse response. "LucasArts and SOE have no plans to 'sunset' Star Wars Galaxies," said a LucasArts rep, referring to the practice of gradually phasing out a game. "It's had its fair share of hurdles, but it has also had its share of successes in its own right, so we aren't interested in abandoning it and focusing on the future."