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Rift: Dev Team Rocked By Layoffs

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Comments

  • TBAiTBAi Bartow, FLPosts: 10Member
    I have a friend that worked for Trion World's as customer support. He was actually let go last month, so this isn't much of a surprise to me.
  • kevjardskevjards carlislePosts: 1,463Member
    sad news indeed..especially for a dedicated team that trion is.not to mention this time of year as well.that makes it xtra sad
  • knapuknapu GifhornPosts: 131Member
    Easy answer they concetrate on theyre new mmofps .All about money...

    I am the punishment of God...
    If you had not committed great sins,
    God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you
    — Genghis Khan

  • causscauss sonnegaPosts: 668Member
    I wish them good luck. Rift is doing its best to become my favorite MMORPG. I really hope it'll stay subscription.
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    They are good at pumping out new content and I like the effect they've had on the industry with tsw & gw2 also putting out lots of updates. It shames the likes of ea and blizzard for the cash cow milkers they are.
  • SlivverSlivver AshfordPosts: 16Member

    My entire guild transfered from WoW hoping to find a new challenge when the game launched and on the whole we were initially enjoying the game.  It didn't take long before we began to get bored of the game though and this was primarily due to the completely overpowered macro system.  

     

    If you had a guild who are capable of getting out of the fire the only challenge in maximising your dps in Rift was copying and pasting the right macros. This meant just about every encounter became a gear check rather than the player's skill level being able to make a difference.  

     

    If it wasn't for that one significant issue I suspect our guild might well still be playing Rift as there really were a lot of things to like about the game.  It sounds like Trion haven't taken their foot off the accelerator ever since and hopefully one day if they fix combat I'll play again.

     

     

     
  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member
    Could it be possible that the extra 40 people needed to produce the expansion are no longer needed?
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Sliver

    It's the same in wow, all you need is a few quid for a macro keyboard.
  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,641Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by korvass
    Could it be possible that the extra 40 people needed to produce the expansion are no longer needed?

     

    Well, in theory, they would still be needed to start work on the next one?

     

    I personally think that Trion's issues are not Rift, I feel you have to look at their whole raft of projects when considering this news. They are spending a whole shedload of cash right now, with only Rift brining money in, but maybe reducing costs across the board is the only way to appease investors to deliver one of the other projects (EoN or whatever).

     

    Who knows for sure? The way some folks here are jumping to conclusions on very little real information here though to just hate is a bit pitiful.

  • IPolygonIPolygon ViennaPosts: 707Member Uncommon
    Dang, I thought they were doing fine and were offering a good service in the genre. Looks like they are still doing the latter.
  • LanfeaLanfea EssenPosts: 219Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by korvass
    Could it be possible that the extra 40 people needed to produce the expansion are no longer needed?

     Well, in theory, they would still be needed to start work on the next one?

     

    1) a press release end of 2011 announced that trion world inc. will adjust how the company course would be like in the future. this included that after the release of defiance they are currently not planning to develop another mmog on their own but will offer third-party developers to use their plattform 'project red door'. warface, the mmfps based on the cry engine 3 is the first example.

    "Game maker Trion Worlds, which successfully launched its first major online role-playing fantasy game, Rift, back in March, is now unveiling a game platform to publish games created by other companies.

    While Trion will continue making massively multiplayer online games such as its upcoming End of Nations and Defiance titles, the platform, called Project Red Door, is a way for the Redwood City, Calif.-based company to make a lot more money than it otherwise would, said Lars Buttler, chief executive of Trion, in an interview. The two-pronged initiative will have a consumer platform on the web and a publishing platform for game makers.

    Buttler said that the company raised more than $100 million and hired more than 500 employees since 2006 so that it could launch premium quality MMOs. But at the same time, it built a publishing platform that other companies can use. From a business view, the move makes sense because it allows Trion to amortize its technology investments over a much broader base of games. It also reduces Trion’s dependence on its own internally produced games."

