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When it rains, it pours, and the BioWare Austin team behind Star Wars: The Old Republic has been caught in a veritable monsoon of crappy circumstances. Just a few weeks back, an EA earnings statement revealed that the MMO had lost about a quarter of its subscribers during the last financial quarter. Execs said it was simply free trial players cycling out of the game, but BioWare announced yesterday that it had laid off some of the SWTOR team.
BioWare founders Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka told fans about the decision in the SWTOR forum:
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.
BioWare didn't announce the exact number of employees affected, but Internet scuttlebutt said the axe hit a fairly large percentage of the team. Nevertheless, Zeschuk and Muzyka said they "still have a very substantial development team working on supporting and growing the game," with new content and features planned for upcoming days.
SWTOR hasn't exactly taken the galaxy by storm the way EA and BioWare hoped it would. Have you played around in SWTOR? What did you think of it? Do you think premium subscriptions still have a role in this increasingly free to play MMO world?