Carbine Studios is shutting down, leaving 50 people without jobs when the closure is complete. The company’s sole game, the sci-fi MMO WildStar, will also shut down. News of the closure broke today, both to the public and people at the company.
Carbine was founded in 2005 by former Blizzard employees predominantly from the World of Warcraft team. NCSoft acquired the studio in 2007, and it wasn’t until 2014 that they released their first – and only – title, WildStar. It shifted from a subscription model to go free-to-play in 2015, and has been supported since then. Various layoffs over the years, including 40% of the staff in 2016, suggested the long term prospects for the studio and the game weren’t great.
According to Kotaku, staff at Carbine learned of the closure at a meeting earlier today. It was news to the team, but apparently not entirely unexpected in the wake of multiple potential projects at the studio failing to get the green light from parent company NCSoft.
That info comes via an anonymous source, but NCSoft also provides an official statement to Kotaku confirming the studio’s closure. “Today, we are closing Carbine Studios and will begin the process of winding WildStar down to ultimately shutter the game.”
NCSoft adds that “WildStar players who have spent money within the game will be refunded purchases from July 1, 2018 until the payment system is shut off. We are also in the process of identifying the teams that will be doing the work to bring WildStar to a close. These decisions are very difficult to make and we are in the midst of shifting as many of our teammates as possible into other roles within the organization.”
Whether those organizational shifts account for any of the 50 people Kotaku’s source says are losing their jobs is unclear. There’s not yet a timeline for when WildStar itself will shut down.