Star Wars Galaxies' closure explained

Some left Star Wars Galaxies long ago, vowing never to return. Others, however, are clinging onto their beloved MMO with an iron grip, going so far as to propose litigation to prevent its demise. Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley told The Escapist why the MMO has to end--and the answer will surprise few.

"That's the problem with licenses: they end," Smedley said. When the game was first launched in 2001, the license was secured for five years, and had to be renegotiated multiple times over the years. "It was time to turn it off. We have a contractual relationship that's ending in 2012," Smedley added. Subsequently, Star Wars Galaxies ends on December 15th of this year.

"Could we have renegotiated? Maybe, but I don't think that would be the right thing for the company," Smedley says after acknowledging the BioWare-developed elephant in the room. "You look at the odds of a pretty large portion of the audience moving to [The Old Republic], which looks like a terrific game."

Before Star Wars Galaxies closes, Sony Online Entertainment plans on having a "galaxy-ending event," the details of which have yet to be disclosed.