BioWare's Multiplayer PC Game Shadow Realms Canceled

[UPDATE] Cancellation confirmed; read a statement from BioWare Austin general manager Jeff Hickman.

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[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, BioWare Austin officially announced the cancellation of Shadow Realms. The developer will now focus its efforts on other projects, but mostly PC MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare Austin general manager Jeff Hickman explains in a statement posted on the game's website. You can read his full statement below.

"Today I’m sharing some important news about Shadow Realms and our BioWare Austin studio.

We’ve made the decision to not move forward with development of Shadow Realms. We fully recognize that this news is disappointing to some of our fans, so I want to explain more behind this decision.

While the team did amazing work on the game concept and we got lots of great feedback from our fans at events and through other game testing, right now there are other projects for the team to work on within the BioWare studios for the coming year and beyond. We’ve got an incredibly talented team here at the Austin studio, and they are excited and already deep on new projects within the BioWare family, ones that will make some great BioWare games even better.

These include additional ongoing enhancements to the award-winning Dragon Age: Inquisition, as well as the next game in the Mass Effect series and other new IP.

But the biggest focus for our team in BioWare Austin will be on Star Wars: The Old Republic. As every Star Wars fan knows, this is a massive year in the Star Wars universe. We have some great plans for expanding this epic game this year, and look forward to sharing the news about those plans with our players in the coming weeks.

For all the people that registered for the Shadow Realms Closed Alpha, we’re working on a way to say thank-you for signing up. To all those players that gave us feedback at Gamescom and PAX, and those that shared their thoughts and impressions in the past months, we thank you for being part of the conversation."

The original story is below.

Following a report last month that claimed BioWare's 4v1 PC online game Shadow Realms had been rebooted for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, sources told Game Informer today that the title has been canceled outright.

Multiple sources at publisher Electronic Arts said the game is no longer in the works, though it's unclear as to why the game has been shut down or if there will be layoffs as a result.

No Caption Provided

EA declined to comment when approached by Game Informer.

The game, which was announced during Gamescom less than a year ago, was in development at Star Wars: The Old Republic developer BioWare Austin.

Set in a modern fantasy world, Shadow Realms was described as an "online-only" RPG that would offer cooperative 4v1 gameplay. Four players can fight against an enemy known as the Shadowlord, or you can play as the Shadowlord.

"This game brings us back to our roots in the realm of classic Pen and Paper RPG, but also delivers something that’s completely new and innovative for our fans," Hickman said at the time. "Shadow Realms is a new BioWare RPG that has the hallmarks of all BioWare games with a rich story, a unique world setting, and deep combat progression, but built as an interactive experience that evolves the genre and broadens the appeal to online gamers all over the world."

We'll have more information about the fate of Shadow Realms as it becomes available.

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Avatar image for deactivated-5a7a9f13c46dd

I hate Bioware so much.

Avatar image for WeWerePirates

I'm a bit disappointed. The 4v1 aspect seemed really interesting and ME3's MP component was really solid. I was always dubious about the story telling model as it seemed to me that would make starting the game after launch less appealing.

Lots of interesting ideas here. It's a pity we couldn't see it in action.

Avatar image for dani_i89

<< LINK REMOVED >> Cheap online rubbish at best. This was a solid idea. I doubt more than about 6 people supported this abomination of an idea.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Oh, so they're pouring all their resources in their disappointing MMO instead. Yeah, thanks.

Avatar image for lostn

Is this the game Casey Hudson and the ME team was working on?

Avatar image for crusaderprophet

<< LINK REMOVED >> no, it was being worked on by Austin studio.

Avatar image for pezzott1

I like how in the video at 00:07 you can hear a gtalk msg ping.

Avatar image for jetpil0t_01

Yeah that's a pretty awful trailer, not surprised.

Avatar image for Alekxander


Avatar image for Vexov

Wasn't an appealing game to me or anyone i knew. Wonder if it got scrapped cause not enough tickets bought to board the hype train (not enough people interested in it). Well, now they can focus on ME4.. and hopefully bring it an even more amazing multiplayer this time around (cause fk the story, its done).

Avatar image for ezioismyname

Gaymers were upset because there wasn't enough same sex relationships involved

Avatar image for dani_i89

<< LINK REMOVED >> Lol that's pretty funny....but honestly, this was a pretty atrocious idea.

Avatar image for rumadbrah

What a loser.

Avatar image for AndrewLB

<< LINK REMOVED >> He's actually right on point. Bioware is big on progressive social engineering, social justice, and other left-wing causes. What they don't understand is that by catering to the very outspoken 1.6% of the US population that self identifies as gay/lesbian, they are alienating a much larger demographic that isn't against what they do, but just don't want it shoved in their face all the time. And while there are some people who absolutely hate gay people, they are a very small minority. Most of us would just like them to go live normal lives like the rest of us instead of always having to let everyone in the room know they're gay and if you don't like their annoying in-your-face behavior, you're somehow a bigot. Society as a whole will be far more accepting of different lifestyles if that kind of behavior wasn't so prevalent. Growing up in a city with a large gay/lesbian population i've became friends with quite a few of them that wont even attend the pride parade each year because, as they say, "it's not about pride anymore, but has become a f@g and freak show".

