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Ncsoft : Massive layoffs and offices undergoing 'realignment'

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  • stayontargetstayontarget Tacoma, WAPosts: 6,068Member Uncommon
    I think the writing (layoffs) was on the wall when Nexon bought 20% of NC a few weeks ago.

    Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nihilist

    People losing their jobs sucks big time, but lets face it NCsoft isn't exactly know for making very good games.

    GW, GW2, Lineage, Lineage 2, Aion. Some of those were blockbusters here and others didn't do too well here, but they all did well overseas.  While they can probably be seen as 50/50 on their titles, a major thing to their credit is that they at least try to expand beyond the mainstream style, something that SOE has recently started doing, as well.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,540Member Uncommon
    Is Arenanet downsizing? No? Well, then you know how it affects GW2.
  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,237Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by someforumguy
    Is Arenanet downsizing? No? Well, then you know how it affects GW2.

    The week is still young.

    __________________________
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    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
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  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,461Member Uncommon

    Well, and I know this is going to sound weird, this doesn't "necessarily" mean they are doing horribly.

    ok hear me out.

    I worked for a global company that had a very strong product pipeline mapped out over the next few years but because of the economic weirdness a few years ago, they didn't make as much money as they had projected on current products and services.

    They figured out that they had to lay off quite a few people. I heard 10%. In one of these articles I read NC was going to lay 12% off so not too far off.

    IN any case, I and another 8 from my office were laid off (and I was actually out of work for a year).

    Now, if I look at their stock, it's definitely higher than it was when I was laid off, they closed our office and merged the staff with another company they bought (now down the street from where I am now working; ironically...) and they are doing well. From my conversations wiht my excoworkers, they were moved to different teams that are doing well and bought another company in the midwest where my old manager is moving.

    Additionally today the company stock is listed as "buy" and they just bought another company for over 300 million. They're doing just fine, they just had to lay off people at that time to "readjust". Sucks, but there it is.

    Sometimes companies have too much debt or they don't do as well or they grow too quickly, etc. In order to lessen any damage to stock holders, as well as many reasons that I'm not qualified to address, they lay people off.

    Now, i do know Aion isn't doing as well as they would like but I dont' know how GW2 is doing with sales based upon their initial sales projections.

    But it's very possible that they just need to "right" things in order to get on with business.

  • LazzaroLazzaro chicago, ILPosts: 500Member Uncommon
    How does this affect wildstar
  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon
    What I heard back when NCsoft shut down Paragon studios was that CoH was actually making money. The thing is they wanted to shut it down so they could pump more resources into GW2 which is under performing. GW2 has done ok from a gamer cummunity perspective but has not yet recooped the development costs. So yeah this is all about GW2.
  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon

    regardless of the restructuring,

    they are still hiring

    http://us.ncsoft.com/en/jobs/index.html

     

  • stayontargetstayontarget Tacoma, WAPosts: 6,068Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lazzaro
    How does this affect wildstar

    Or B&S for that matter,  probably nothing  is my guess.

    Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  • SwaneaSwanea Vegas, NVPosts: 2,368Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by botrytis

    ALso, if NCSoft and A.Net both have offices in Seattle, why not merge the two.

     

    People really want to see GW2 fail. WHY? I never understood the attitude of some people who gleefully jump up and down when a game goes south.  Seems to me, if it was their lively hood that went south, they would want people to at least have sympathy.

    For the same reason people want TOR or MO or WoW or anything else to fail.  To claim they were right and that the type of game that failed needs to go while the game they like and would prefer to be made, should be made.

    To feel justified.  To be right.

    Anything really.  But don't worry. People will keep doing it with any game that comes out.

  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Abuz0r
    Their games in general are un-rewarding time sinks.   Lot's of time invested with absolutely nothing to show for your efforts.  They set before you a really challenging ladder to climb with nothing at the top.  Can you name 1 NC game with entertaining end-game content?

    Well, there you go..   This is the new generation of MMORPG's.. 

    "" GIMMEE STUFF ""..

    I need reward stuff.. I need something to increase my epeen show off factor..

         I find it puzzling and sad that people need "cyber" stuff to feel rewarded.. Really?  What has this society come to these days when people expect compensation and rewards to do anything.. Why not just do it because it feels good?  I love how GW2 has done zones and adventuring in general.. It's not perfect, but it is far more enjoyable then those I've played in the last 7 years plus.. I just wish there was MORE zones in GW2 to play in..  I'm max level on one toon and still haven't explored all the zones and haven't done a single instance yet..  It's a shame CoX didn't survive because I enjoyed it for the short time I was there.. I just hope that NC Soft figures out a better business plan..

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,931Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by eyelolled

    As for the OP. I think the "realignment" is just resource management. Maybe they are trying to free up enough money to buy out funcom before Disney does.