     

    2) trion world inc. is still hiring developers, especially for defiance. so they let 40 people (out of 500) go. seams that those aren't qualified or even needed for defiance. its a typical company course of action.

     

    The way some folks here are jumping to conclusions on very little real information here though to just hate is a bit pitiful.

     

    95 out of 100 people writing comments in forums all over the internet only read the headline of a post / news / article and then spill out some of their brain-garbage. reading more than 5 words seams to overburden them. why should it be different here?

    i bet if i make up some good looking 'world of warcraft goes f2p' post, these 95 people will belive it without questioning.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member
    ah yes, layoffs right before christmas. what an excellent surprise for the whole family.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by chelan
    ah yes, layoffs right before christmas. what an excellent surprise for the whole family.

    Yeah that blows - of course, maybe they thought it was better for them to know before they spent too much holiday cash only to find out they had no paycheck coming. 

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Ginaz
    Not really surprising.  Most video game companies fire a lot of their employees shortly after release.  Probably the same thing here.  Once the expansion was out the door, some of the employees became superfluous.  Its not necessarily an indicator of success or failure.

    Im really curious as to where this comes from.

     

    Name AAA MMORPG expansions where this has happened.  I cant think of a single set of layoffs that wasnt due to poor performance.

    While not an example of a MMO expansion, this is a good writeup on the issue in general as it relates to the gaming industry. Not exactly proof of Trion's case, but It is actually quite common.

    http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/10/lionhead-layoffs/

    It’s just business as usual in the game industry. Developers staff up to make a huge game, then shed members once it ships because they no longer have anything for them to do. It happens again and again, whether the game is successful or not: Take-Two had a huge hit with Red Dead Redemption in 2010, then immediately canned 40 workers from its Rockstar San Diego studio, calling the layoffs “typical.”

    thats game industry, not mmorpg industry.  two completely seperate animals.  Game industry when you release the game its done, save maybe some DLC in this era.

     

    MMORPG development is constant, you are never done.

  • Dr_NegativeDr_Negative Cleveland, TNPosts: 47Member
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Ginaz
    Not really surprising.  Most video game companies fire a lot of their employees shortly after release.  Probably the same thing here.  Once the expansion was out the door, some of the employees became superfluous.  Its not necessarily an indicator of success or failure.

    Im really curious as to where this comes from.

     

    Name AAA MMORPG expansions where this has happened.  I cant think of a single set of layoffs that wasnt due to poor performance.

    While not an example of a MMO expansion, this is a good writeup on the issue in general as it relates to the gaming industry. Not exactly proof of Trion's case, but It is actually quite common.

    http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/10/lionhead-layoffs/

    It’s just business as usual in the game industry. Developers staff up to make a huge game, then shed members once it ships because they no longer have anything for them to do. It happens again and again, whether the game is successful or not: Take-Two had a huge hit with Red Dead Redemption in 2010, then immediately canned 40 workers from its Rockstar San Diego studio, calling the layoffs “typical.”

    thats game industry, not mmorpg industry.  two completely seperate animals.  Game industry when you release the game its done, save maybe some DLC in this era.

     

    MMORPG development is constant, you are never done.

    That is the same as saying this is the SUV industry not the automotive industry, two completely seperate animals.

    The MMORPG industry is part of the game industry...its sure as hell not a food. ;) While you are right about MMORPG development being constant, the workload to build a game or expansion to launch, requires a much heavier workload than to patch/maintain it afterwards.

    You don't finish a skyscraper and leave thousands of construction workers on payroll until you want to build another one next to it. You give them the pink slip and you can them. It's harsh but thats business, it applies to all business who want to stay in the black, Trion included.

