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Rumor: EA lay-offs coming in November, $300M spent on SWTOR

Wednesday, 13th October 2010 17:21 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

biowaremythic mockup

An anonymous developer calling himself EA Louse and claiming to be part of the Warhammer Online team at Mythic has said on his blog that EA’s not only planning another round of lay-offs next month, but that the company has already spent around $300 million creating The Old Republic MMO.

Disclaimer: Take a lot of this with a pinch of salt for the time being, as the blog reads as someone who is very upset over the Warhammer MMO not being given the support he claims it should have received – and someone who is also angry over the possibility of losing their livelihood.

Rumored lay-offs at EA, Mark Jacobs was “fired”

According to the developer calling himself EA Louse who started a personal blog called Why Warhammer Failed, EA is poised to make some redundancies next month in another round of lay-offs.

“I found out recently that I will be dismissed from Bioware Mythic during the next round of layoffs [at]EA coming this November,” the post reads. “I’m sick of seeing EA outsource their art and find every excuse to get rid of us and still not achieve anything. Mythic is dying, and its not us who killed him but we’re taking the fall.”

The post goes on to rant about what went wrong with the WAR development process, and there are many details in it not known to the public regarding the creation process. The blog even claims Mark Jacobs didn’t quit, but was fired from the company he originally formed with Rob Denton.

“It is a culture of fear, especially since Mark Jacobs was fired,” it reads. “Oh, he left voluntarily you say? No, he was fired, and everything placed on his shoulders by those closest to him so they could divide his salary and annual bonus.

“I bet Rob [Denton]is enjoying that sweet new Maserati he bought after leaving the knife in his partner of 15 years.”

Rumor has it SWTOR cost more to make than Cameron’s Avatar

Later on in the post, the Mythic employee drops a multi-million dollar bombshell regarding BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, claiming the game has so far cost EA around the $300 million mark.

Jame’s Cameron’s Avatar was used as an example of big spending, and it has been reported by Vanity Fair the film could have cost somewhere in the $280 million production range, plus marketing costs.

He also goes on to claim BioWare is focusing more on the stylish appearance of the game, than gameplay.

“They’ve spent more money making the Old Republic than James Cameron spent on Avatar,” said EA Louse. “Shit you not. More than $ 300 million! Can you believe that?

“And you know what they’re most proud of? This is the kicker. They are most proud of the sound. No seriously. Something like a 20Gig installation, and most of it is voiceover work.

“The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas,they’re panicking , and so most of Mythic has already been cannibalized to work in Austin on it because they can’t keep pushing back launch.”

That is a ton of money, if true. It is common knowledge, though, that EA has spent more on the game than any other in the history of the company. This nugget came straight from EA’s chief financial officer Eric Brown himself.

The conclusion is however you see it

It’s possible the anonymous poster could be a fraud or just a bitter employee. However, he could also be who he claims to be : someone upset over losing his job and pissed off the game he worked on for years wasn’t provided with the amount of support it should have been given.

Regardless of which he truly is, we have marked all of this as rumor, and have mailed both EA and BioWare for a response.

Likely, we’ll receive the “rumor and speculation” comment, but until then, readers should take what’s included in EA Louse’s post however they see fit. We see it as rumor though, despite the scandal it may cause for the next few days or so.

That’s the internet for you.

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26 Comments

  1. Erthazus

    300 million? Holy.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. The_Red

    If true then, Holy Mamma. 300 million!? Also, I really hope great people at Mythic can keep their jobs. Lay-offs are always sad specially when they hit talented teams.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. endgame

    u do know this might be a ruse to make EA look bad don’t u? and if it is so I wonder who’s behind it.. :)

    #3 4 years ago
  4. endgame

    ooops! I’m sorry Steph. when I wrote the previous comment I was at about 30% of the read. :)

    #4 4 years ago
  5. SplatteredHouse

    EALouse, similar to EASpouse…
    Some of the language in the article, is almost stereotypical of the things seen on past “disgruntled/recently laid off employees” blog’s/forum posts. That ‘culture of fear’ sure does get about, yes.

    I think the disputing of the corporate line, regarding fired/just walked senior staff is another familiar one.
    ‘“The rest of the game is a joke.’ they say. If that’s proven true, and people don’t find a quality game, it’ll be an incredibly expensive one for EA/Bioware to have pulled.

    Besides, it’s not as if the situation would improve, for the author, if those claims were proven. Why then, are they mocking the work of a project, and team, that if TOR was to tank and it was seen to be a waste of time, the outcome would mean even heavier reining in, by EA, than he claims Mythic have already been enduring.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. DSB

    @3 Not really. EA made themselves look bad on that one, the idea that they’re better than any other multi-billion dollar corporation is just a pipedream.