     

    One company I worked at a while back did this.  Downsizing put a lot of black ink on the books, enough to get financing to buy out a competitor.  More of an accounting trick than anything, but it worked.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon

    Hardly surprising. NC Soft have been struggling since the closure announcement of City of Heroes. Perhaps if they had not shut it down, or if they sold off the COH IP, they would not have had a "PR black eye" and not be making lay offs.

    http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,6267.0.html

    Fifth of all, I am not giving up hope that we'll still be able to acquire City of Heroes at some point. Right now, NCsoft is suffering a massive PR black eye (gee, really?) for their unwillingness to sell or license the IP for reasonable terms. I've heard some of the terms they were demanding, and they really are unreasonable. Needless to say, claiming that they had "exhausted all efforts" was disingenuous at best. People have been taking to their Facebook, Twitter, and other public pages to let the larger gaming community know what's going on. While I'm not directly leading those efforts, as a gamer myself, I have been encouraging people to share how they feel to other communities so that even if City of Heroes can't be saved, it gives game publishers a heavy dose of reality to chew on.

    And speaking of NCsoft, they're not doing so well right now. Their stock price is currently down to 169,000 KRW. The 52-week low? That's right, 169,000 KRW. They are a whopping 52.5% off their 52-week high and have been consistently falling almost since the closure of City of Heroes was announced. While I don't think that investors care so much about City of Heroes specifically, I do think that they are taking note that it represents NCsoft's floundering presence in the North American market. While Guild Wars 2 launched to much fanfare, I honestly don't think it will be the stable long-term source of income that City of Heroes was, and there is a lot of negative attention being given to Blade and Soul even before it launches.

    I mention all of this because if NCsoft goes bankrupt or is sold to some kind of holding company, there's a distinct possibility that the IP and/or code base could be acquired at liquidation or fire sale price. It's definitely something that we are keeping a very close eye on and hopeful about.

     

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,538Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by botrytis

    ALso, if NCSoft and A.Net both have offices in Seattle, why not merge the two.

     

    People really want to see GW2 fail. WHY? I never understood the attitude of some people who gleefully jump up and down when a game goes south.  Seems to me, if it was their lively hood that went south, they would want people to at least have sympathy.

    Maybe for the same reason GW2 fans were gleefully predicting how "their game" would "bury" other MMOs out there?

    I think a lot of the "anti-GW2" is backlash from the obscene amount of hype around this game prior to launch, just after launch, and even up to this day for some.

    If you weren't "on the GW2 bandwagon", it was pretty obnoxious to be reading forums for a completely different game - including the official forums for various MMOs - only to have the GW2 fan brigade invading it with the same crap. "GW2 is going to bury this game", blah blah blah.

    I'd personlly like to see GW2 underperforming (not failing, just not doing as well as it was assumed it would) just to shut those people up. Kind of similar to what happened after TOR launched and people realize that game wasn't the Second Coming they claimed it would be.

  • CheboyganCheboygan charlotte, MIPosts: 36Member
    Originally posted by Novusod
    What I heard back when NCsoft shut down Paragon studios was that CoH was actually making money. The thing is they wanted to shut it down so they could pump more resources into GW2 which is under performing. GW2 has done ok from a gamer cummunity perspective but has not yet recooped the development costs. So yeah this is all about GW2.

    "What I heard......"

    well, there you go go folks - we now have the facts

     

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    Originally posted by Cheboygan
    Originally posted by Novusod
    What I heard back when NCsoft shut down Paragon studios was that CoH was actually making money. The thing is they wanted to shut it down so they could pump more resources into GW2 which is under performing. GW2 has done ok from a gamer cummunity perspective but has not yet recooped the development costs. So yeah this is all about GW2.

    "What I heard......"

    well, there you go go folks - we now have the facts

     

    Actually, the Korean Times article on the issue also says CoH was profitable.

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon

    GW1 will end up being in trouble before GW2.

    There is no point getting into GW1 at all now, for fear of a shut down, and just focus on GW2, but with this news, it does not add confidence but if it is true that COH was shut down to focus on GW2, then GW2 should be quite safe, unless their finaces worsen further, and into bankruptcy

    However, I am not touching a MMO or anything associated with NC Soft again, until they start to become more reasonable. They do business in an unreasonable manner, and it resulted in the closure of Tabula Rasa and Auto Assault, and now COH. They may have needed to close COH but they could have sold the IP to another company to take it over, and they did offer to sell it but it came with unreasonable demands.

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,215Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Roxtarr
    Originally posted by Cheboygan
    Originally posted by Novusod
    What I heard back when NCsoft shut down Paragon studios was that CoH was actually making money. The thing is they wanted to shut it down so they could pump more resources into GW2 which is under performing. GW2 has done ok from a gamer cummunity perspective but has not yet recooped the development costs. So yeah this is all about GW2.

    "What I heard......"

    well, there you go go folks - we now have the facts

     

    Actually, the Korean Times article on the issue also says CoH was profitable.

     Profitable doesn't mean much by itself. They were probably looking at the trends and the likelyhood of increased operating costs. In this economic climate everyone is struggling. Putting more effort into GW2 makes sense not because it's under performing, if it is, but because it has a higher potential for future profits.

     

    Mercedes Lackey? Seriously? WTF does she know about anything besides writing moderately successful SF?

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano

    The insider word on the street was that GW2 was underperforming, this pretty much confirms those rumors. 

    I hope all those affected land on their feet - layoffs during holiday season is just heartless.

