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Zenimax just cut 300 customer service jobs for ESO in EU 4 months early

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Comments

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,066Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by gervaise1

     

    I agree that part of the people indeed must have been temps, any MMO do need a lot more support at launch but 300 people?

    Nah, it is pretty clear that Zenimax expected more players by now then they actually have, at least in EU. 

    It sucks for everyone losing their job and the final word about the game is not said yet but Zenimax needs to do something ASAP or things will go even worse.

    Add some real MMO dungeons, minimize the phasing and make RvR better and the game might still turn around though. It looks good, the combat ain't bad so the game surely isn't lost yet but adding more VR stuff is not the way to go and neither is adding 3 Vs 3 arenas.

    A lot of people for sure - for EU and US customers though. Is the number too big?

    Make a few "wild guesses" to see:

    • If each query takes an average of 10 minutes talking to a rep.
    • Then each CS rep can deal with 6 an hour: 50 a day, 250 for 40 hours (excluding breaks); about 1,200 per 30 days.
    • If Galway had 180 staff and added 250 temps - say 400 people for queries, 30 for admin, reading blogs, forums etc.
    • So maybe 400 staff would handle 600k queries.
    Obviously if the average query is shorter, no one has any days off etc. they will would do more; if the average is longer they would do less. But assume 600k in a month.
     
    So how many queries did Zenimax plan for. Say 1 query per 30 days for every 5 customers, so 20% maybe? That would imply that they were assuming 5 x 600k = 3M sales. 
     
    Ignore the actual number - they key here is that its "in the right ball park". Zenimax assuming 1M or 2M or 4M is believable. If the answer had been 20M or 200k that would suggest the number of CS being talked about was dodgy.  
     
     
    Of course the speculation is then: how far below expectations were the initial sales if they axed this many CS early?
  • EhllfhireEhllfhire Sacramento, CAPosts: 597Member
    I do like that line of logic even if we dont know the starting numbers for that formula.

    Any graphical, audio, or gameplay restrictions not seen in other mmos but found in FFXIV can be blamed on one thing.
    PS3

  • JOverlordJOverlord Long Beach, CAPosts: 132Member
    Originally posted by bcbully
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    Id like to point out to those defending this, this is exactly how TSW's path to f2p started.

    by hiring temp workers then letting them go 4 weeks early? Oookay lol.

    4 months early. From a 6 month contract...Some only worked 2 weeks which included 1 week of training before getting fired.

  • ElirionLothElirionLoth Houston, TXPosts: 264Member Common
    Originally posted by JOverlord
    Originally posted by bcbully
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    Id like to point out to those defending this, this is exactly how TSW's path to f2p started.

    by hiring temp workers then letting them go 4 weeks early? Oookay lol.

    4 months early. From a 6 month contract...Some only worked 2 weeks which included 1 week of training before getting fired.

    Read the article again.  It says 2-6 week contracts for the 200 that were let go.  One person is mentioned in the article as being let go who was on a 6 month contract.  He says he was hired with 200 others on 6 month contracts but there is no mention of any others from that group being let go.

     

     

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,143Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zeymere

    Wow that really sucks.  Working for the gaming industry is a hard road to hoe.

     

    Z

    And what is the worst part, this people I'm sure worked hard to repair well paid CEO'S(!!!) mess! As usually. I'm sure responsible for failure got next well paid job. And this is sad part.

    For the rest .. this is how slavery ... ups, capitalism, works.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon

    So they hired short-term workers to cover the massive load few weeks after launch and once the load settled down to managable levels, the contracts were terminated.

    What is this thread actually about...?

  • EhllfhireEhllfhire Sacramento, CAPosts: 597Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

    So they hired short-term workers to cover the massive load few weeks after launch and once the load settled down to managable levels, the contracts were terminated.

    What is this thread actually about...?

    No its about them laying off hundreds of customer service due to lack of demand.

    Any graphical, audio, or gameplay restrictions not seen in other mmos but found in FFXIV can be blamed on one thing.
    PS3

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Ehllfhire

    No its about them laying off hundreds of customer service due to lack of demand.

    If there was a lack of demand, they wouldn't need those short-term CS representatives in the first place. It is not the lack of demand but the opposite - high demand that follows any major release and high load on CS that needs to be covered.

    But then again, if they didn't hire those people, you would call Zenimax incompetent for not being ready for post-launch load...

  • EhllfhireEhllfhire Sacramento, CAPosts: 597Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Ehllfhire

    No its about them laying off hundreds of customer service due to lack of demand.

