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General: NCsoft Layoffs

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

While there are rumors floating around about the longevity of NCsoft's Austin Studio, MMORPG.com has been able to confirm that 21 people were laid off today from the Austin Office.

What this means for the future of the studio and the future of Dungeon Runners remains to be seen. What we can tell you at this time is that both Dungeon Runners and Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa are currently run out of the Austin studio.

MMORPG.com will continue to follow this story as it develops.

We are announcing that 21 positions are being eliminated in the Austin office of NCsoft in the area of product development. Primarily this is related to products which we have not previously announced and were in prototype phases. We are also cutting some positions on the Dungeon Runners team after deciding not to port the client to other platforms at this time.

- David Swafford, NCsoft

 

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • mike470mike470 General Correspondent -unknown-Posts: 2,396Member
    Originally posted by Stradden
    We are announcing that 21 positions are being eliminated in the Austin office of NCsoft in the area of product development. Primarily this is related to products which we have not previously announced and were in prototype phases. We are also cutting some positions on the Dungeon Runners team after deciding not to port the client to other platforms at this time.
    - David Swafford, NCsoft

     



     

    Hmm, would Lineage III fall into this category?  I would also think B&S would fall into this, but they just recently announced.

    I'm curious to see how this affects their future games.

    __________________________________________________
    In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on Aug/13/08 - Rest In Peace; you will not be forgotten

  • DatcydeDatcyde blah, CAPosts: 557Member

    Experience dosent always mean better ey ?

  • mintormintor russell springs, KYPosts: 61Member

    don,t forget ncsoft  owns  ( city of hero )   mmo.

    tell about that mmo .

  • gameshogungameshogun ASEANPosts: 93Member

    If NCsoft Austin is impending closure, will DestinationGames (which is NC Austin itself) break-up from the NCsoft Family?

    Remember? DG joined the NC family to form NC Austin. Help NC Korea to enter the American market. Help DG to enter the Korean market.

    I wonder....

    In any case, I say Richard Garriott should go back to making non-online games. Im thirsty and hungry for another "Ultima"-ness series.

  • JpizzleJpizzle PORT SAINT LUCIE, FLPosts: 371Member

    DG and the Tbula Rasa team were not affected, as stated by the Comm Manager here: http://www.planettr.com/forums/showpost.php?p=106317&postcount=116 

     

    Only DR and 'unannounced" titles were affected.

    anyone losing there job is a shame though, and I wish the best of luck to those that got laid off.

  • faefrostfaefrost Atlanta, GAPosts: 199Member

    This must be particularly jarring considering their now ex employer just announced a decent profit.

  • mOoKmOoK Seattle, WAPosts: 26Member

    Sadly this is mostly Scott Jennings' project being cut.

     

    You may remember him as Lum The Mad.

     

    I would have loved to see his ideas put in a published game =(

  • NeverknowNeverknow New Orleans, LAPosts: 224Member



     

    World of Warcraft

    Official word from NCsoft on the Austin studio layoffs

    by Adrian Bott Aug 13th 2008 at 7:30PM

    Filed under: Dungeon Runners, MMO industry, Tabula Rasa

    We had already sourced information that confirmed layoffs from NCsoft Austin, but formal notification has now gone out of the loss of 21 jobs. David Swofford, Director of Public Relations for NCsoft North America, has provided the following information:



    We are announcing that 21 positions are being eliminated in the Austin office of NCsoft in the area of product development. Primarily this is related to products which we have not previously announced and were in prototype phases. We are also cutting some positions on the Dungeon Runners team after deciding not to port the client to other platforms at this time.



    Although exact details were not given, we can confirm that 13 out of the 18 Dungeon Runners staff have lost their jobs, following a post by Producer / Lead Programmer Stephen Nichols at the Dungeon Runners forums. Stephen has said that the Dungeon Runners team are 'in shock' at the news.



    The remaining staff on Dungeon Runners are now:

    • Stephen Nichols- Producer / Lead Programmer

    • Scott Stevens - Senior Programmer

    • Mark Tucker - Lead Designer

    • Brandon Cotton - Senior Designer

    • James Cleaveland - Technical Artist

    Of the other staff who have lost their jobs, who were working on an as yet unnamed project, we can name only Scott Jennings. Writing about the situation in his blog, Scott states he is moving on to John Galt games.



