Charles Boyd, creative director of Star Wars: The Old Republic and a 16-year Bioware veteran, has announced his departure from the game and studio. Bioware released a statement thanking Boyd, and took the opportunity to both reaffirm its commitment to the game, and lay out a five-person ‘design leadership team’ who’ll shape its future.
“[Charles Boyd] leaves SWTOR in excellent hands with an incredible team that will carry forward our vision for the game,” wrote Bioware General Manager Gary McKay, “We are committed to SWTOR’s future as we continue to work on the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect”. The announcement did not name a candidate that would fill Boyd’s shoes as creative director, instead listing five people stepping up to SWTOR’s design leadership team who “have also played pivotal roles in making the experience as special as it is”.
Boyd’s departure comes in the wake of the loss of multiple senior staff members working on Dragon Age 4, which itself followed the exit of DA’s executive producer Mark Darrah and Mass Effect’s Casey Hudson.
The new team, all of them SWTOR veterans, is responsible for charting out a course for the game after Boyd’s departure on August 5. When PCG spoke to Boyd last year, the game still felt like it had a lot of fuel left in the tank, but its most recent expansion was a disappointment and some key parts remained broken weeks after launch. Fans should obviously keep expectations in check: it seems clear that, while SWTOR has enough players to keep it afloat, it’s probably not an EA investment priority.
Either way, we might not be waiting long for a hint about the game’s future direction. SWTOR’s next update hits on August 2, a few days before Boyd is set to depart. It promises a new operation, story stuff, and new missions on Manaan. As for the bigger picture, Bioware only says it will “share more about those plans with you soon”.