Avatar image for Kungfu_Kenobi

This is great news for me, since I've been working on a thematically similar (albeit single player) RPG, off and on for the last couple of years.

Avatar image for hystavito

<< LINK REMOVED >> They'll still sue you, heheh, I'm kidding of course :).

Good luck.

Avatar image for BamaGoatt

Great now what will I spend my extra money on monthly? (Sarcasm for those that don't get it)

Avatar image for Orontes13

Yes... they stopped making one multiplayer game to focus on another multiplayer game. Big deal. Moving on.

Avatar image for TruthSerum808

TBH the game never looked good to begin with.

Bioware Austin is not a top tier studio so the game probably would not have worked out very well anyway. BW Austin is another studio re-branded to take advantage of the more prestigious Bioware brand name.

Avatar image for Auriken

It's smart not to focus on a project they don't have any passion for. Put more work into Mass Effect 4, and if you want to add even more stuff to SWTOR, I won't hate it.

Avatar image for jasswolf

Great to hear they're investing more into SWTOR a whole 12 months after they should have started doing so. It's not like they just released an expansion or anything...

Avatar image for Darkhol0w

Welp..sht happens.

Avatar image for Pelezinho777

They couldn't implement sexual freedoms in the game?

Avatar image for rumadbrah

OMG the world is going to end same sex relationships in video games... Grow up loser

Avatar image for xbr85

It was inevitable, the game looked wholly uninteresting.

Avatar image for Darth_Starwind

<< LINK REMOVED >> The "modern fantasy" part looked promising but the whole always online thing plus the 4v1 elements turned me off.

Avatar image for Darth_Starwind

With Evolve just launching and Disney/EA holding a gun to their head, I'm not surprised by this announcement.

Avatar image for spectralmerc

They just got scared of doing another franchise. For Bioware's sake, Dragon Age Inquisition better not be a fluke. After Dragon Age 2, SW:TOR, Mass Effect 3 and now this, Bioware has a lot of sins to atone for, and DA: Inquisition is not quite enough.

Avatar image for Ferric24

<< LINK REMOVED >> DA:I didn't really sell all that well and can't be considered a commercial success. The fact that their hasn't been any announced DLC or expansions is concerning as it seems that EA has washed it hands of the franchise.

Avatar image for spectralmerc

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I don't think that's true. While EA reported a loss, I think it has to do with other factors. After all, DA:I is Bioware's most successful launch, even beyond Mass Effect. I think the decision not to implement DLC yet is part of EA's policy to reduce milking the gamers (I am aware of NFS, but that's a F2P). Seeing things a bit closely, EA is making efforts to regain our trust, with mad sales and low prices (DA:I's price on release was 40 bucks with a heavy discount immediately after), and different approaches to existing franchises (the decision to delay Hardline on beta, making Mirror's Edge sequel, having all their back catalog on Origin).

I don't think they washed their hands off, this very article says they're devoting part of the team to improve DA:I. My (fairly optimistic) take is that they're trying to be less evil. I hope.

Avatar image for GhoX

<< LINK REMOVED >> BioWare Austin is only BioWare in name. Their only game is SWTOR. They are not involved in making any of BioWare's single-player franchises.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a397382d8ac4

<< LINK REMOVED >> You really need to get your facts straight. Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, Jade Empire, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age Origins - these are games worked on by key people who now work at Bioware Austin.

There are Bioware veterans at both Austin, Edmonton and Montreal.

Avatar image for GhoX

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Bioware Austin was formed solely to create SWTOR. Edmonton & Montreal were the ones responsible for the other games. There may be veterans, but it's undeniable that the studio was not involved in developing non-MMO games.

Participation in development as a veteran really doesn't mean much, when human resource is so liquid-like in the programming industry.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a397382d8ac4

<< LINK REMOVED >> Being a veteran Bioware lead designer/programmer/writer/whatever and having decades of experience really doesn't mean much?

Well, in that case let's just hire on any crew to make the next Bioware title, how about these guys? << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for spectralmerc

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Don't know if being happy or sad. Thanks for the info. Happy because of your news. Sad because they threw 200M dollars at a studio with no experience and produced the massive turd that TOR is.

Avatar image for northArrow

The fact that it was an MP game meant I had no interest. Hopefully the staff moves on to something more productive

Avatar image for Asharel

Strangle the game in the cryb eh? good call!

Avatar image for CapnXtraObvious

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yes, before it's too late!

Avatar image for apolloooo

never interested in it from the beginning

Avatar image for Monsterkillah

EA too busy making another madden batlefield, fifa and need for speed games

Avatar image for uninspiredcup

EA marketers in action.

Avatar image for Lambchopzin

Well that's a shame. Shadow Realms looked infinitely more interesting to me then SWTOR ever has, from the little we knew anyways.