Rich Vogel Leaves BioWare: more layoffs?

Just a quick heads-up on an article over at Gamasutra, stating that SWTOR’s executive producer, Rich Vogel, has left BioWare. There are also reports of other layoffs but it’s unclear if it’s part of the original layoff announcement back in late May:

Amid reports that BioWare Austin is laying off staff today, Gamasutra can confirm that Star Wars: The Old Republic’s executive producer Rich Vogel is no longer with the company.

Vogel was instrumental in the development of SWTOR, overseeing all aspects of the MMO before and after its launch in December. The online game, though, has lost around 400,000 paid subscribers in recent months, and BioWare Austin recently said it’s considering free-to-play options for the title.

Reports also emerged on Tuesday morning that the Austin office is laying off workers, but it’s unclear if this headcount reduction is part of the restructuring plan BioWare announced in May. Though its parent company Electronic Arts didn’t specify then how many employees would be affected, the publisher said those layoffs were necessary in order for the team to maintain and grow SWTOR.

There’s nothing much to be upbeat about in regard to this announcement and we’ve had no official communication from BioWare on the changes at this stage.

We’ll have more as we find out ourselves, what’s your take on the situation?

Comments

  1. Xterminatz says:

    Official response from Bioware.

    “As we announced in May and detailed at E3, the BioWare Austin team is refining Star Wars: The Old Republic to continue to grow the game and the service.As with the launch of any MMO, the size and skillset of the teams needed to maintain the game is different than the ones that built it. Starting in May, there have been staff reductions in the BioWare Austin studio. Some people have been platooned to other projects at BioWare Austin and EA SPORTS/Austin. Others have been released – qualifying personnel receive severance and outplacement assistance.BioWare Austin is currently staffed to ensure the continued delivery of new, high quality game content for The Old Republic, and at a more frequent cadence. In the weeks ahead, we will announce plans for growing The Old Republic with new content, new players and new ways to play.”

  2.  @Xterminatz:disqus I believe the official response was from EA, not Bioware, as published on Massively?

    While the game will maintain some players who love it – I think that, generally, the time has come, even for the diehards, to admit that things aren’t rosy! Time to move on perhaps?

  3. Flashman says:

    Vogel was also involved in the debacle that was SWG. Coincidence?

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