Shadow Realms was far and away one of Bioware’s most exciting upcoming games. By blending their trademark branching narrative style with asymmetrical 4v1 multiplayer, Bioware Austin aimed to create a compelling ongoing storyline that would keep players hooked for months on end. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll never see that vision realized. Today Jeff Hickman, the general manager at Bioware Austin, made a blog post on the Shadow Realms website declaring that the project is dead.
According to Hickman, this decision has been made so that Bioware Austin’s employees can work on supporting other Bioware products. Ongoing enhancements to Dragon Age: Inquisition have been promised, and shadow realms team members will also work on the upcoming Mass Effect game, as well as new Bioware IPs. Hickman says that since “this is a massive year for the Star Wars universe” that they’ll be focusing the bulk of their efforts on Star Wars: The Old Republic. News about their plans to expand the game should be revealed in the coming weeks.
While it’s good that the Shadow Realms team has moved on to other projects instead of having to find new work, I can’t help feeling disappointed. There was a lot of promise in Shadow Realms’ combat mechanics and multiplayer dynamics, and I was excited to see Bioware’s take on a contemporary fantasy setting. Hopefully the extra manpower will at least make Bioware’s other games better.