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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Bioware Rocked By Layoffs

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Comments

  • TwwIXTwwIX Sacramento, CAPosts: 203Member

    I am just glad to see EA finally get acquainted with Karma.

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member
    Originally posted by TwwIX

    I am just glad to see EA finally get acquainted with Karma.

    I wouldn't exactly call it karma that when you shoot yourself in the foot, you'll then have a bloody hole in your foot.

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by iceman00

    Some people forget, but after making KOTOR, the founders of Bioware said they never wanted to work with LA again because of their business practices.  So you had Obsidian do KOTOR2, and almost the entire list of problems with that game could be laid at the feet of Lucasarts.  The game wasn't ready, but LA demanded it be released.

    Now I know the potential of millions of dollars can mend broken relationships, but they really should've thought long and hard before getting back into bed with LA.  This happened before the EA buyout.  Put both together (two companies with the worst of reputations in PC gamingland) and it was just bound to unravel.

    Wow, LA pushing a game to release before it was done?  Unthinkable!

    If only SWG had gotten another 6 months before release the NGE would have never happened.

  • StarkStark Chicago, ILPosts: 119Member

    F2P is just around the corner as expected.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member

    1. To those saying 'this is normal for an MMO':  even if that were true, they announced before launch that they were committed to post launch content and would be retaining the entire staff

     

    2.  To the person saying 'WoW did it too!':  WoW didnt layoff people that worked on the game, just customer service type people

  • MorvMorv Royal Oak, MIPosts: 331Member

    "We executed one of the largest, most successful and stable launches of any MMO yet in industry history."

    /Sigh, this is simply not true.

    "to continue to build Star Wars: The Old Republic as one of the most compelling and successful online experiences in the world today. "

    /argh! not true!

    They bit off more than they could chew... Simply disappointing. I feel terrible for the people who worked on it and are now being let go, but the EA machine is infamous for this.

  • GeezerGaz82GeezerGaz82 EnglandPosts: 51Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Stark

    F2P is just around the corner as expected.

    yeh probably, although I think it'll be more of a free till level 20 with a ton of restrictions model, unless the big wigs cut the money monsters dead weight strings loose

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kabaal

    I'd have thought scaling back after an MMO has launched would be normal practice. I'm just guessing though as i really have no clue.

    You'd be right, normally. But Bioware actually came out and addressed just this not that long ago, stating that contrary to what developers NORMALLY do (what you said) they were instead going to keep the team together and continue creating content. That makes the layoffs now pretty much unspinnable.

    I feel bad for the people that got laid off, but realistically I don't see how else they could have done it. Even if the game was as successful as they originally anticipated, they had a pretty large team working on it, abnormally so. I don't see how even EA could bankroll a team that long indefinitely.

    This may have happened sooner than expected because SWTOR is under-performing, but I still think it was an inevitability either way.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • SiveriaSiveria Saint John, New BrunswickPosts: 1,200Member Uncommon

    What do you expect? You think these devolopers would learn by now that wow clones just do not make it anymore. People are getting sick of that kind of gameplay. The layoffs suck but i personally hope swtor gets shut down as a sign to other devs to "wake up and stop trying to be wow and do your own thing" I do kinda feel sorry for bioware after all the money they threw away making swtor, I don't even wanna know what the losses were on it. I tried the game in beta, and i was falling asleep because it was even more boring than WoW, which I didn't think was possible, but Bioware proved me wrong.

    Being a pessimist is a win-win pattern of thinking. If you're a pessimist (I'll admit that I am!) you're either:

    A. Proven right (if something bad happens)

    or

    B. Pleasantly surprised (if something good happens)

    Either way, you can't lose! Try it out sometime!

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Stark

    F2P is just around the corner as expected.

     

    EA almost never goes F2P. They rather the game sink and die than let people play for free and make money off of itemshop alone.

    image

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    I believe it's time that EA hire me as their MMO's lead developer.

    I can turn Warhammer and SWTOR around for the better!!

    image

  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,420Member
    Originally posted by Leoghan
    Originally posted by ignore_me

    so layoffs are normal ...

    Ok so how are they going to cope with that engine with even less people working on the game? They need to call in the National Guard and start bringing in hobos to get more hands on that code!

    It's taking them forever just to do stuff that other games have as basic features.

    They just gimped the moped!

    It really depends on who is getting let go. 

    I'm not defending SWTOR, it is a mediocre game at best with little incentive to keep people subbed, but these comments of - this isn't normal it is the sign of the games apocalypse are just silly. 