    Tabula Rasa
    has not been mentioned. It remains to be seen whether the game, which increased its online sales by 7% in the last quarter but also incurred an unprecedented negative royalties figure of minus 1,147%, is going to receive any special corporate attention.



    We are glad to see that the situation appears to be less severe than internal sources at NCsoft, who had contacted several gaming websites, had made it out to be. The staff at Massively send our best wishes to those affected by these cuts.


  • VelshaVelsha West Covina, CAPosts: 20Member

    It's always sad to see people have their jobs taken from them due to cut backs.  Unfortunately, I was part of a rather large layoff last may, so I know all too well what it feels like.

    To answer a question posed by someone above, the COH team is located in Mountain View, California.  Not Texas.

    Good luck to the former NC people.  = )

    -They call me Velsha

  • RehmesRehmes miami, FLPosts: 600Member
    Originally posted by mike470

    Originally posted by Stradden
    We are announcing that 21 positions are being eliminated in the Austin office of NCsoft in the area of product development. Primarily this is related to products which we have not previously announced and were in prototype phases. We are also cutting some positions on the Dungeon Runners team after deciding not to port the client to other platforms at this time.
    - David Swafford, NCsoft

     



     

    Hmm, would Lineage III fall into this category?  I would also think B&S would fall into this, but they just recently announced.

    I'm curious to see how this affects their future games.

     

    L3 is most def being developed in the Korean studio and not in austin. As for B&S seeing as KIm in in the project and hes one of the elder most respected people in the company id doubt it would get scrapped.

  • jaigaiajaigaia kalamazoo, MIPosts: 66Member

    This is sad no doubt cos it seems NCsoft was doing so well especially given theyre bout ot start producing some console games.  i personally think the whole DR thing has to deal w/ probably lack of interests in the game itself. When i heard the "box" edition was being sold i went ot my local gamestop, they told me the closest store that was selling it was in another state. I wanted ot see what a F2p games box looked like and what was so big about it, didnt actually plan on buying it.

    As for tabula Rasa really hard to say the future of that game but id say its definitely walking the line right now and the way they look at it is probably " We have better games on the way" though im seeing a port to the PS3 for this game for some reason in the near future to help try to recover the loss on the game itself.

    i remember reading somewhere on the net recently that they were in a financial bind with all the upcoming projects planned but are looking to remake that money back when the new ones are released. Seems they had ot do some cutting the corners to truly achieve their next mark

    "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die."

  • therain93therain93 Winthrop, MAPosts: 2,039Member
    Originally posted by mintor


    don,t forget ncsoft  owns  ( city of hero )   mmo.
    tell about that mmo .



     

    City of Heroes is developed out of NCsoft NorthCal (NCNC!) and shouldn't be affected by this, or so I hope. 

  • bubu_3kbubu_3k TimisoaraPosts: 108Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mike470

     

    Hmm, would Lineage III fall into this category?  I would also think B&S would fall into this, but they just recently announced.

    I'm curious to see how this affects their future games.

     

    I don't think lineage 3 is developed by the austin studios.

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.” A. Einstein

  • EphimeroEphimero AlbacetePosts: 1,860Member

    The localization teams (Lineage II, Aion, and the future B&S and L3 teams) aren't affected for this event.

  • rawguttsrawgutts Atlanta, GAPosts: 44Member


    Originally posted by Velsha
    It's always sad to see people have their jobs taken from them due to cut backs.  Unfortunately, I was part of a rather large layoff last may, so I know all too well what it feels like.
    To answer a question posed by someone above, the COH team is located in Mountain View, California.  Not Texas.
    Good luck to the former NC people.  = )


    Yeah it does suck when lay offs happen. Lets hope they find a good home to bring some nice games to us. Good luck Dev's..

  • thatmymp5thatmymp5 DOGLANDPosts: 7Member

    dun worry, 99s are your best and close friends, ain't they? who do u call for help? call super 999.

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member

    Well it is always sad to see people lose their jobs. Hopefully these people can get back to work soon.

    I really don't know what they were thinking when they decided to force feed Dungeon Runners And Exteel to the public. These games never ever had a chance of being a success but yet they continued to waste money and resources on it. Tabula Rasa will suffer the same fate unfortunately unless someone else takes it over. Rumor has it that TR will be handed to ArenaNet but I really do not see that happening because they are working on Guild Wars 2.

