Wed, Oct 13, 2010 | 18:08 BST
Rumor: EA lay-offs coming in November, $300M spent on SWTOR
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.