A group of disappointed Star Wars: Galaxies, Sony's infamous MMORPG, fans have decided to create SWGEmu, a project that will try to return SW: Galaxies to its former glory; free of charge.
Sony has gradually introduced a series of upgrades to its online game that have alienated the hardcore fanbase and recently, the New Game Enhancements (NGE) and the Combat Upgrade (CU) have greatly depleted the numbers of players.
The open source effort is an attempt, by five members of the SW: Galaxies community, to reverse engineer a version of the game that will restore it to its pre NGE and CU state and will feature some additional improvements to the Jedi System. The game will be hosted on private servers while programmers will have access to the source code in an attempt to get the community involved in improving the game.
The first and most obvious question is, ...is this legal? According to the team working on SWGEmu: We built the server from ground up, so what exactly can they sue for? Yes it is against the SWG EULA to reverse engineer any communications between it and the server, but that is not (to my knowledge) a legal implication.
What is even more revealing about Sony Online Entertainment's plans is the fact that the people behind SWGEmu have, reportedly, all been offered jobs by SOE to work its SWG division; the programmers involved have all refused the offers. These job offers, of course, cannot be used to infer the legality of the project as Sony has not yet officially commented on its plan of action.
The creators of SWGEmu claim they are using Pre-CU Patch 12.1 and will have a releasable version very soon...