Shadow Realms was the latest announced BioWare game, cryptically teased before being revealed at Gamescom 2014 near the middle of last year. Unfortunately the title, which was a foray into the trending 4v1 gameplay arena, has been officially canceled.
Whispers of the title’s demise began to circulate yesterday and were confirmed today via a blog post on the official Shadow Realms website. The general manager, Jeff Hickman, had this to say:
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.
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.
According to Hickman’s statement, there were just more important projects and presumably the team working on Shadow Realms is simply more useful to BioWare’s goals elsewhere.
It’s never good to see an IP die, especially a fresh one, though with the redistribution of workers and resources, maybe the public will see the other mentioned projects sooner.
Shadow Realms will likely be best remembered for it’s “viral” live-action ad campaign.
This is honestly a huge shame. Ever since I first laid eyes on dear old “Smoke-Face” (my name for the fellow with the smoke face in the trailer), this title caught my interest. Even more of my attention was garnered once I found out that BioWare was the developer working on Shadow Realms. Hopefully the title resurfaces somewhere far into the future, though this hope seems fruitless much like a similar hope for other titles coughStar Wars: 1313cough. The only consolation to rise from this news happens to be that this sacrifice may lead to more (and better) work on the next Mass Effect and the other new IPs that Hickman mentioned.. that and the curiosity of what BioWare plans to dole out to people who signed up for the closed beta.