We think what most Galaxies want to hear, first and foremost from SOE, what the Old Republic announcement means for them. What does the announcement of The Old Republic mean for Star Wars Galaxies players?
John Smedley: I think since there was no date announced with the game, it's safe to assume it will be released far enough in the future that is not any immediate issue for Galaxies players. We do not know when that game is going to launch, I don't believe they know when that game is going to launch. For the foreseeable future, Galaxies is quite safe. How long that is, I think has more to do with how and when that game comes along.
At some point we'll make a decision about when and if to sunset Galaxies, but as of right now we don't have any plans to do that.
From what LucasArts has already said publicly already, they see a scenario where The Old Republic and Star Wars Galaxies are happily co-existing. Is that something SOE is committed to as well?
John: We would be happy to do that. The question is, is there enough of a subscriptions base for that. I'm anxious to play that game too, I think they're going to make a great game. Is there still going to be a subscriptions base for Galaxies, or will everyone go play the new game? I'd like to think the games are going to be very different and I think that definitely could happen.
What is it that you feel SWG offers players, in terms of gameplay and community, that will keep players with the game between now and when The Old Republic is released?
John: We're going to continue to come out with new content. We have a great live team on that game, we have Hoth coming out and we have plans for beyond that. The team isn't quite ready to announce that yet but we'll continue to make new stuff for the game. That's a player base we very much we want to continue to serve. We want to see it grow larger.
How do you feel the relationship between SOE and the SWG playerbase is right now?
John: I think that it is fair to say we have proven ourselves in the last year or so. We've listened, after making the mistake of doing the NGE, and I think we now have a game that we're all really proud of. We have the game now that I wish we'd launched with. I wish we'd been given the time to make this game. Star Wars Galaxies is an incredible game and I think having a game with ground and space, inside the sandbox experience, it's something we're excited by.
Ask the playerbase and I think you'd get a lot of different answers, but mostly I get emails saying that the game is a lot of fun now. I'd say that while things were intense for a little while –and I definitely understand there are still some upset players - I think there are a lot more happy players.
As a final question: how has the Champions of the Force TCG turned out from SOE's perspective?
John: Really well. We've been super happy about how it has been received by the fans. It is very similar to our experience with Legends of Norrath. It's a new kind of game activity in the world and it's pretty exciting for us to be able to share it with the players.
Thank you for your time, sir.