Less than a year after news of its development surfaced, Bioware's Shadow Realms has been canceled.
Jeff Hickman, general manager of BioWare Austin, confirmed the cancellation of Shadow Realms via the role playing game's blog.
Stating his understanding that the news would disappoint some fans, Hickman explained the decision to scrap the game. The studio, which developed Star Wars: The Old Republic, will move on to pitch in on other BioWare projects that include development of the next entry into the Mass Effect series and post-development work on Dragon Age: Inquisition.
"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," says Hickman.
The BioWare Austin team won't pour all of its resources into contributing to its sister studios' projects. Hickman says BioWare Austin's will direct the majority of its attention to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
"As every Star Wars fan knows, this is a massive year in the Star Wars universe," says Hickman. "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."
Shadow Realms was announced back at Gamescom in 2014, with an alpha testing period promised to follow the news. The game would take on an episodic format, feature four vs. one gameplay and hark back to the classic formulas that gave rise to role playing games.
"BioWare RPGs have successfully replicated many of the things that made classic tabletop games fun: powerful storytelling, being able to create your own character, leveling-up that hero to achieve the heights of fantasy power, and tactical combat against a fantastic array of monsters. But the stories always come to an end and AI systems can't replace the creativity of a human Dungeon Master," said James Ohlen, studio creative director, back when the game was announced.
About a month before Shadow Realms' cancellation was announced, reports began to emerge indicating that the game would be rebooted to make use of Origin, EA's digital distribution platform. The reports stated that BioWare Austin would also ditch the episodic formula and release the game in full, but now those plans have been dumped and Hickman says the studio is working on a way to say "thank you" to those who signed up for the alpha.
"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," says Hickman.