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SWTOR executive producer leaves BioWare; new layoffs rumored [Updated: BioWare responds]

Jef Reahard

Star Wars: The Old Republic's Rich Vogel is no longer with BioWare, according to a report at Gamasutra. Vogel served as SWTOR's executive producer and is an MMO industry veteran of 20 years on various titles, including Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, and Meridian 59.

The article also mentions emerging reports that BioWare's Austin campus is laying off workers as of this morning, though Vogel's departure apparently precedes these new developments. It's unclear whether the cuts are a continuation of the restructuring begun last May or a new round of layoffs.

Vogel signed on with BioWare in 2005 and most recently made headlines for a GDC 2012 presentation that highlighted SWTOR's project management apparatus.

[Update: EA BioWare has issued a statement confirming restructuring within its Austin studio, attributing it to ongoing staff reductions started this past May. The full statement is below the break.]

From EA 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."

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