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The Old Republic EP Leaves; Other Staff Cuts?

Rich Vogel has left BioWare, where he was serving as executive producer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, reports Gamasutra, where they say their attempts to get a comment from BioWare or EA on the reasons for this have so far been unsuccessful. They also say this news comes amid rumors of layoffs at BioWare Austin, but it is not clear whether these reports of job losses at the developer of the Star Wars MMORPG are related to the cuts announced in May, though Gamasutra adds it "understands that Vogel's departure preceded the purported layoffs." Thanks Joao.

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43. Re: The Old Republic EP Leaves; Other Staff Cuts? Jul 17, 2012, 22:48 PropheT
Fion wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 17:12:
The problem with the MMOG market is the monthly fee. It encourages exclusivity as the vast majority of people don't play more than one because for one reason or another they feel they won't get their moneys worth if they cant put in dozens of hours into the game over the course of said month. While this is great for those big name MMOGs with millions of subscribers, it's deadly for the Genre as a whole.

Hopefully GW2 will push the F2P/B2P market by offering an amazing AAA game with a non p2w microtransactions system. If the game is successful, if Arenanet is able to pull in substantial amounts of money on a quarterly bases from box sales and microtransactions combined it may well push the genre towards dropping that monthly fee. Once nobody has to pay a subscription fee folks should have no problem playing multiple MMOGs and the market can expand and we can have a market with not just one or two MMOGs of any quality but potentially dozens of fantastic games to chose from.

I don't see that there's any evidence to support any of that, really.

Subscription MMO's are still alive and healthy. Old ones are still alive and healthy. Hell, even some of the best examples of free to play games out there right now still have subscriptions available...or are making more money per person off of cash shops than they were by subscription fees. People are paying to play these games, even the "free" ones. That's why everyone wants to make them anymore.

People don't have to play multiple MMO's for the market to be healthy, and it's not just the big name MMO's with millions of subscribers driving the market. Aside from WoW in North America, is there even another one here? The closest I know of is the game we're talking about here (TOR). Some of the other largest ones out there are run by Turbine, CCP, Funcom, and Trion...none of which are big-time companies or packing multi-million subscriber games. The MMO market hasn't been about one or two quality games for more than ten years, and it's arguable it was then (AC, DaoC, EQ, and UO were all around - and still are).

The push toward free to play isn't a push toward getting more people to play the games to strengthen the market as much as it's a push to get more people to spend money on microtransactions that potentially produce more revenue than subscriptions alone.
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