BioWare has laid off an unknown number of the STAR WARS: The Old Republic team today as part of a restructuring plan. BioWare's first MMO launched five months ago to critical acclaim, but it didn't generate the kind of subscriber numbers that both EA and BioWare had hoped for. Recently it was revealed that the number of subscribers had dipped from 1.7 million paid members in February to 1.3 million.
In a joint statement on the SWTOR community site BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk expressed their regrets in having to lay some of the staff off:
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
The layoffs will only affect BioWare's Austin, Texas studio, which is dedicated to the continued operation and development of the game.