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The Old Republic producer leaves BioWare

There is a great disturbance in the force.

Star Wars: The Old Republic's executive producer Rich Vogel has left BioWare Austin after seven years, Gamasutra reports.

Prior to heading up The Old Republic, Vogel worked on numerous other MMOs like Ultima Online, Meridian 59 and Star Wars Galaxies.

The report also claimed that the Texas-based studio laid off several workers this morning, though an exact headcount is yet to be determined. Supposedly this happened after Vogel's departure.

These events are hardly surprising given The Old Republic's dwindling sales figures that dropped from 1.7 million in February to 1.3 million in May earlier this year. BioWare has since hinted that it may switch to a free-to-play model, and has even made it so the first 15 levels of the game can be played pro bono.

On a lighter note, the sarcastic assassin droid HK-51 was announced as an upcoming companion in the game earlier today, so it's not all bad news for The Old Republic fans.

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Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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