In this case, the fantasy world starts with Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine, about the same time the original film began. "The Empire is in control of the universe at that time," says Dan Connors, a LucasArts game creator.The whole article (there's a few more paragraphs dealing with the market and other boring stuff like that) can be found here.
Players won't be able to choose already-established characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo or Princess Leia. Instead, they can choose from roles such as rebel soldier, bounty hunter and mercenary. Characters can travel throughout the planet to the spaceport of Mos Eisley and other cities. Bounty hunters might scour the cantinas for wanted criminals, and rebel soldiers might be sent off-planet.
Developers plan to have other planets to travel to when the game launches, and environments can be added over time. "The scope of the game is going to be huge," says Haden Blackman, a LucasArts content specialist. "We are looking to have two planets with each having 50 adventure zones. Each of those zones in and of itself is massive and populated by characters and creatures."
During the action, the characters created by players will encounter computer-controlled non-player characters and some familiar ones from the Star Wars movies, books and games. "You'll definitely run into familiar (names)," Blackman says.
LucasArts chose not to allow players to choose the roles of Han, Luke, Leia and other familiar Star Wars denizens, he says. "That preserves the quality of the character already known in the Star Wars universe. Still, you might run into Boba Fett."
Imagine the possibilities…
You race in a modified corvette loaded with contraband through an asteroid belt on a spice run from Kessel. The Imperials are hot on your tail, and jettisoning your illicit cargo’s looking like a really good idea before the Imps board the ship. The only problem, is that what you’re carrying is worth the price of a small planet, and your employers wouldn’t be too forgiving should it fall into the wrong hands... As your turbo-lasers bounce harmlessly off the hull of the massive Star Destroyer, the grip of a tractor beam embraces the sleek smuggling ship, now helpless in its grasp.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- March 16, 2000 -- LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC announced today it will partner with Verant Interactive Inc. and Sony Online Entertainment to create the first massively multiplayer Star Wars online role-playing game. Expected to release in 2001, the title will immerse thousands of game players into the classic Star Wars universe. Gameplay will feature a unique combination of combat, specialized missions, and daring quests.I admit, I heard about this first at Jediknight.net. But who visits them anymore? :)
The Star Wars online game will be developed by Verant, distributed and sold at retail by LucasArts, and available for play exclusively online at The Station@sony.com (www.station.sony.com).
The partnership brings together three of the foremost companies in the interactive entertainment industry. LucasArts, a leading international developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, has developed critically acclaimed and commercially successful Star Wars titles across a variety of platforms since 1991. Verant, creator of EverQuest, the most successful massively multiplayer online game to date, is recognized as the leading creator of persistent gaming universes. EverQuest currently boasts more than 200,000 customers, 120,000 of whom play daily. Sony Online Entertainment produces and distributes online games and gameshows targeted to mainstream consumers and game enthusiasts, including EverQuest.
"The combined expertise of LucasArts, Verant, and Sony Online Entertainment will bring to gameplayers an incredibly dynamic online gaming experience worthy of Star Wars," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "The immensity and richness of the Star Wars universe lends itself ideally to a game of this nature."
"We couldn’t possibly ask for a better universe in which to create a massively multiplayer game, " says John Smedley, president and CEO of Verant. "Star Wars offers such an incredible amount of depth and detail that we’ll be able to create a place for fans to feel right at home. This game is going to be incredible!"
"Star Wars online will be a phenomenon that transforms online gaming for both gamers and casual game players," says Lisa Simpson, president of Sony Online Entertainment. "It is a great addition to the blue chip brands our audience has come to enjoy at The Station. We are delighted to work with LucasArts and continue our close association with Verant Interactive."