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BioWare cancels Shadow Realms, its 4-versus-1 co-op RPG

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Shadow Realms, the online cooperative role-playing game from BioWare Austin is no more. The studio says it's no longer developing the game, which was just unveiled to the public this past August.

"We've made the decision to not move forward with development of Shadow Realms," BioWare Austin general manager Jeff Hickman wrote on the game's website. "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."

BioWare Austin will focus its development efforts on other projects, including Dragon Age: Inquisition, the next Mass Effect and other unannounced games. The studio will also continue work on Star Wars: The Old Republic.

"As every Star Wars fan knows, this is a massive year in the Star Wars universe," Hickman said. "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."

Shadow Realms was announced at last year's Gamescom as an online RPG featuring four-player co-op against a single playable enemy who controls "every aspect of the game." The game was slated to come to Windows PC.

With Shadow Realms, BioWare planned to introduce "a constantly evolving BioWare world where modern meets fantasy." The developer hoped to release the game's narrative episodically, which would play out over time "like a great TV series, providing players the ability to experience story-driven adventures as a community."

"This game brings us back to our roots in the realm of classic Pen and Paper RPG, but also delivers something that's completely new and innovative for our fans," Hickman said when the game was announced. "Shadow Realms is a new BioWare RPG that has the hallmarks of all BioWare games with a rich story, a unique world setting and deep combat progression, but built as an interactive experience that evolves the genre and broadens the appeal to online gamers all over the world."

For a look at what kind of project BioWare wanted Shadow Realms to be, watch the live action trailer that accompanied the game's reveal last year.

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