Beyond the release of the HK-51 Assassination Droid companion trailer, things were kind of quiet this week at the official site of Star Wars: The Old Republic. We'll come back to the couple of updates that did pop up, but let's start with the news that Executive Producer Richard Vogel has left BioWare Austin. This news comes to us from The Escapist and was confirmed by BioWare. A replacement for Vogel has yet to be named. He was a big part of the MMO's creation and we wish Vogel all the best in his future endeavors. Beyond this announcement, this week also saw rumors of a new round of BioWare layoffs. Those rumors turned out to be semi-accurate though the layoffs that occurred were actually part of the mass layoffs that were previously announced back in May. Click here for the full source post.
Next up, you can head on over to DigitalTrends.com for an interview with Daniel Erickson in which the game's lead designer touches on Game Update 1.3: Allies, future updates, working with Lucasfilm, navigating the EU, the new HK-51 companion droid and free-to-play possibilities. We've included an excerpt below but click here for the full read.
"All of the Star Wars fiction exists within a giant transmedia universe that is overseen by Lucasfilm and its assorted divisions. Which means that BioWare adding a planet to the game isn’t as simple as just writing some code and letting players have at it. There’s the larger Expanded Universe to consider, everything from how the planet’s lore and history fits into the larger picture to where the physical ball of rock sits on the established star map. As tricky as it can be to introduce something as large as a new planet, Erickson has nothing but praise for the experience of working with Lucasfilm.
“They’re incredibly good about all of that and we’re probably the most diligent researchers and Star Wars experts of anyone in the EU creation system, because our fans are very particular and they will catch us,” he said. It also helps that the dev team approaches their game with the attitude of franchise purists.
“We’re not experimental Star Wars people,” Erickson explained. “We must have sat down and watched Empire Strikes Back every other day for months when we were putting this game together. We’re not trying to [add] samurai or… time travel. We are saying ‘Let’s get the most incredibly core Star Wars feel that we were so excited about as kids.’ Which means we run into pretty much no issues with Lucasfilm.”'