ArenaNet, the studio behind the development of the Guild Wars series, will likely be laying off a large number of employees. A report from Kotaku notes that employees at the studio were informed that layoffs are coming, but it’s not known at this time exactly how many people will be affected.
“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,” reads an email from Songyee Yoon (CEO of ArenaNet’s parent company, NCSoft West). “Where we are is not sustainable, and is not going to set us up for future success.”
Indeed, it seems that this is just the latest in a series of moves NCSoft has made in order to reduce costs. Other branches of the company have either suffered layoffs or outright closures as the company seemingly tries to shed some financial obligations in order to stay afloat.
People close to the situation have indicated that the company’s woes can be traced back to new projects spending too much time in development and old projects simply not earning as much as they did when those games were in their prime. That seems especially true of the Guild Wars series and the failed MMO project, Wildstar. The latter game performed so poorly that it led to its developer Carbine Studios being shut down outright.
As for ArenaNet, the big question on everyone’s mind (including the people who still work there) is “How many employees will be laid off?” There are currently around 400 employees at the company. It’s dangerous to speculate on a number in this instance, but the fact that the company has taken steps to inform the studio’s employees of this move ahead of time suggests they could be substantial.
Those who are laid off will join the almost 800 employees laid off by Activision Blizzard and the 40-50 employees laid off by EA as they and other members of the video game industry work and a future in an increasingly uncertain time.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.