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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: 2,068Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by laokoko

    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.

    Worldwide support if they were operating as intended. 

    A broad brush assessment (see above) suggested that the total staffing was in the right order if Zenimax expected high sales. (A few million type number).

    If reports are accurate then 250 staff added to the 180 staff pre-launch; 300 staff let go post launch - some earlier than expected. Note: 300 is more than 250.

    Why? Either a) console delay b) customers needed less support than expected c) did not sell as well. Could be all three but given the bot issue; account security; bank problem; duplicate item issue ... it probably wasn't b).

  • icanread88icanread88 Hamilton, ALPosts: 10Member

    From the article:

    "One employee told this newspaper that he was hired in March with around 200 other workers on six month contracts, but has now been let go."

    "It’s understood that there are now just over 100 employees at the European customer services centre in the Rahoon Business Park (near B&Q)."

    So if the article is correct, these were not all 2-6 week contracts. AT LEAST 100 people with six month contracts were terminated early, probably more. Zenimax paid a lot of money to train all these workers, then let them go. It's reasonable to believe the company isn't making as much money as it had hoped. To those defending Zenimax, I don't know why you'd have a dog in this fight unless Zenimax paid you. This company is suing people/companies left and right, firing it's employees en masse, and to top it all off, the game they published is nowhere near the game they were hired to make, or the game they advertised. We wanted THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE, not DAoC2 Online, or Quest Treadmill 2014 Online... Why is that so hard for the devs, fanboys, and shills to understand?

     

     

     

     

  • ArskaaaArskaaa KauhajokiPosts: 842Member Uncommon

    money is more imporant then humans.

     

    but yeah, TESO was mediocore mmorpg with lots proplems. Elder scroll games should stay as singleplayer games with modding.

  • icanread88icanread88 Hamilton, ALPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by Arskaaa

    money is more imporant then humans.

     

    but yeah, TESO was mediocore mmorpg with lots proplems. Elder scroll games should stay as singleplayer games with modding.

    I think they should do like Minecraft, and give players the options to host their own servers for multiplayer if they want. Then mods can be used to alter the gameplay. If you want a PVP server, I'm sure someone will make a mod for that. But the game will still be balanced like a TES game, you won't have to put up with being gimped as an archer for the sake of balance. This way you can adventure with a single friend, or maybe have 20-40 people on your server living in different locations. I feel Minecraft's greatest strength is being able to host your own servers, with the second being modding. If the next TES game will just add some way to turn your console or PC into a private server for multiplayer, and let us mod, it has the potential to be revolutionary. Thinking about it, I'm surprised there's not already some online multiplayer Skyrim server.......

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by icanread88

    Thinking about it, I'm surprised there's not already some online multiplayer Skyrim server.......

    There is:
    http://skyrim.ophelia-core.com/index.php
    but it seems it has died.

  • icanread88icanread88 Hamilton, ALPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by icanread88

    Thinking about it, I'm surprised there's not already some online multiplayer Skyrim server.......

     

    There is:
    http://skyrim.ophelia-core.com/index.php
    but it seems it has died.

    If Skyrim Online is dead, then ESO won't make it, even if pigs grow wings, and Hell gets frozen over.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by icanread88

    If Skyrim Online is dead, then ESO won't make it, even if pigs grow wings, and Hell gets frozen over.

    Nah, Zenimax will make it, despite you not liking the game...no big deal, really.

  • icanread88icanread88 Hamilton, ALPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by icanread88

    If Skyrim Online is dead, then ESO won't make it, even if pigs grow wings, and Hell gets frozen over.

     

    Nah, Zenimax will make it, despite you not liking the game...no big deal, really.

    You may be right, but I certainly hope not. We already had too many theme park MMO's before ESO came along. I just wish it'd die so that these big companies will motivated to try something different. Long as people keep paying for generic theme park MMO's, we're going to keep getting generic theme park MMO's. People are getting hyped up about games like EQ: Next, Archeage, etc. because of supposed sandbox features, but I hear they're already ripping a lot of those sandbox features out of Archeage for the Western release. If ESO continues to do well, I foresee the devs of these upcoming games just maintaining the status quo, and not trying anything different. It's not just about ESO, but the whole MMO market. ESO for me was a missed opportunity by Zenimax to do something fresh and revolutionary, to redefine the whole genre. 

  • ZeGermanZeGerman Andover, MAPosts: 196Member
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Nowhere does it say ESO in the article. Nice one OP... More than slightly misleading. Zenimax owns a lot of companies. 

     

    Just incase you are looking for a job other than making misleading threads, Zenimax is hiring for another 100+ Positions

     

     

    Where does it say they are hiring 100+ people on your link? Working for a software company we regularly post job categories whether we are hiring or not that way if someone exceptional comes along they will apply.  You always have room for talent even if it means you have to fire someone else.