    Someone mentioned the EVE has only grown since its development, but they negelcted to mention that the company that developed it was tiny, Bioware is not, it has several branches in different locatons and countries. You can't just shift someone from Austin to Montreal, Edmonton, Fairfax or Galway. 

    Given the economy in the state it is in, and the fact that they are having retentions issues, this is no surprise, but it is unlikely the sign of SWTOR's undoing. It will never be a WoW killer, but if you've ever read my comments on the subject you'll see that I don't believe there is such a thing, WoW was the MMO anomaly and no game will ever achieve what it did, for better or worse. I would imagine in box sales alone SWTOR made ROI, and I imagine it is still a healthy functioning game (business-wise)from the subs, even if they never hit 1 mil. Look at SWG and how long it survied after it was gutted. Star Wars fan empitomize the "Shut up and take my money" meme. 

    Yes, but SWTOR should have an expansionist vision - but it doesn't - the SWTOR 'expansions' are relatively small. I don't get the same sense of vision from BioWare as I do from CCP.

    CCP started off with a handful of people, now it's a medium-sized firm. They have laid some people off, but the overall trend and intension is to make Eve bigger and better - in significant ways.

    For example, Eve will include walking on planets in the form of DUST by the end of the year (and this has always been on the drawing board for nearly 10 years!). In contrast, BioWare have never considered expanding their space combat - so laying people off becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,142Member Uncommon

    As I said, only wow had faster and bigger haters community build up.

    For swtor hope stays for long as is best game ever, most fluid, most natural moving avatars and npcs, ....

    Maybe bigest mistake and reason for drop is end game which I as altholic have not yet experienced as I'm busy leveling my alts (currently 4 lv. 50 and 10 between 25 and 47).

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Paragus1

    Hopefully the people losing their jobs are the ones responsible for the horrid design decisions that killed any chance for lengevity this game had.

    The people that most deserve to walk the street are never affected by "restructuring".

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,401Member Uncommon

    "Looking back at launch, we all came together and did something historic."

     

    The only historic thing you did was waste loads of cash on the most kid-friendly and linear game possible. You have clearly stood up and told every other MMO team what not to do. And now people are losing their jobs.

     

    Congrats.

  • BigCountryBigCountry Charlotte, NCPosts: 478Member
    Originally posted by mmoDAD

    "Looking back at launch, we all came together and did something historic."

     

    The only historic thing you did was waste loads of cash on the most kid-friendly and linear game possible. You have clearly stood up and told every other MMO team what not to do. And now people are losing their jobs.

     

    Congrats.

    lol

    BigCountry | Head Hunters | www.wefarmpeople.com

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Stark

    F2P is just around the corner as expected.

    That won't happen for sometime if ever. Look at DAOC and Warhammer. EA puts it on life support and drains it for every last cent they can. There will be little updating and conversation between customer and BW after they put it on life support. If the game ever got down to the point they make nothing from it, then they'd close it. Look at UO it's still around.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • gilgamesh9gilgamesh9 austin, TXPosts: 133Member
    Originally posted by Paragus1

    Hopefully the people losing their jobs are the ones responsible for the horrid design decisions that killed any chance for lengevity this game had.

    Those came from the top, and those are the people that won't lose their job.  Like they say: Sh*t floats.

  • residentxresidentx Columbia, MDPosts: 88Member

    How do you fire people at this MMO....

    "I'm firing you...May the Force be with you!" or how about this one, "EmployeeX, things are changing here and..."You must unlearn what you have learned!" or finally, "there's one...set for stun...but I have first shot at his cubicle!!"

     

    I would not want to be Bioware this week..."Firing employees ain't like dusting crops, boy!"

    I could do this all day..."Execute instruction 66!!"

     
     
     
  • TalinTalin West Babylon, NYPosts: 824Member

    This is unfortunate but should not be unexpected. Subscription numbers aren't as high as anticipated, so they need to scale staff to continue to recoup costs from the initial development over time. I would imagine some of the first to go will be writers, QA, CS, and voiceover specialists (assuming that work isn't subcontracted). Some amount of developers will be let go as well, which will result on some initiatives being delayed and potentially unannounced new functionality pushed out months.

    I had a blast with the game but barring a major addition to the game (significant social aspects, space combat, etc), I'll likely stay away and not take another look until an expansion pack is announced. Good thing I have Diablo 3 keeping me busy. :)

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member
    Originally posted by Kabaal

    I'd have thought scaling back after an MMO has launched would be normal practice. I'm just guessing though as i really have no clue.

    I think it is actually. Making an MMO is a huge scale task and it probably takes a smaller team to handle the DLC patches for the game.