    October 2011, right at the end of the year, CCP Games canned 20% of their workforce, EVE however doing just fine:

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/10/19/ccp-layoffs-affect-20-of-worldwide-staff-company-focusing-on-e/

    Manifest says that EVE expansions, DUST, and WoD have stretched CCP's resources too thin, and the company will now "sharpen our focus." In the short term, this means more attention for EVE Online and DUST 514, while World of Darkness will "continue development with a significantly reduced team." Finally, the press release attempts to head off the doomsayers by pointing out the fact that EVE's subscriber numbers are higher than they were this time last year.

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member

    Regardless of how polished the game is, Rift is still just a wow-clone with fairly uninteresting lore.  When WoW itself is loosing subs, it's no surprise that the clones aren't doing so hot.

    Trion is one of the better devs out there, even if they aren't the most immaginative.  Unfortunate news for the holidays.

    You make me like charity

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative

    You don't finish a skyscraper and leave thousands of construction workers on payroll until you want to build another one next to it. You give them the pink slip and you can them. It's harsh but thats business, it applies to all business who want to stay in the black, Trion included.

    October 2011, right at the end of the year, CCP Games canned 20% of their workforce, EVE however doing just fine:

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/10/19/ccp-layoffs-affect-20-of-worldwide-staff-company-focusing-on-e/

    Manifest says that EVE expansions, DUST, and WoD have stretched CCP's resources too thin, and the company will now "sharpen our focus." In the short term, this means more attention for EVE Online and DUST 514, while World of Darkness will "continue development with a significantly reduced team." Finally, the press release attempts to head off the doomsayers by pointing out the fact that EVE's subscriber numbers are higher than they were this time last year.

     

    In a MMORPG that is doing well you start right on the next skyscraper.  MMOs are a continuous stream of projects.  And typically in a construction project you dont fire anyone, because they were contract workers.  Their contract is smply up.  You hire somone to paint your house, when hes done you dont tell him he is fired.  he wasnt planning on showing up the next day.  Hes probably hoping you hire him for something else, but you didnt fire him or lay him off.  Any extra testers needed for an expansion are the same thing.

     

    And the CCP thing is irrelevant, they took from another project to help their key projects, not cut their key project.

  • Dr_NegativeDr_Negative Cleveland, TNPosts: 47Member
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative

    You don't finish a skyscraper and leave thousands of construction workers on payroll until you want to build another one next to it. You give them the pink slip and you can them. It's harsh but thats business, it applies to all business who want to stay in the black, Trion included.

    October 2011, right at the end of the year, CCP Games canned 20% of their workforce, EVE however doing just fine:

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/10/19/ccp-layoffs-affect-20-of-worldwide-staff-company-focusing-on-e/

    Manifest says that EVE expansions, DUST, and WoD have stretched CCP's resources too thin, and the company will now "sharpen our focus." In the short term, this means more attention for EVE Online and DUST 514, while World of Darkness will "continue development with a significantly reduced team." Finally, the press release attempts to head off the doomsayers by pointing out the fact that EVE's subscriber numbers are higher than they were this time last year.

     

    In a MMORPG that is doing well you start right on the next skyscraper.  MMOs are a continuous stream of projects.  And typically in a construction project you dont fire anyone, because they were contract workers.  Their contract is smply up.  You hire somone to paint your house, when hes done you dont tell him he is fired.  he wasnt planning on showing up the next day.  Hes probably hoping you hire him for something else, but you didnt fire him or lay him off.  Any extra testers needed for an expansion are the same thing.

     

    And the CCP thing is irrelevant, they took from another project to help their key projects, not cut their key project.

    You asked for an example of when this has happened, I gave you several. I am actually providing links to back up my argument. You can dodge the rebuttal all you like by calling it "irrelavent". But that doesn't change the fact nor the evidence I have provided (which you requested way on up the thread) that this is not only common in the gaming industry as a whole, but also MMORPG's since you consider them seperate categories.

    The CCP ordeal is very relavent for this discussion as Trion is also in a similar situation working on other projects which are going through developmental hell at this point in addition to Rift. Also, Trion never officially stated how many of which teams have lost members as pointed out by previous posters.

