February 22, 2019 ArenaNet has confirmed the reports is is planning staff layoffs due to “the cancellation of unannounced projects”. Exactly how many employees will be affected remains unclear.
ArenaNet, the developer of Guild Wars 2, is planning for mass layoffs. An internal email from the CEO of ArenaNet owner NCSoft suggests that a major cost-cutting effort across the company is underway. Which in more human terms means a lot of developers are likely about to lose their jobs. The plans for layoffs were later confirmed by an email reply from ArenaNet to IGN.
ArenaNet, the developer of Guild Wars 2, is planning for mass layoffs, according to a new report. The company has made no official comment about these plans, but an internal email from the CEO of ArenaNet owner NCSoft suggests that a major cost-cutting effort across the company is underway. Which in more human terms means a lot of developers are likely about to lose their jobs.
NCSoft CEO Songyee Yoon sent out an email to ArenaNet employees today reporting the news, according to Kotaku. “Our live game business revenue is declining as our franchises age, delays in development on PC and mobile have created further drains against our revenue projects, while our operating costs in the west have increased.”
In a email reply to IGN asking for further information about the layoffs, ArenaNet sent the following statement: “We can confirm that due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, ArenaNet will make staff reductions. This is part of a larger organisational restructuring within NCSOFT in the west, but the Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 game services will not be affected, nor is any upcoming game content canceled.”
Plans are to restructure, Kotaku’s sources indicate, “merging ArenaNet and NCSoft’s publishing divisions in the process.” ArenaNet CEO Mike O’Brien is supposed to meet with employees to discuss the layoffs this afternoon. The studio has reportedly been at work on various unannounced projects, but slow progress on those projects has put financial pressure on the company.
Exactly how many employees will be affected remains unclear, but about 400 people work at ArenaNet.
A churn of layoffs in the game industry has continued throughout the past year, including the 800 people laid off at Activision-Blizzard last week. In the wake of that news, many companies in the game industry reached out to offer new game dev job opportunities to those affected. ArenaNet was one of them.
Calls for unionisation in the game industry from organisations like Game Workers Unite have gotten increasingly numerous within the past year, especially around the time of these layoff reports, which have been happening with disturbing regularity.