Bioware co-founder, Dr. Greg Zeschuk, is leaving the Star Wars: The Old Republic (SW:TOR) development team in Austin, Texas to return to Edmonton, Canada. Correcting rumors heard Friday that Dr. Zeschuk quit the company, he explained that his departure from Austin was part of a long planned transition to allow him to get a much needed extended vacation and to spend more time with his family.
Dr. Zeschuk explained, “With regard to BioWare Austin, I handed off the leadership of the studio to Matthew Bromberg quite some time ago (back in May). Ray [Muzyka, BioWare co-founder] and I picked Matthew to take over and he’s been doing a great job with the studio. My time in Austin was always planned to have a finite endpoint (my family was still living in Edmonton throughout my time in Austin) and now that I’ve handed the baton to Matt, I will be able to spend more time on a wider range of BioWare games rather than focusing on just one as I did with SWTOR.”
A spokesperson for parent company, Electronic Arts, also clarified the information, saying,, “Greg is still with EA,” the EA rep said. “He’s now back in Canada, taking time off and thinking about new projects. No change with [BioWare co-founder] Ray Muzyka.”
Although it is good news that Dr. Zeschuk will remain with the company and eventually work on new projects, there is still a great deal of concern over the problems with Star Wars: the Old Republic. While the MMORPG hovers above its break even point of 500, 000 subscribers, it has lost almost a million paying customers since its high point earlier in the year. In an attempt to rekindle interest and convince players to return to the game, Electronic Arts recently announced that SW:TOR would offer a free to play option beginning in the fall of 2012. It remains to be seen if this will be enough to revive the struggling game and allow SW:TOR to offer serious competition to current MMORPG superstar, World Of Warcraft.