This past week, Keith Kanneg shared news of SWTOR’s next game update. Let’s get the easy part out of the way first: update 7.1 is scheduled for release August 2nd. This is most welcome news. The end of the second galactic season aligned with me more or less completing any gear upgrades I wanted before the new operation’s release, so I definitely feel like the summer doldrums have set in.
I haven’t spent much time on the test server this time around, since I very much want my first experience of R4: The Anomaly to be with my guildmates. I have, however, peeked into a few PTS streams now and then, and what I’ve seen suggests that this will be an exciting operation to learn. I am very much looking forward to it! Furthermore, I hope the new Manaan daily area will be a fun place to visit as well. At the very least, there seem to be enough reputation rewards including many, many decorations, to make visits there worth my while.
However, the most notable part of Keith’s post is the news that Charles Boyd is stepping down from his position as SWTOR’s creative director. Boyd has played a significant role both behind the scenes and as the public face of the game’s development team across’ almost all of SWTOR’s history and certainly since he took over as Creative Director during Fallen Empire.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most expansive Star Wars projects ever created, and that it successfully puts each player at the center of a story that feels like their own meant it had to overcome challenges that tales told in other media never even came close to facing. It’s easy for me to say that some of my favorite Star Wars adventures have taken place in SWTOR, but I can also see the influence of SWTOR in other Star Wars media from movies and TV to comics and books. I think it’s fair to say that Charles Boyd played a significant role in making that happen.
Personally speaking, it was a pleasure to meet and chat with Charles in person a few years ago and I remain grateful that he took time to answer some of my questions about Aurebesh for this blog. I wish him the best in whatever endeavors await him!
All that said, he didn’t do it all alone, and the announcement also includes an introduction to SWTOR’s Design Leadership Team. Everyone on the team has experience with the game and has at least played an active role in SWTOR’s course correction since Knights of the Eternal Throne. We have already seen their work in action, and I am certain we are in good hands.
What Does it Mean?
What does it mean? I don’t know. Why would I? I’m not looped into the office gossip, and, for some reason, no one at Bioware consults me before making major life decisions. It’s fun to speculate about fictional characters, but making hay of real people’s lives is at best rude and at worst irresponsible. People change jobs all the time, and turnover at game studios seems common after big releases. I am reluctant to look for any meaning beyond that.
I am among many long time players who aren’t happy with the support EA seems to be giving SWTOR, but SWTOR will go on. New faces can bring in fresh perspectives on familiar settings and characters, and the one thing I know for certain is that the team at Bioware are good people doing their best to make this a game worth caring about, and I am looking forward to the adventures they take us on next.