Posted by Chuck Corbin on Jul 18, 2012

SWTOR’s Executive Producer Leaves BioWare As Layoffs Affect SWTOR Staff

As MMO’s are created, released, and mature out on the open market, you can get a little insight on the health of an MMO based in part on the staff. Unfortunately for Star Wars: The Old Republic, it doesn’t seem to be doing so hot. After losing 400,000 customers in a few months, BioWare Austin is starting to lay off workers, and Rich Vogel, the executive producer for SWTOR, has left the company.

BioWare claims that the layoffs were necessary in order to maintain and grow SWTOR. And while it may be true that after the release of the game there were “too many chefs in the kitchen”, when a game loses a huge chunk of its audience in a few months I can’t exactly buy that excuse. Add to that the fact that EA is thinking of transforming SWTOR into a free to play game and to me what I see is EA diverting money away from what could be called a disaster.

SWTOR is not the first MMORPG that Vogel has worked on in the past. He helped build games such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, both of which enjoyed some moderate success for a time. His departure from BioWare, however, appears to be unrelated to the layoffs, according to Gamasutra. Maybe he also saw the writing on the wall for SWTOR?


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