SWTOR executive producer resigns, layoffs at BioWare Austin reported

We've got some bad news coming out of BioWare Austin today, with Gamasutra confirming that Star Wars: The Old Republic executive producer Rich Vogel has resigned from the company. That's not all though, as additional reports are claiming that the studio suffered more layoffs earlier today. It's unclear at the moment how many people lost their jobs in this latest round of cutbacks for the Star Wars: The Old Republic team.

It's likely that these layoffs are a part of Electronic Arts' restructuring plan, which was announced back in May. At the time, no one wanted to talk about how many people would be laid off as part of the plan, with BioWare and EA simply telling us that the layoffs would be necessary for the game to continue to grow. Vogel had apparently already left the company by the time today's layoffs took place.

Vogel served as one of The Old Republic's main men throughout the game's development and after its release in December, and had worked at BioWare Austin for seven years. The circumstances surrounding Vogel's departure were not revealed to Gamasutra.

Star Wars: The Old Republic launched in December 2011 with an incredible amount of hype behind it. Gamers quickly flocked to the game, but that success was short-lived, with a number of those same players leaving the game behind not long after launch. BioWare and EA have rolled out a number of initiatives to entice old and potential players alike, including the decision to make the game free-to-play for the first 15 levels. Last month, BioWare said that it was considering taking the entire game free-to-play, but such a switch has yet to actually occur. With the announcement of these latest layoffs, however, the change to free-to-play may not be that far off.