     

    If there was a lack of demand, they wouldn't need those short-term CS representatives in the first place. It is not the lack of demand but the opposite - high demand that follows any major release and high load on CS that needs to be covered.

    But then again, if they didn't hire those people, you would call Zenimax incompetent for not being ready for post-launch load...

    You do realize companies hire for expected demand ahead of time, not hire after they get demand. This is clearly a case of the demand wasnt what they thought it would be and now they have to clean up costs to make a buck.

    Any graphical, audio, or gameplay restrictions not seen in other mmos but found in FFXIV can be blamed on one thing.
    PS3

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Ehllfhire

    You do realize companies hire for expected demand ahead of time, not hire after they get demand. This is clearly a case of the demand wasnt what they thought it would be and now they have to clean up costs to make a buck.

    You seem to have some issues with reading comprehension...or some other w/e issues.

    Those were short-term workers, they were expected to stay only for 2-6 weeks, and that is what has happened in past 2 months(April-May), 300 people were let go.


    And then, the sales(demand) does not equal CS load. There are many factors - state of the game at launch, pace of fixes, level of CS and how much do you actually want to spent on CS, etc.


    So to fix your statement with adding some sense:

    "This is clearly a case of the CS load toning down and going back to normal operation level."

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,066Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Ehllfhire

     This is clearly a case of the demand wasnt what they thought it would be and now they have to clean up costs to make a buck.

     

    "This is clearly a case of the CS load toning down and going back to normal operation level."

    The problem I have with your "fix" is that you are suggesting that this is simply business as usual. CS load reducing - obviously; what normal demand is - we don't know.

    Ehllhire's version is closer because it touches on the heart of the issue: demand is not what ZoS expected. 

    In March the news was about 250 temporary posts being created. Now it is all about 300 positions being cut / cut early.

    All the temporary staff plus 50 of the 180 staff hired when the centre was established. (Accepting the reports as accurate)

    So they over estimated the initial surge and over estimated post launch demand as well. (Which ties in with the lack of reports about the overflow servers being used.)

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by gervaise1

    Ehllhire's version is closer because it touches on the heart of the issue: demand is not what ZoS expected. 

    Except this is utterly falacious statement... Demand =/= CS load.

  • WolfClawsWolfClaws Arlington, VAPosts: 553Member Uncommon
    Wow, the speculation and wrongful interpretation reminds me of MMORPG "news" reports.
  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by WolfClaws

    Wow, the speculation and wrongful interpretation reminds me of MMORPG "news" reports.

    Yeah, the thread is far beyond point of stupid: They hire 300 people for 2-6 weeks contract, 6 weeks later 300 people are let go...shocking news... /facepalm

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,066Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    I do like that line of logic even if we dont know the starting numbers for that formula.

    Yeah I read Loke666's comment and it made me think. Sad maybe!

    And as long as you realise that all you doing is a "ball park test" then you don't need actual starting numbers as long as your guesses are not stupid and you focus on the core issues. I am sure ZoS will have modelled peak play hours, average hours played per day, shift systems, subscription retentions and all sorts of stuff! 

  • catowarcatowar Olympia, WAPosts: 8Member
    wow it lasted longer then I thought. I might try it for a week once its free
  • loulakiloulaki PatrasPosts: 918Member
    Originally posted by Ehllfhire
    http://connachttribune.ie/galway-jobs-blow-300-gone-software-firm/ This is the local newspaper for the town the jobs were in.

     

     

    so sad people lose their jobs, their hopes, their dreams, just cause some publishers are greedy as flies on a pile of shit.

    image

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by loulakiso sad people lose their jobs, their hopes, their dreams, just cause some publishers are greedy as flies on a pile of shit.

    Too bad you didn't get past the head title.... They didn't lose jobs, they were short-term contract workers.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by loulaki

     

    so sad people lose their jobs, their hopes, their dreams, just cause some publishers are greedy as flies on a pile of shit.

     


     

    Too bad you didn't get past the head title.... They didn't lose jobs, they were short-contract workers.

    Just give it up, the majority here seem to have no interest in the facts.

     

    They're all having too much fun trying to make the headline sound as negative as possible.

  • EhllfhireEhllfhire Sacramento, CAPosts: 597Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by loulaki

     

    so sad people lose their jobs, their hopes, their dreams, just cause some publishers are greedy as flies on a pile of shit.


     

    Too bad you didn't get past the head title.... They didn't lose jobs, they were short-term contract workers.