    Let's not beat this dead horse anymore, it's all speculation at this point, I am simply proving that layoffs have, can, and will happen in this industry after a major game launch or expansion regardess of how well it does.

    http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Trion-Lays-Off-Third-Employees-Rift-50367.html

    "Rift was just on the receiving end of a new expansion, Storm Legion. It's not uncommon for layoffs to take place after large production cues wrap up on expansion packs or whatnot. Trion didn't specify the state of Rift, though, so there's no real telling if the game is doing well or not."

     
  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative
     

    You asked for an example of when this has happened, I gave you several. I am actually providing links to back up my argument. You can dodge the rebuttal all you like by calling it "irrelavent". But that doesn't change the fact nor the evidence I have provided (which you requested way on up the thread) that this is not only common in the gaming industry as a whole, but also MMORPG's since you consider them seperate categories.

    The CCP ordeal is very relavent for this discussion as Trion is also in a similar situation working on other projects which are going through developmental hell at this point in addition to Rift. Also, Trion never officially stated how many of which teams have lost members as pointed out by previous posters.

    Let's not beat this dead horse anymore, it's all speculation at this point, I am simply proving that layoffs have, can, and will happen in this industry after a major game launch or expansion regardess of how well it does.

     

    No, you didnt give me any examples.  Maybe you should reread what Ive wrote and actualy comprehend it.  I have yet to see any eveidence that MMORPGs typically lay people off after an expansion.  You mentioned a non MMORPG and then a company that layed off staff from a different product.  So I stand by my stance that its not normal for staff layoffs after an expansion release.  

     

    But yes, the CCP situation may be relevant.  No layoffs happened because of an expansion, but because of a company biting off more than it can chew aka bad business decisions.  Smart money is on a combination of spreading too thin and Rift not making as much income as Trion had hoped when they planned out their future projects.

     

    Of course Trion isnt going to say what staffs lost what.  However when Blizzard did their layoffs this year they made it clear that the WoW dev team was not effected.  Trion loves spin, if this was normal practice they would have stated it.  If Rift was mostly unscathed they would have said that.  they confirmed nothing, but they denied nothing.  Lack of denial is much stronger than lack of confirmation.

     

    This likely isnt 'the beginning of the end' or 'rift: free to play next week", but to think this is just business as usual is as blindly hopeful as me thinking my Jets will win the super bowl this year.  Yeah, its possible but extremely unlikely.

     

    edit:  adding a quote from a site that couldnt even get gamasutra's info right doesnt help your cause.  That person is in all likelihood not an industry insider and a lousy journalist as he interpreted the source incorrectly (he said 40 designers and artists were let go, when the source said deisgners and artists were among the 40...huge difference)

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Ginaz
    Not really surprising.  Most video game companies fire a lot of their employees shortly after release.  Probably the same thing here.  Once the expansion was out the door, some of the employees became superfluous.  Its not necessarily an indicator of success or failure.

    Im really curious as to where this comes from.

     

    Name AAA MMORPG expansions where this has happened.  I cant think of a single set of layoffs that wasnt due to poor performance.

    While not an example of a MMO expansion, this is a good writeup on the issue in general as it relates to the gaming industry. Not exactly proof of Trion's case, but It is actually quite common.

    http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/10/lionhead-layoffs/

    It’s just business as usual in the game industry. Developers staff up to make a huge game, then shed members once it ships because they no longer have anything for them to do. It happens again and again, whether the game is successful or not: Take-Two had a huge hit with Red Dead Redemption in 2010, then immediately canned 40 workers from its Rockstar San Diego studio, calling the layoffs “typical.”

    Like he said. For a newly developed video game that didn't meet expectations or for keeping a minimum staff for content development, yes very commonplace. For a year+ old mmo that has already did it's initial downsizing after it's initial release to do so on the heels of a successful (in their own words) mmo expansion, not so typical.

