Little over 6 months ago, Bioware announced Shadow Realms. An action RPG which Bioware hoped to turn into the next big thing. However, in a strange turn of events, Shadow Realms was put on ice.
Since it’s announcement, Shadow Realms received mixed reactions, although I personally liked (not loved) the game but not many fans were impressed by the route Bioware was taking with Shadow Realms. Somewhat similar to the recently released Evolve, Shadow Realms was a 4vs1 thirst person action RPG.
Since Gamescom, I never understood why Bioware was making a game like this, and it being a PC exclusive was the strangest part for me. OK maybe it’s not that surprising as Bioware first started by releasing PC only games, but they have been multiplatform for a while.
So what was wrong with Shadow Realms? Right out of the gate, the concept failed to impress critics and players. In Shadow Realms, 4 players face a fifth player who controls Shadow Lord. The reason why he’s called a Shadow Lord because he is just a shadow. You can’t see him unless he possess another creature.
You can think of Shadow Lord as a Game Master, while your party moves through the dungeon he lays bombs, new traps, choke points and more. He further activates existing traps without a warning and the party has no choice but to fall into it.
In short, players had no idea what their enemy is up to until they come across a new trap/deception. On top of that, he was able to mimic a player of your party which creating confusion. Shadow Realms was Bioware’s take on Dungeons & Dragons, not that making a game similar to the concept is a bad thing, but I feel Bioware wasn’t able to implement it the way they wanted to.
Frankly, like many of you I expected more from Bioware!
Bioware is behind some of the most amazing games of our time such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect and many more. They are also working on the next Star Wars game, which is anticipated by millions. In addition, Mass Effect 4 is on its way as well.
All this content is highly exciting but is it OK for developers to cancel a new IP, in favor of old ones? In this case, I believe they made the right call.
In a post that revealed Shadow Realms cancellation, Bioware explained the reason behind their decision.
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.
The above mentioned franchises are massive and make millions if not billions with each installment. With that said, as a gamer I would like to see new unique IPs made by these developers instead of milking popular games. However, Shadow Realms might not be the IP we were hoping to see from such a talented team of developers.
From the looks of it, Bioware realized they’re not going anywhere with this D&D/Evolve wanna-be. Scrapping Shadow Realms means they can now focus all of their resources to making Dragon Age DLC and Mass Effect 4. Not only that but they have announced a new IP, which will be unveiled in the near future.
For Bioware’s sake, I hope they think through the concept of this IP.
Do you think Bioware made the right call with Shadow Realms? Share your take on their decision with us in the comments below.