Rich Vogel, the executive producer for Star Wars: The Old Republic, has left BioWare Austin amidst growing layoffs at the MMORPG developer. In May, BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts confirmed an undisclosed amount of layoffs as part of a team restructuring. Whether or not this departure has anything to do with that restructuring, is yet to be confirmed.
Vogel’s departure is rumoured not to be the only one hitting BioWare Austin; at present, EA has not confirmed it but it’s been suggested that further staff cuts have been made.
A mere week ago, Electronic Arts opened up the beginning stages of SWTOR for people to play for free; you can create any character available and play the game until you reach a character level of 15. This attempt to increase player numbers, coupled with a drop in subscriber numbers and BioWare toying with free-to-play models, doesn’t paint a rosy picture of EA’s multi-million dollar MMORPG.