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • Dr_NegativeDr_Negative Cleveland, TNPosts: 47Member
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative
     

    You asked for an example of when this has happened, I gave you several. I am actually providing links to back up my argument. You can dodge the rebuttal all you like by calling it "irrelavent". But that doesn't change the fact nor the evidence I have provided (which you requested way on up the thread) that this is not only common in the gaming industry as a whole, but also MMORPG's since you consider them seperate categories.

    The CCP ordeal is very relavent for this discussion as Trion is also in a similar situation working on other projects which are going through developmental hell at this point in addition to Rift. Also, Trion never officially stated how many of which teams have lost members as pointed out by previous posters.

    Let's not beat this dead horse anymore, it's all speculation at this point, I am simply proving that layoffs have, can, and will happen in this industry after a major game launch or expansion regardess of how well it does.

     

    No, you didnt give me any examples.  Maybe you should reread what Ive wrote and actualy comprehend it.  I have yet to see any eveidence that MMORPGs typically lay people off after an expansion.  You mentioned a non MMORPG and then a company that layed off staff from a different product.  So I stand by my stance that its not normal for staff layoffs after an expansion release.  

    Yes I did.

     

    But yes, the CCP situation may be relevant.  No layoffs happened because of an expansion, but because of a company biting off more than it can chew aka bad business decisions.  Smart money is on a combination of spreading too thin and Rift not making as much income as Trion had hoped when they planned out their future projects.

    Good deflection.

     

    Of course Trion isnt going to say what staffs lost what.  However when Blizzard did their layoffs this year they made it clear that the WoW dev team was not effected.  Trion loves spin, if this was normal practice they would have stated it.  If Rift was mostly unscathed they would have said that.  they confirmed nothing, but they denied nothing.  Lack of denial is much stronger than lack of confirmation.

    Blizzard is a marker outlier with their millions of subs to justify keeping people on post-expansion. Besides I said it was common, not unanimous.

     

    This likely isnt 'the beginning of the end' or 'rift: free to play next week", but to think this is just business as usual is as blindly hopeful as me thinking my Jets will win the super bowl this year.  Yeah, its possible but extremely unlikely.

    Who said anything about being hopeful? But good analogy nontheless.

     

    edit:  adding a quote from a site that couldnt even get gamasutra's info right doesnt help your cause.  That person is in all likelihood not an industry insider and a lousy journalist as he interpreted the source incorrectly (he said 40 designers and artists were let go, when the source said deisgners and artists were among the 40...huge difference)

    He was generalizing. Sue him. But, he stated what several here have already told you. It's understandable why you would deny him as well.

     

    Yet another one, this time Turbine, just several weeks after release of the Riders of Rohan expansion for LOTRO and also at the end of the year. Coincidence?

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/10/25/layoffs-hit-turbine.aspx

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by Dr_Negative
     

    Yet another one, this time Turbine, just several weeks after release of the Riders of Rohan expansion for LOTRO and also at the end of the year. Coincidence?

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/10/25/layoffs-hit-turbine.aspx

    congratulations, your first one!

     

    Now if this is commonplace theres sure to be a dozen like it, right?  Oh wait, there isnt....

  • harmilharmil Boston, MAPosts: 2Member
    Originally posted by TheJoda
    ....that sucks....but well RIFT wasnt anything special!

    ... so, the industry's first automatic grouping for open-world shared quests wasn't anything special. The widely acknowledged fastest pace of content development in the industry wasn't anything special. The most flexible talent system in the industry wasn't anything special. The broadest list of options for the leveling game in the industry wasn't anything special.

     

    Pray... what do you consider "special"?

     

  • harmilharmil Boston, MAPosts: 2Member

    One thing to keep in mind: the assertion that the layoffs primarily impacted Rift is still industry speculation. There's been no confirmation of this that I'm aware of...

    It's probably not hitting Defiance (unless Syfy is about to announce that the series is canceled), but Trion does have other games in the pipeline which may have been canceled / scaled back in this move.

     

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