    Also Zenimax Media owns alot of companies but the article specifically says Zenimax Online whose primary product is ESO, or at least I cannot find something else of AAA level that they have made, its possible that this is a misprint by the news article but the OP's statement is easily defensible, even if ESO fans get in a tizzy about it.

    Don't Accuse others of being misleading then make a statement the article you linked doesn't back up.

     

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,530Member Uncommon

    Every major MMO company will hire a bunch of temp CS staff to handle the launch and then let them go post launch.

    Standard practice.

    Scaling Dev staff down post launch is also very common - so that will happen too at some point.

    All game companies do it - hire pre-launch, fire post launch.

    Welcome to online gaming industry.

  • icanread88icanread88 Hamilton, ALPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by ZeGerman
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Nowhere does it say ESO in the article. Nice one OP... More than slightly misleading. Zenimax owns a lot of companies. 

     

    Just incase you are looking for a job other than making misleading threads, Zenimax is hiring for another 100+ Positions

     

     

    Where does it say they are hiring 100+ people on your link? Working for a software company we regularly post job categories whether we are hiring or not that way if someone exceptional comes along they will apply.  You always have room for talent even if it means you have to fire someone else.

    Also Zenimax Media owns alot of companies but the article specifically says Zenimax Online whose primary product is ESO, or at least I cannot find something else of AAA level that they have made, its possible that this is a misprint by the news article but the OP's statement is easily defensible, even if ESO fans get in a tizzy about it.

    Don't Accuse others of being misleading then make a statement the article you linked doesn't back up.

     

    Fans will grasp at any straw to defend this game... 

  • icanread88icanread88 Hamilton, ALPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Every major MMO company will hire a bunch of temp CS staff to handle the launch and then let them go post launch.

    Standard practice.

    Scaling Dev staff down post launch is also very common - so that will happen too at some point.

    All game companies do it - hire pre-launch, fire post launch.

    Welcome to online gaming industry.

    The issue is that a good deal of these people were hired for 6 month contracts, and cut off 4 months earlier than they were supposed to. It's a big red flag that the game is not making the kind of money Zenimax anticipated. Not saying the game is doomed, and that this is a sure sign that it has failed, but it does mean they greatly overestimated how many CS staff they'd need. It also means they blew about 250k on training a bunch of people just to fire them a week later. It's not a good sign when a company is hemorrhaging money like that.

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    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

    They hired 250 People and fired 300 early. That means 50 of the permanent staff was fired as well.

    So the 180 perm staff has been reduced to 130 as well.

    On top of that. Some of the 250 temp hires were on 6 month contracts and cut 3-4 months early.

    So yes, this indicates in the demand being lower than expected.

    IF it was just those 6 week temp workers being fired, then you could throw it on the launch rush band wagon!

    But when the permanent staff possitions are cut by over 30%, then there is more going on.

    Interpret for what you will. I could care less.

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Posts: 5,449Member Uncommon
    This is ZM game so of corse its for ESO, on the other side what does it matter? I feel bad people lost jobs but this is the way of business. Things go badly people lose jobs. ZM cant pay people if they are not making enough money to do so. We dont freak out because Office Max is doing badly and had to merge with Office Depot and close stores? Why do we hold game companies to higher standards?


    =-D Only on a forum can optimism be called bad and pessimism the good thing =-D Welcome to the internet and forums. 


  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,530Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by icanread88
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Every major MMO company will hire a bunch of temp CS staff to handle the launch and then let them go post launch.

    Standard practice.

    Scaling Dev staff down post launch is also very common - so that will happen too at some point.

    All game companies do it - hire pre-launch, fire post launch.

    Welcome to online gaming industry.

    The issue is that a good deal of these people were hired for 6 month contracts, and cut off 4 months earlier than they were supposed to. It's a big red flag that the game is not making the kind of money Zenimax anticipated. Not saying the game is doomed, and that this is a sure sign that it has failed, but it does mean they greatly overestimated how many CS staff they'd need. It also means they blew about 250k on training a bunch of people just to fire them a week later. It's not a good sign when a company is hemorrhaging money like that.

    Anyone who believes that ESO is doing better than ZOS expected is just delusional at this point.

    The dev costs were way too high, they hoped to sell 5 million of copies (which didn't happen) - hiring CS staff to handle huge number of players (which didn't happen) means you have to let them go.

    It's simple economics - ZoS is new at the whole MMORPG business so they made rookie mistakes of overhiring and overestimating how well the game will do - it happens. Almost all noob MMO companies do this - they overspend and overestimate.

    I mean BioWare thought they'd have 10million players with SWTOR launch so they spend millions on servers to handle 10million players which never happened - talk about a HUGE overestimation that cost them a ton.

