Home Gaming Bioware slashes its SWTOR headcount

Bioware slashes its SWTOR headcount

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Earlier this month I posted up an article about how EA’s share price was plummeting and how it was largely to do with the on going problems with holding SWTOR subscribers.

Well unsurprisingly this is now causing problems at the Bioware studio involved in the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic with news coming out of Austin Texas that Bioware and EA are laying off a large amount of people from the team.

While Bioware and EA have acknowledged the cuts they haven’t yet announced how many people have been let go and EA are also saying that they are working hard on placing any affected people in other parts of the company.

The full Bioware statement is as follows

Hey folks, since you’re reading this you may likely have heard that we’ve done some restructuring here on the SWTOR team. Sadly, we are bidding farewell to some talented, passionate and exceptionally hard-working people who helped make SWTOR a reality. Impacting people’s lives this way is always very hard, but we’re ensuring the affected people are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

Looking back at launch, we all came together and did something historic. We executed one of the largest, most successful and stable launches of any MMO yet in industry history. That is not an easy feat for any development team or company and we are humbled and honored by our fan community’s strong support both at launch and beyond.

Looking forward, the studio remains vibrant and passionate about our many upcoming initiatives for Star Wars: The Old Republic. We still have a very substantial development team working on supporting and growing the game, and we feel we are in a strong position, with your continued involvement and feedback, to continue to build Star Wars: The Old Republic as one of the most compelling and successful online experiences in the world today. There are many strong initiatives planned for cool new content and new features that we’re excited to tell you about in the upcoming weeks and months.

Rest assured that we remain dedicated to delivering a high quality service in SWTOR to you, our fans, and we will continue to support and grow Star Wars: The Old Republic over the weeks, months and years to come.

Greg and Ray

It’s never pleasant to hear about people being retrenched and hopefully they’ll all find new positions sooner rather than later. However it does raise the question of whether or not it’s even worth attempting to compete against World of Warcraft in the MMO space.

The amount of investment required to compete is insane and unless you get that cult following it’s looking increasingly difficult to stay profitable.

Last Updated: May 23, 2012

One Comment

  1. Bob From Austin

    October 3, 2013 at 17:49

    “We executed one of the largest, most successful and stable launches of any MMO yet in industry history.” This is why the game got into trouble in the first place, ironically, for many of the same reasons Galaxies did- philosophically speaking. With Galaxies, it was SOE ignoring passionately held player feedback leading to the famed NGE that gutted the games subscriber base, but this is not about Galaxies, its about SWTOR. Forbes Magazine, Money Magazine, various MMO business trades (not fan publications, trades that focus on people in the MMO business and many other sources all cited SWTOR as one of the worst, most disastrous launches of all time, resulting in the loss of over a million subscribers, crashing revenues and lots of layoffs. We went from experienced and well credentialed veterans of gaming doing game design to kids fresh out of college, the true EA “its all about the money” way (uh, can anyone say SOE?). I was in BETA and have played on and off since then, I have 6 toons in total, several in the 50’s with several more that range from the 40’s down to the 20’s. The game has gotten better in many ways and is certainly more stable and enjoyable to play. But the Cartel Market, which is all about inspiring players to gamble versus the GW2 TRUE micro transaction model, is raping its player base of real world dollars. Wherein with GW2, if you went really over the top crazy with micro transactions, perhaps you could spend $100-200 in a pop, if you went real nuts, with SWTOR its easily $500-800 a pop, again, on the extreme side if you absolutely had to have certain items. SWTOR has become the ultimate example of Pay To Win. Rather then admit any of these issues, like politicians, Bioware and EA continue their PR rhetoric, without owning what it will take to truly bring this property in line with well run, well managed MMO’s- which is the real issue, is it not? Once again, corporate greed and bean counters ravage and pillage a very loyal fan base because if this were anything else but Star Wars, this MMO would have been dead long ago, not in a galaxy far away.


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