    GW2s goal was 3 million copies sold until 31st december (Source: NC soft prelaunch). We know that it sold out abou 2.2 million copies a few weeks after launch. It have sold some more copies since so it probably is somewhere near 2.3-2.6M copies right now.

    That is less than target number but X-mas season is up soon so it might sell more or less.

    But even if it "just" sold minimum copies there is no way that can be the real reason beyond massive layoffs, it still have minimum sold 75% of target numbers and unless someone in NC soft had the silly idea that everyone who bought the game would spend $100+ in the itemshop (which would be impressive even for a F2P game and totally unrealistic) there is no way that is a big enough disaster for NC soft to make massive layoffs.

    So lets think a second, is there some other NC soft games out that have underperformed far under expactations the last few years?

    Well, Aion comes to mind first but there are others as well. Korean (as well as Chinese) made games generally do bad in the west and other companies than NC soft have found out this the hard way as well. 

    But feel free to blame GW2 if it makes you feel better, personally I have wondered why they didnt do this before. GW2 is probably NC softs only game that is popular in the West at the moment. Aion didnt go F2P becuase NC soft wanted to be kind, it couldnt support P2P any longer.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Roxtarr
    Originally posted by Cheboygan
    Originally posted by Novusod
    What I heard back when NCsoft shut down Paragon studios was that CoH was actually making money. The thing is they wanted to shut it down so they could pump more resources into GW2 which is under performing. GW2 has done ok from a gamer cummunity perspective but has not yet recooped the development costs. So yeah this is all about GW2.

    "What I heard......"

    well, there you go go folks - we now have the facts

    Actually, the Korean Times article on the issue also says CoH was profitable.

    The Sims online earned some small amount of money as well, and so did Tabula Rasa. Larger companies (beside SOE) rarely keep games like that floating.

    Closing down the studio to transfer resources to another game only make sense if the other game earns more money, otherwise you earn more just leaving it as it is.

    CoH did earn in some small amount of cash but not enough to run it.

    As for GW2, if NC soft thought they could get in the development cost of a AAA MMO in 3 months after launch they must have been high, even Wow didnt do that and it was P2P. They really need the first expansion to start earning money.

    But they have sold over 2.2 million copies of GW2 (how much is unknown but it is less than 3M) so they should have gotten in $60M or so + whatever they sold in the itemshop. Say $5M in the itemshop.

    Development cost is supposed to be around $80M (no official numbers though) so I have no doubt they will get in the cost and more later but 3 months just aint realistic and I doubt NC soft were that stupid.

    And even if they were that stupid CoHs skeleton crews money would mean close to nothing, if they would earn money it would even be nothing and putting their small earnings while keeping the game running would have been smarter if that was what this is about.

    AION on the other hand went F2P this summer and they had huge expectations about that game a while back. If you want to blame anyone, that is far more likely than either GW2 or CoH.

  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member

    Isn't NCSoft 'simply' the publisher of GW2? As far as I've seen from videos and interviews, the game is developed entirely by ArenaNet in their own offices.

    Given the evidence that I can see with my own eyes, there's nothing that says GW2 is underperforming.

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member
    Originally posted by Terranah

    Well, I'd be surprised if GW2 fails anytime soon.  It's a good game for $50.  But then again, I have not bought a single thing off of their store.  Nothing interests me.  What would interest me?  How about purchasing functionality.  Examples...

     

    1) Housing

    2) More armor skins

    3) Sell appearance tabs

    4) Sell the ability to change your character appearance.  The current system is bla.  I suggest it would be an optional functionality you could add to your house.  A mirror in your bedroom that would allow you to change your appearance any time.  Charge $15, only good for the character you purchase it for.

    5) The ability to send items coins to other toons.

    6)  The ability for level 80 characters to transfer experience to alts.

    7) Hair packs. 

    8) Face Packs

    9) Emote packs.

     

    Bla bla bla.  These are just a few ideas.  Charge $15 for each one.  Housing opens the door to a lot of things, like furniture, decorations.  Honestly, I have more creative ideas in my toe nails than their entire store team. 

    Wow those are some pretty creative toe nails you have there.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  • thetimesthetimes Roseville, MIPosts: 49Member
    Originally posted by korvass

    Isn't NCSoft 'simply' the publisher of GW2? As far as I've seen from videos and interviews, the game is developed entirely by ArenaNet in their own offices.

    Given the evidence that I can see with my own eyes, there's nothing that says GW2 is underperforming.

    NCsoft is the owner and publisher of GW2. NCsoft west is Areanet. NCwest is the office to be "realigned."

  • XasapisXasapis VolosPosts: 5,561Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by korvass

    Isn't NCSoft 'simply' the publisher of GW2? As far as I've seen from videos and interviews, the game is developed entirely by ArenaNet in their own offices.

    Given the evidence that I can see with my own eyes, there's nothing that says GW2 is underperforming.

    No, Anet is owned completely by NCsoft, same way Bioware today is owned completely by EA.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon

    ANET is owned by Ncsoft

    but worth noting that ANETs office is located in Bellevue - not Seattle

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