BioWare's Multiplayer PC Game Shadow Realms Canceled

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

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

[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.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 147 comments about this story
147 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Scorpio0412

SWTOR was my first MMO. I loved it for a long time, but have recently ended my subscription. In the last 12 months I've played plenty of other MMO's and come to see SWTOR for the disappointment it is. There is just no reward for the time sink is SWTOR. Everything is positioned towards micro-transactions on the Cartel Market. Part of the allure of the MMO is decorative, but almost everything needs to be bought. Playing the game just became a matter of logging on, buying decorations for your character or stronghold and logging off. Sure there was weekly raiding, but it was so mundane. No real reward for effort, or even SOCIAL effort. I played WoW for the first time leading up to Draenor (and since) and was blown away by the difference. I've since stopped playing all MMO's, mainly because the time sink is so absolute it prevents me from having a life, but SWTOR is a sore point as I can see so much potential in it. It could be so good. It's just not.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >> If TOR wasn't your first MMO, you'd have seen the disappointment a LOT sooner. I only lasted 3 months.

Avatar image for jasswolf

<< LINK REMOVED >> Is that you Icesis? Sorry to hear you also quit man. :(

- Daft

Avatar image for Scorpio0412

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> me too daft!

Avatar image for TheBigBadGRIM

<< LINK REMOVED >> I played SWTOR during beta and it's first 2 months and LOVED it as a bounty hunter. Then I hit my level cap and quit after 5 days because it was awful how much of a time sink endgame was (and I've played WoW for thousands of hours by then).

I've always wanted to go back, but only to level up another character. The class storylines are amazing and I wanna try Imperial Agent, but I don't know what the game is like these days. Is it worth going back just for the leveling campaign?

Avatar image for Scorpio0412

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Yep. The Class Missions, particularly the Imperial Agent storyline, are amazing. You can play those as Free to Play and are definitely worth a go.

Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy

The issue most people had was Shadow Realms being MP only, it had all the makings of a cool single player RPG yet they decide the best thing to do is cancel the unwanted MP game and focus on the other unwanted MP game......

Avatar image for Barighm

Bioware: "Dude boss! We've got this awesome idea for a game!"

EA: "Is it a generic rehash, DLC, or spin-off to an already established franchise?"

Bioware: ", it's brand new."

EA: "F*** off."

Avatar image for Goron24

<< LINK REMOVED >> Confirmed since they are focussing on SWTOR a generic WoW rehash with paid DLC and microtransactions

Avatar image for b1ank

So instead of staff layoffs, Bioware got game layoffs

Avatar image for Goron24

<< LINK REMOVED >> That actually makes 0 sense

Avatar image for leikeylosh

"But the biggest focus for our team in BioWare Austin will be on Star Wars: The Old Republic." No! Just let that crap die and use this talented team to make awesome single player RPGs!

Avatar image for northArrow

<< LINK REMOVED >> The talented single player guys are in Edmonton. Nothing was lost here

Avatar image for adro191

what was that?

Avatar image for Flamewolf75

Good news. The game looked to be nothing more than a cash out.

Avatar image for Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff my response.

Avatar image for Vixenar

I wish they'd just make a new KOTOR or something. This is so disappointing. "Talented team to make some great Bioware games even better"? Old Republic isn't one of those, Bioware.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >> TOR *is* the next KOTOR as far as BiowEAre is concerned. It had Revan in it, that's all you wanted, right!?

Avatar image for Vixenar

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I wish it was enough. It's not, really :(

Avatar image for Barighm

<< LINK REMOVED >> Nothing this shell of what was once known as Bioware will ever again make anything similar to any franchise you fondly remember. They could call it Baldur's Gate or KotoR or whatever, but you and I both know it will never be the same.

Your best bet is to support Larian and/or Obisidian and buy games like Divinity and Pillars respectively.

Avatar image for Hurvl

"The developer will now focus its efforts on other projects, but mostly PC MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic" Hah, so much for hoping that this MP game cancellation would make them with a SP game. Well, I read the part about new Mass Effect and DA: I content, but it still feels a bit typical.

I was never interested in Shadow Realms, I don't like MP games, but I thought it was interesting that Bioware were also working on an asymmetrical MP-focused game, just like the devs of Evolve. I thought 4v1 was gonna be a new trend, but I guess I was wrong. Nothing of value was lost or gained by this.

Avatar image for elmeanno

As a huge fan of Bioware since Baldur's Gate was introduced, I have loved all the games that they've put out. However, I will admit I was underwhelmed by what I saw of Shadow Realms when it was revealed and while I'm disappointed to see a project shelved, I could only seeing this being a deviation from what people love Bioware games for, and I hope that they refocus on more story driven content in the future with the emphasis on immersing single-player experiences.

