Sony Online Entertainment chief creative officer Raph Koster has departed the company, according to a consumer site GameSpot. The Austin-based company confirmed the departure, saying that "Although his current interests take him into areas that don't match SOE's strategic goals, we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
Before joining SOE, Koster worked on Ultima Online
at Origin. While in his current position, he contributed to EverQuest II
, but his main project at the MMO developer was Star Wars Galaxies
, a game which underwent a radical retooling to make it more action-oriented and simpler to grasp. The move alienated much of the game's longtime fanbase, and Koster's desire to make casual-friendly games may be one of the reasons for friction with SOE management.
Koster has so far not revealed his plans post-SOE; the developer would only say that he is pursuing "development interests outside of the company." Any news on a future gig will likely be posted at Koster's frequently-updated blog
when it happens.