Perhaps this news was inevitable, given the struggles high-profile MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic has faced since launch. Publisher Electronic Arts has announced plans to "restructure" BioWare Austin, weeks after announcing a subscriber loss of nearly 25 percent. In a statement to Shacknews, the publisher said: "BioWare has restructured its studio in Austin today. Of the employees impacted, some will be able to join other projects within EA, others will leave the company. These are very difficult decisions, but it allows us to focus our staff to maintain and grow Star Wars: The Old Republic."
BioWare's Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk wrote an open letter on the game's official forums, confirming the layoffs. "Sadly, we are bidding farewell to some talented, passionate and exceptionally hard-working people who helped make SWTOR a reality."
However, Muzyka and Zeschuk want to reassure fans that--in spite of the losses--work on SWTOR will continue. "Looking forward, the studio remains vibrant and passionate about our many upcoming initiatives for Star Wars: The Old Republic," the pair wrote. "We still have a very substantial development team working on supporting and growing the game... 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."
"We will continue to support and grow Star Wars: The Old Republic over the weeks, months and years to come," the BioWare heads added.
With layoffs in the Austin team, it appears continued development on The Old Republic will involve multiple studios. In a comment to Shacknews, an EA representative told us that "BioWare Austin remains a large and important part of BioWare and EA, working with other studios around the world to continue to deliver a high-quality service and exciting new content for Star Wars: The Old Republic."