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Mythic employees "shocked and in disbelief" by departure of Jacobs

Reports suggest the departure of Mark Jacobs may not have been voluntary

A former employee of Mythic has commented on the departure of Mark Jacobs from the company, following the formation by EA of a new group that will incorporate Mythic and RPG studio BioWare.

The unnamed former staff member revealed how the news came as a shock to employees, reports Massively.com.

"People are shocked and in disbelief about Mark leaving. I can't even fathom Mark leaving a company he loved so much. It was his life. Personally I can't see that this is voluntary in any shape or form."

An earlier official announcement stated that Ray Muzyka, co-founder and general manager of BioWare has been promoted to group general manager of EA's new RPG/MMO studio group, with BioWare's other co-founder Greg Zeschuk stepping up as group creative officer.

Responding to suggestions Jacobs' departure could in part be due to falling Warhammer Online subscriber levels - in February numbers had dropped to 300,000 from 750,000 the month after the game launched - the source stated, "The numbers aren't that bad, and last I heard the numbers were back on the rise. If you get half a million subscriptions out of it you're making your money back. I know the game was making money.

"When they had to lay off all those people Mark was visibly upset that he even had to let one person go," they continued, on the subject of staff redundancies made by the studio earlier this year.

"I can't imagine anyone saying anything bad about Mark. He mostly stayed up on the eighth floor and did his own thing in the office, but he had a vision for the way [Warhammer Online] could be and he definitely follows his vision."

Despite the loss of its long-serving co-founder however, staff are said to be optimistic on the future of the studio following the new merger.

"BioWare has a track record of really good launched titles and Mythic has a track record of MMO experience. I know there's a lot of people at Mythic that would really look forward to working on [BioWare's upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic]. People at Mythic have been working on MMOs for years and could add muscle to it. They could add really cool things.

"I don't know how [Jacob's leaving] affects the vision of the other projects they're working on, but Mythic will continue to go on without their fearless leader is probably an accurate assessment."