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Illyssia
    Originally posted by Kabaal

    I'd have thought scaling back after an MMO has launched would be normal practice. I'm just guessing though as i really have no clue.

    I think it is actually. Making an MMO is a huge scale task and it probably takes a smaller team to handle the DLC patches for the game.

    It is only happening for "Failing" MMO's!

    Blizzard kept hiring people. SOE kept hiring people (until recent years, when their games went downhill, they started mass lay offs).  Trion kept hiring people!

    When an MMO is a huge success and doing well with steady or even rising subs, they don't have to fire people.

    The excess people will then often be reassigned to other projects. Just like what happened at Blizzard, still happens at Trion and used to happen at SOE.

    But as SW:TOR is tanking so badly, with large investors threatening EA, EA stock dwinling down, etc..... EA is cutting losses by laying off at least 200 people within Bioware: Austin (which is solely dedicated to SW:TOR) !

    That is not scaling back, that is swingin a huge axe, like they did with Mythic after Warhammer Online tanked and then put the game in maintenance mode.

    SW:TOR, just like was the case with Warhammer Online, needs a huge amount of resources to turn it around and fix it up!

    But as we all know EA all too well, they are not willing to and are already taking the easy way out by cutting their losses on yet another "failed" MMO!

    Take it for what you will.... but that's just how it is.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JeroKane
    Originally posted by Illyssia
    Originally posted by Kabaal

    I'd have thought scaling back after an MMO has launched would be normal practice. I'm just guessing though as i really have no clue.

    I think it is actually. Making an MMO is a huge scale task and it probably takes a smaller team to handle the DLC patches for the game.

    It is only happening for "Failing" MMO's!

    Blizzard kept hiring people. SOE kept hiring people (until recent years, when their games went downhill, they started mass lay offs).  Trion kept hiring people!

    When an MMO is a huge success and doing well with steady or even rising subs, they don't have to fire people.

    The excess people will then often be reassigned to other projects. Just like what happened at Blizzard, still happens at Trion and used to happen at SOE.

    But as SW:TOR is tanking so badly, with large investors threatening EA, EA stock dwinling down, etc..... EA is cutting losses by laying off at least 200 people within Bioware: Austin (which is solely dedicated to SW:TOR) !

    That is not scaling back, that is swingin a huge axe, like they did with Mythic after Warhammer Online tanked and then put the game in maintenance mode.

    SW:TOR, just like was the case with Warhammer Online, needs a huge amount of resources to turn it around and fix it up!

    But as we all know EA all too well, they are not willing to and are already taking the easy way out by cutting their losses on yet another "failed" MMO!

    Take it for what you will.... but that's just how it is.


    QFT

    Firing people is never an indication of growth and success, no matter how you spin it.

  • Whiskey_SamWhiskey_Sam Lynchburg, VAPosts: 294Member Uncommon

    Ship be sinkin.

    ___________________________
    Have flask; will travel.

  • Trol1Trol1 Kissimmee, FLPosts: 175Member

    You guys know that we are taking 200 possible layoffs at BioWare Austin? Not BioWare in general?

    Yes, I was part of a workforce that was laid off by a certain 3 letter company at a certain location when they made up their mind to transfer their biggest asset at that location (support for a business partner) to a different - East European - location that had just been raised as a low cost service center.

    Both the 3 leter company AND the support for that business partner thru the 3 letter company are doing great, thank you, the location on the other hand, despite new projects having been brought in - of which I was again part of the workforce - still sees constant reductions in staff as - given that other locations offer the same technological infrastructure at a much lower cost both for labour and system - very few projects are that highly specialized that they won't allow transfer to more cost effective locations.

    Or to put it this way: why pay more if you can pay less for the same result?

    Do you really think that BW still needs a full staff of character, concept, environment artists and animators? Now that they have a nice closet full of this thanks to all the stuff created during game development?

    I'm sure they can easily build you a "brand new setting with brand new missions" just falling back on generic race model X123, monster models 5, 28, 41a, character model 12, 23 and 48 combined with textures 26, 93 and 187 respectively, use of generic animation sequences 2, 18, 57 and 122, environment model 14 (variation: plant texture 34a), , building models 15 and 63 (note: intern still needs to rework the iconography on textures 11 and 41 via photoshop). Add sound effects A26, D5, F42, music score 15. (note: Request for funds for new voice actor to do Lord Headsplitter, Lady Venom and Master Kindheart was refused, but Joe from Mail Room, Bill in Marketing and that big boobed new intern have great voices so we should be doing fine).

    And do you actually think that new content will be actually be a priority for them given that all the whiners were crying for more features, not more content? 

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