    Dude those are still jobs. Did they get paid to work? Yes, so it was jobs they lost. [mod edit]

    Any graphical, audio, or gameplay restrictions not seen in other mmos but found in FFXIV can be blamed on one thing.
    PS3

  • wuhsin88wuhsin88 Hamilton, ALPosts: 70Member

    So they hired 250 people, then they fired 300. When a company is firing more than it's hiring, it's safe to say that company isn't making a whole lot of profit. Even if they were temps, it's hard to have confidence in customer support when they know they're going to be gone in a few weeks anyway. If my job was only going to last a few weeks anyway, I don't think I would be investing too much hard work in doing that job well. I would half-ass it, and copy & paste random responses to questions without reading them. Judging by what I read on ESO's official forum, that seems to have went on a lot. 

    To those of you who seem to care more about Zenimax and ESO than the people who lost their jobs, shame on you. People should matter more than corporations. This is the kind of mentality that's wrong with America today. These big companies chew people up, and spit them out, and you all stand there idly enjoying the show. Is Zenimax Media your God or something? Do you go to Zenimax Studios every Sunday to sing Fus Ro Dah and listen to their PR preach about playing the way you want to play? Because some of you honestly come across as that fanatical for defending this studio so vigorously. 

    I voted with my wallet, I'm not sending this greedy company a dime. They tried to sue Mojang over using the word "Scrolls." They tried to sue a developer of the Oculus Rift for using their "intellectual property" to develop it. They had a Cease and Desist letter sent to them by Germany for not giving people their free month until they enter payment information. They're too cheap to put a server in Europe, and they fired the majority of their customer support already, two months from launch. They locked content that has been standard in all TES games behind a pay wall with their CE. And the whole thing with horses costing over 40x what they did in any other TES game is a big red flag too. 

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Ehllfhire

    Dude those are still jobs. Did they get paid to work? Yes, so it was jobs they lost.

    Never said those are not jobs, I say that you cannot lose what you are not supposed to have.

  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member
    Originally posted by bcbully
    Originally posted by Nemesis7884
    Originally posted by bcbully
    Nowhere does it say ESO in the article. Nice one OP... More than slightly misleading.

    didnt know zenimax online studies had any other game...?

     

    Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles featured under the Bethesda label include such blockbuster franchises as The Elder Scrolls®,DOOM®, QUAKE®, Fallout®, Wolfenstein®, Dishonored®,Prey® and RAGE®. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.  To visit the Bethesda merchandise store, visit store.bethsoft.com.

     

    Bethesda is one of 10 companies owned by Zenimax.

     

    ZeniMax Online Studios is a subsidiary of Zenimax Media.  ZMax Online Studios is who dumped the 300 workers and their only product, to date, is ESO.

     

    It's also important to note that this happens a lot.  MMOs release with big sales and that needs a lot of attention in the beginning.  Things start to settle down after a time and that's why they hire these employees under short term contracts.  Stop acting as though this is a big surprise or has much to do with ESO's successes or failures as it does the typical first year of an MMOs life.

  • ZhirocZhiroc X, NHPosts: 220Member
    Originally posted by Quesa

    It's also important to note that this happens a lot.  MMOs release with big sales and that needs a lot of attention in the beginning.  Things start to settle down after a time and that's why they hire these employees under short term contracts.  Stop acting as though this is a big surprise or has much to do with ESO's successes or failures as it does the typical first year of an MMOs life.

    Yes and no. Yes, these were intended to be temporary jobs, meant to handle the initial influx due to the game being new, and were expected to be lost after a period of time.

    However, indications are (depending on the accuracy of the reporting) that these jobs were terminated early, and very early in at least some of the cases--meaning that the expected influx did not meet ZOS's expectations and given the somewhat rocky start, is even more significant as I imagine the CS load was higher for the actual userbase than was expected (or if it was expected, says something about how much faith was had in the code...).

    To put 300 people through a week of training is about 12,000 man-hours. I would presume these people, though temps, probably got at least (the equivalent of) US$15/hr, and the contract agency probably charged at least $20 if not more. Thus, their training expense was likely in the vicinity of US$250K, or higher. You don't spend that much, or waste that much once it's spent, unless you really, really see the writing on the wall that you're going to not need them. I would bet there was also an early termination clause in the contracting agency's T&C's too--it takes money to hire and process people, and it would make sense that they would demand to have those costs covered no matter how long they were hired.

    Thus, it lends credence to the view that sales were not "stellar". It doesn't, I agree, say how low they were, but I still suspect that in the week or two after launch, they had not sold over a million. 

  • laokokolaokoko TaipeiPosts: 2,003Member

    The shocking news is they have 300 jobs just for EU customer service.

    That is more staff than some of the mmorpg out right now.  Obviously not sustainable.

This discussion has been closed.