Wildstar Developer Hit with Layoffs as NCSoft Restructures
Carbine Studios, known for its work on the MMORPG WildStar, has been issued over 60 layoffs as NCSoft restructures its operations in the west.
NCSoft, the South Korea-based producers of MMORPGs such as Lineage, City of Heroes, WildStar, Guild Wars and Aion, has issued roughly 60 layoffs across its subsidiary development team at Carbine Studios. NCSoft claims that the layoffs were a part of "a restructuring of key operations with [NCSoft] West," as it will continue to support WildStar, Aion, Lineage and Guild Wars 1-2. NCSoft is currently planning to expand into the (you guessed it) mobile and tablet gaming markets. NCSoft claims that every one of its western subsidiary development studios suffered "staff reductions" except for ArenaNet, the developer of Guild Wars 1-2. An inside source claims that Carbine Studios lost a large percentage of its staff with these layoffs, including senior level members. These significant layoffs were likely a result of underwhelming numbers for the MMORPG's launch. With FFXIV's relaunch and World of Warcraft's big expansion less than a month away, this was undoubtedly a tough year to launch a new MMORPG.
Carbine Studios was founded by 17 former members of World of Warcraft's development team. Just two months ago, Carbine Studios' President, Jeremy Gaffney stepped down, letting an undisclosed member of Carbine take the reins. The MMORPG WildStar, which launched earlier this summer, was the studio's only released game since its founding in 2005.
NCSoft released the following statement addressing these layoffs:
Today we announced a restructuring of key operations within NC West. As a result of this restructuring, we are implementing staff reductions across our Western operations with the exclusion of ArenaNet. While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment.
Moving forward, we will continue to focus on our core development capabilities and the intellectual properties (WildStar, Aion, Lineage, and Guild Wars franchises) that have made NCSOFT what it is today. However, we are looking to move into new business segments like mobile and tablet games as well as explore emerging technologies.
Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors.