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Game designer Raph Koster leaves Disney/Playdom

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Prominent online game designer Raph Koster announced he was "moving on" from social game maker Playdom and Disney Interactive today in a post on his personal website, writing, "As of today, I am an unemployed game developer!"

Koster is perhaps best known for his role as lead designer on Ultima Online at Origin and creative director on Star Wars Galaxies, Sony Online Entertainment's shuttered MMO set in the Star Wars universe. After his departure from SOE in 2006, Koster founded Metaplace, a developer of online social games, which was acquired by Playdom in July 2010. Shortly after Metaplace's purchase, Playdom was acquired by Disney in a $763 million deal.

Koster says he doesn't have a new job lined up, but will be consulting, speaking, writing and pursuing academic endeavors. He writes he won't be "doing a Kickstarter" project.

"I get asked about it about once a week," he wrote. "I suspect that those of you who want this all want me to make a worldy MMO. I may yet make one of those in the future, but I don't think that you can raise enough money on Kickstarter to do it justice.

"Most likely, I will simply start making games. Lots and lots of games. Fun ones. About all sorts of things. I want to get my hands dirty. I want to explore ideas. It is a crazy exciting time in the industry right now, and I came away from GDC inspired."

The departure of Koster comes a few months after game designer Warren Spector's exit from Disney following the closure of Epic Mickey developer Junction Point.

Polygon has contacted Disney Interactive seeking comment on Koster's departure, which appears amicable, and will update with the publisher's response.

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