    Things were so bad that a lot of people were waiting for Mythic to collapse when they fired Jacobs, who seemed to be one of the few guys at the company with his heart in the game.

    But that being said, it’s hard to believe the “facts” of someone who’s so desperate to lash out at a former employer, even if EA probably do have to fire more people in the future. He’s not the first Mythic employee to do so, though.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_213/6341-Casualty-of-Warhammer

    I’ll definitely be watching SWTOR a bit closer now though.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. klewd

    For reference: GTA has been the most expensive so far at $100.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. loki

    “planning another round of lay-offs next month” – say thx to PC port

    ” already spent around $300 million creating The Old Republic MMO”.
    Would be funny if it fails like APB

    #8 4 years ago
  9. The_Red

    Will it be APB all over again or is this just a hoax? Why has Old Republic’s buzz and media presence suddenly become so sparse?

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DSB

    @9 I don’t think it has, as such, but they have revolved a lot around “story” or “class” trailers rather than gameplay. The gameplay they have shown wasn’t exactly stellar.

    I’m a bit more puzzled by the fact that they don’t have a widely exposed beta going yet. I remember the original WoW one being quite easy to get into.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Grimrita

    SWTOR is still some way off release and a public beta will be arriving around Xmas/early new year, so my sources tell me.

    And calling the game ‘a joke’ is beyond me. Either this person is an ex-disgruntled member of staff or they dont know what they are talking about.

    I had (and still do) some reservations about SWTOR but after my hands on back in May, the game is looking solid. Although it does look like and feel like a WoW clone in parts, I was taken in by the story – something I didnt think I would be.

    The friday updates keep coming (new planet Ilum announced last friday) and expect to see more trailers for the classes.

    And loki – how can SWTOR be a ‘PC port’ when its ONLY on the PC?

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Erthazus

    Judging by http://www.mmorpg.com everybody is looking forward to it, but not excited at all…

    Everyone is looking forward to Guild Wars 2 much more (8.73 rating) and who have a decent PC, played MMORPG games and liked that genre should in my opinion enjoy GW2 much more than this WOW clone with lightsabers.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. M2Kx

    Cool story. Gonna be hard to fight againts GW2 and WH:DM

    #13 4 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    I am a MMOrpg player. For what it is worth, and maybe what it is not, I couldn’t careless about SWTOR as a MMO.

    On the other hand I am trying hard to contain myself everytime I even think about Guild Wars 2.

    I just think that Star Wars is just so over done. IMO, the best two ways to do Star Wars are Lego Games and Battlefront. If and when they do Battlefront 3, call me. I don’t think there are enough Sheldon, Leonerd, Raj, and Howard types out there to support a Star Wars(or Star Trek) MMOrpg for very long.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. The_Red

    @10
    Good call on the coverage and ads focusing on “story” and “classes” elements while leaving out combat and many other important elements.
    As for beta, I think its still pretty early.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. MushroomStamp

    @OG, heh, love the BB Theory reference :)

    #16 4 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    That show hooked us hard Mushie, my wife and I love it. Best half an hour on (Netflix)TV.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. SadyFarah

    Even spending 300M…It will be profitable….belive me

    #18 4 years ago
  19. psybass

    i think the voice acting took around 50-100 million if the story very big and good

    @Grimrita can’t you see that loki just Trying to show his hate for pc as usual? (i swear, i think loki’s ass been raped by a pc gamer)

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Fantastic

    @18

    Not a fucking chance in hell.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Stephany Nunneley

    @11 “I had (and still do) some reservations about SWTOR but after my hands on back in May, the game is looking solid. Although it does look like and feel like a WoW clone in parts, I was taken in by the story – something I didnt think I would be.” —- hear hear! 100%

    @14 Sheldon rules. End of. :D

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Samuel

    “The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas, they’re panicking”

    That doesn’t even sound remotely true. That reeks of someone just trying to smear them.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. The_Red

    @22
    “The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas, they’re panicking”
    Well, this sentence is indeed flawed. I mean the game is a joke then George Lucas definitely doesn’t know / can’t understand it. I mean he made Jar Jar. Even Bobby Kotick can’t match that.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. freedoms_stain

    “So there it is. Rewarding the incompetent. Firing the competent.”

    This bit gave me a bit of a wry smile. Who hasn’t worked for someone who isn’t up to the job they’re in? Who hasn’t seen a new start who can’t do half the shit they said they could do in the interviews? Who hasn’t seen good people lose their jobs to the gain of management figures who can barely to their jobs?

    There’s so much of that shit in every industry. Sometimes you don’t need to he good at your job. Being barely adequate is fine as long as you’ve got a long enough tongue and like the taste of arsehole.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. blackdreamhunk

    dud this bio-ware they don’t make garbage games

    #25 4 years ago
  26. back_up

    whatever Ea do they will never beat god Blizzard

    #26 4 years ago

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