Avatar image for gajbutler

Why does Jeff Hickman still have a job?

Avatar image for kh1337

the trailer didn't look that good its kinda like evolve :/ but with swords n magic

Avatar image for mat016

It looked Promising... WHY!?!?!

Avatar image for koospetoors

So everything went alright only to have it all cancelled because other existing projects took priority out of nowhere?

*puts on tinfoil hat*

I bet Bioware was starting to try out really creative and different things with the game (it was undergoing big changes, they stated a while back), EA gave this one look and thought "developers happily doing what they want to?!" and subsequently forced them to can the whole thing and work on stuff more certain to rake in the quick bucks, with all weekend prison exit passes revoked for the month afterwards o' course.

Avatar image for JamesJoule

hate to be negative .. but this kind of game isn't bioware territory anyway .. now they can focus on mass effect 4 and baldur gate 3( i hope) .

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >> Bioware has publicly stated they'd never be allowed to make a game like Baldur's Gate again.

Avatar image for nodbgp

<< LINK REMOVED >> I hope they never touch BG3, that's the only thing I expect from bioware.

Avatar image for JamesJoule


Avatar image for Navardo95

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I believe he probably means that BG1 & 2 were made by the old and better Bioware team and if they build BG3,they would probably destroy it and create a shallow game maybe..

Avatar image for deactivated-57d307c5efcda

But overall to add, I love Bioware, but I had no interest in this game at all.

Avatar image for Jasurim

That idea didn't last long. Not that I'm really all that disappointed, it sounded rather bland.

Avatar image for deactivated-57d307c5efcda

How about instead of the KOTOR MMO, you guys just make KOTOR 3 and continue off 1 and 2's story. I want to see my exile and Revan team up together. (This might change depending on how you played the game).

Avatar image for Hurvl

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah, the two KotOR's are still the only SP Star Wars RPG's around and I want more SP Star Wars RPG's. I know there are more Bioware studios than the one in Austin and hopefully one of them is doing something KotOR-ish or in the same vein. Don't let SW:TOR be the place where the franchise goes to die.

Avatar image for silversix_

thanks god. it looked mediocre at best.

Avatar image for Stiler

Yes, keep focusing on a dead mmo that most people have written off already.

SW:TOR could have been soooo much more.

Bioware "Oh, we aren't going to have traditional mmo combat!"


"Hey, this feels a lot like your normal mmo combat!"

Bioware: But we took out auto attacks!

Avatar image for Pyrosa

Too many 4v1 games entering the market, when ZERO of them have proven profitable... Good move.

Take some of the better concepts and simply move them to DLC for other games.

Avatar image for deathblow3

this game didnt look that great or fun to play

Avatar image for batmanisalive

I guess PC is not the master race after all. lol

Avatar image for NetBiosError

<< LINK REMOVED >> I guess you just chomped some low-dangling bait from Gamespot's Controversy-Generating, Money-Making Article Titling Committee. To be fair, so did I.

Avatar image for nodbgp

<< LINK REMOVED >> Or are, by not accepting or supporting such pieces of crap.

Avatar image for catsimboy

Good, now they can get back to creating more decadent hover chairs for my hedonistic Sith Lord (just kidding I haven't played TOR in years) Joking aside this looked painfully derivative of games like The Secret World and all the upcoming "one player is the boss" sorta games like Evolve and that Fable monstrosity. Plus that's a terrible trailer, blinking the screen like that is for crappy horror movie trailers.

Avatar image for REDShadowG

They need to realize that they should stick to proper RPGs. That's where they excel, that's what made them what they are today. Its sad to see them venturing into these new "trend" areas and fail like this. Fu EA.

Avatar image for LordCrash88

Maybe they've noticed that we don't need a ton of these games. Most people probably already get their dose with Evolve and other games of the kind.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Because what we really need is Bioware making multiplayer games. This project had EA's grimy fingerprints all over it and thank god it's dead.

Avatar image for Hurvl

<< LINK REMOVED >> It's funny that << LINK REMOVED >> said that Shadow Realms was Bioware's attempt at trying out something different, experimenting creatively and of course EA couldn't allow that. No matter if one agrees with you or koospetoors, it's all EA's fault.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Always online multiplayer "social" game means EA.

Bioware's not very good at multiplayer.

Avatar image for FLEEBS

Probably from disappointment due to the massive letdown people felt when Bioware revealed the game. The build-up and hype was way stronger than the actual idea/product.

Avatar image for Random_Matt

No PC love.