Reports also emerged on Tuesday morning that the Austin office is laying off workers, but it's unclear if this headcount reduction is part of the restructuring plan BioWare announced in May. Though its parent company Electronic Arts didn't specify then how many employees would be affected, the publisher said those layoffs were necessary in order for the team to maintain and grow SWTOR.
Gamasutra has reached out to Electronic Arts and BioWare Austin repeatedly regarding the layoff reports but has not heard back as of press time.
Vogel has worked in the game industry for more than 20 years, helping build landmark MMOs like Meridian 59 at 3DO, Ultima Online at Origin Systems and Electronic Arts, and Star Wars Galaxies at Sony Online Entertainment. He has spent the last seven years at BioWare Austin, most recently as vice president and executive producer.
Gamasutra understands that Vogel's departure preceded the purported layoffs affecting BioWare Austin today. The studio has not yet said who will take over Vogel's duties managing SWTOR's continued development.