Ex-Star Wars Galaxy Designer Waxes Vulgar on NGE

Ex-Sony Star Wars Galaxies Designer Dan Rubenfield has gone public with his no holds barred commentary on the New Galactic Era changes made to the MMO. In rather explicit terms he explains why SOE introduced the NGE, what went wrong and why “it was necessary.” He also has some very specific, unrepeatable instructions for those who want to complain about how he ruined SWG.

Here are some highlights from an edited version of the post on his site:

So we were given the directive to make Galaxies better.

Not just make Galaxies better, but make it successful. Not the 200k subs it had, but really successful. The idea was that we had the most valuable IP in the entire world, and we f***ed it up to the point of having 200k subs.

So, when the NGE push came along, we were asked to reimagine the game.

Not just small changes, but rebuild it.

And it was needed. When we were asked, we were bleeding subscribers.

If I remember correctly, somewhere around 10k a month. LOSING 10,000 subs a month.

Note – We didn’t notify anyone about the change until 2 weeks before launch because until 2 weeks before launch we hadn’t made a decision. You basically found out when we found out.

It was still a huge f***up.

Epoch grade f***up.

I think it lost a lot of the Raphy goodness that makes MMOs work, and that was a profound loss.

That was a huge mistake.

But I think the control scheme changes were dead on.

The point, the f***up, the mistake that we made, was answering an unasked question.

“Can you change an MMO drastically after it launches?”

Categorically, NO.

If we were to do it again, and wanted to make those types of changes, you have to make a new game.

Relaunch with a new title.

Or shut down Galaxies and relaunch for real.

You cannot change it at runtime.

Since this is a family friendly site, I can’t link to Rubenfield’s colorful piece. Visit Rock, Paper Scissors to find links to the original tirade.

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4 Comments on Ex-Star Wars Galaxy Designer Waxes Vulgar on NGE


On June 15, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Make it like Guild Wars in subscription, and I’d buy it. I just can’t afford cash each month to be a Star Wars fanboy.


On June 15, 2008 at 8:36 pm


dude i know people that pay for as many as FIVE subs per month. it’s insane.


On June 15, 2008 at 9:34 pm

In all honesty, paying for subscriptions is the only reason I don’t play MMOs.


On June 16, 2008 at 7:46 am

I want my old SWG back :( Man I miss that game, it was so awesome.