    30
  • trancejeremytrancejeremy St. Louis, MOPosts: 1,222Member

    I really wonder what they were thinking about with Dungeon Runners. It seemed to be a very light version of Guild Wars, only with intrusive advertising (and a monthly fee to get rid of said advertising).  Why people would play it, I dunno (I lasted about an hour before uninstalling it), when GW would ultimately be cheaper in the long run.

    R.I.P. City of Heroes and my 17 characters there

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    This won't affect City of Heroes at all as that is based out of California not Texas.

    I wonder if this is due to some reaction for Diablo 3 being announced?  Maybe they figure DR will die a quick death onece Diablo 3 hits shelves?  I found DR to be a nice distraction, something I just jump in to.  If this is the beginning of the end for DR I doubt it will hurt NCSoft as a whole very much, but it does suck for those laid off.

  • SamTookSamTook Corinth, TXPosts: 11Member

    Lineage 3 is not being developed in Austin, course with the code stolen from the korean office by a former lead developers, nobody knows what is going to happen with the future of Lineage3. 

    I play Lineage which is maintained in Austin and has a ruleset that differs from Korea's Lineage platform.  They have had issues with cutting staff on the NC Austin Lineage team over the last several years, and they are far behind Korea.  Korea has implemented Episode 6 and Lineage U and are on to new updates, while we're still stuck on Episode 5.  Much of that is due to our shrinking Austin development staff and ruleset differences from Korea.  Hope they don't scrap future development for us, but with the low number we have across three servers I don't hold out too much hope for sustainability.

  • AA_SenseiAA_Sensei Bellevue, WAPosts: 23Member

    Here's a thought:

    It might in truth refer to something not yet announced in america, for example, www.thisisgame.com/board/view.php, Steel Dog (also on NC's official website here: games.plaync.co.kr/steeldog )

    I can't say if it's likely or not that people would be working on this title in Austin but it's a possibility.

    image

  • Fatal_ReduxFatal_Redux Albany, NYPosts: 23Member

    Possibly focusing on Guild Wars exclusively? It seems like NCsoft wasn't confident with their other products and they don't want to spend loads of money on employees, so they are lowering them for that reason, or they are thinking that they don't need that many people...

    Either way, it seems like they believe that GW is their ultimate franchise.

  • RazimusRazimus Solvang, CAPosts: 126Member
    Originally posted by Laibeus_Lord


    If NCsoft Austin is impending closure, will DestinationGames (which is NC Austin itself) break-up from the NCsoft Family?
    Remember? DG joined the NC family to form NC Austin. Help NC Korea to enter the American market. Help DG to enter the Korean market.
    I wonder....
    In any case, I say Richard Garriott should go back to making non-online games. Im thirsty and hungry for another "Ultima"-ness series.
     



     

    Richard Garriott is too busy going into outer space, but after that trip he should work on a single player game, hopefully good enough to be re-made into an online game, free to play. I know EA owns Ultima, but it can't be that difficult to build a new fantasy world considering a big portion of the Ultima series were generic d&d terms that EA does not own, and he still owns Lord British with associated symbols, he doesn't need to toss that character into the new world but he could if he wanted to, what made Ultima good was it's storyline and attention to detail, all he needs to make an Ultima-esque game is a team dedicated to making a great game.

    --- Razimus

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    Selling the Ultima franchise to EA was a huge mistake.  If Richard still had control of that, I have no doubt we would of seen another Ultima product out by now.  Maybe he doesn't want to do a single player RPG similar due to fears of EA swooping in and screaming copyright infringement?  Who knows....

    Again sucks to those that were laid off but a handful of people laid off isn't going to hurt NCSoft in the least.

  • saint4Godsaint4God N/A, DEPosts: 699Member

    21?  Is that it?  When Bank of America bought MBNA (whom I was employed by for 10 years) had lay-offs, they'd let 8,000 of us go. 

    General Motors has it worse:

    "General Motors has announced that it will cut 30,000 jobs by 2008 and stop production at nine assembly, powertrain and stamping plants.

    Now, its workers are coming to grips with the idea that they may lose their jobs, and questions remain about how much the cuts will help the struggling automaker going forward."

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5022706

    General Motors is still around.

     

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