The Old Republic has lost one of its captains. Co-Studio Head of BioWare Austin has jumped ship to join Playdom in Austin. Playdom makes Facebook games, which are mostly clones of Zynga’s games, and Disney recently snatched them up for a big sum of cash. Walton leaves behind the head job at BioWare Austin for an executive producer role making Facebook games.
BioWare Austin was co-managed by Gordon Walton and Rich Vogel. Walton has Star Wars experience having worked on Jump to Lightspeed, which any SWG player will tell you was pretty damn awesome. Vogel’s SWG experience comes from the launch of the game, when the game shipped without Player Cities or Vehicles (or Mounts for that matter) because a “Swordsman” skill was deemed higher priority to implement than what would become two of the most popular systems in the game. In the end almost everyone was part of a Player City and nearly everyone had a Vehicle/Mount…and about 1% of the players who weren’t defense stacking exploiters used the Swordsman skill.
It’s unknown whether or not this departure contributed to the recent delay at all or what effect it will have on the game that’s still undergoing extensive closed focus testing.