    Still - scaling down staff post launch is the norm in MMO industry.

     

  • Peer_GyntPeer_Gynt Brooklyn, NYPosts: 78Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by icanread88
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Every major MMO company will hire a bunch of temp CS staff to handle the launch and then let them go post launch.

    Standard practice.

    Scaling Dev staff down post launch is also very common - so that will happen too at some point.

    All game companies do it - hire pre-launch, fire post launch.

    Welcome to online gaming industry.

    The issue is that a good deal of these people were hired for 6 month contracts, and cut off 4 months earlier than they were supposed to. It's a big red flag that the game is not making the kind of money Zenimax anticipated. Not saying the game is doomed, and that this is a sure sign that it has failed, but it does mean they greatly overestimated how many CS staff they'd need. It also means they blew about 250k on training a bunch of people just to fire them a week later. It's not a good sign when a company is hemorrhaging money like that.

    I'm sorry but I feel your assumption that the early termination of some temporary phone monkeys is a glaring sign that the game is any kind of trouble is patently ridiculous. If these were long term development or management staff at the company core then I would be inclined to agree with you. However as it stands, this is akin to saying a company is in serious trouble due to the fact they have just cut back on nonessential staff in the office snack bar. Let's not go making mountains out of mole hills.

    image

  • CrusadesCrusades Columbus, OHPosts: 480Member
    I don't think we all need to be feeling bad. I think it's common knowledge that cs in gaming is not a career position and is indeed only temporary. There are many in the US who only will take a job if they think it's temporary, they work just long enough to be eligible for unemployment benefits, they max that out and do it all over again. Winners!!!
  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Peer_Gynt
    Originally posted by icanread88
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Every major MMO company will hire a bunch of temp CS staff to handle the launch and then let them go post launch.

    Standard practice.

    Scaling Dev staff down post launch is also very common - so that will happen too at some point.

    All game companies do it - hire pre-launch, fire post launch.

    Welcome to online gaming industry.

    The issue is that a good deal of these people were hired for 6 month contracts, and cut off 4 months earlier than they were supposed to. It's a big red flag that the game is not making the kind of money Zenimax anticipated. Not saying the game is doomed, and that this is a sure sign that it has failed, but it does mean they greatly overestimated how many CS staff they'd need. It also means they blew about 250k on training a bunch of people just to fire them a week later. It's not a good sign when a company is hemorrhaging money like that.

    I'm sorry but I feel your assumption that the early termination of some temporary phone monkeys is a glaring sign that the game is any kind of trouble is patently ridiculous. If these were long term development or management staff at the company core then I would be inclined to agree with you. However as it stands, this is akin to saying a company is in serious trouble due to the fact they have just cut back on nonessential staff in the office snack bar. Let's not go making mountains out of mole hills.

    Customer Support is not a core job position with a (Subscription based) Online MMO game?

    These positions are no less important as any other staff position within the studio! Be it an artist, designer, Developer, IT systems guy, whatever.

    Just because studios and other major Companies outsource Customer Support to external Companies these days, doesn't make these job positions any less important!

    For example, SOE still has their own inhouse Customer Support staff.

    So yes it is a tell tale sign in how well the game is doing!

    If it were just the temporary 6 week contracts that were terminated (which were obviously and initially hired for the launch period), then it wouldn't immediately be such a big deal.

    But when both 6 months contracts are cut 4 months early and 50 of the 180 permanent staff are cut as well.

    Then that is a clear sign that the game isn't doing as well as was expected.

     

    Again! Take it for what you will. I could care less.

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Posts: 5,449Member Uncommon

    This forum always going on about how SWToR is a failed game... So if the question is if ESO is not doing as well as expected here is ESO and SWToR Xfire stats. Where does ESO fall in terms of what we call a bad game? 

     

    http://social.xfire.com/games/swtor

    http://social.xfire.com/games/eso

     

    Im not saying this is the end of ESO but it does show that ESO has gone from 1600hrs played a day down to 400hrs a day. This is not the right direction. I hope for them the console game pulls them out of the mud, if they fix the game before then.

    EDIT: Or Wildstar, http://social.xfire.com/games/wldstr


    =-D Only on a forum can optimism be called bad and pessimism the good thing =-D Welcome to the internet and forums. 


  • Kayo45Kayo45 Neverland, AKPosts: 293Member

    Wow... that sucks. I better hurry up and claim my game key already before it becomes f2p anyway. Massive layoffs like this, so close to release, are usually precursor to the great "f2p hybrid model" announcement.

     

    This thing even playable yet?

  • Peer_GyntPeer_Gynt Brooklyn, NYPosts: 78Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JeroKane
    Originally posted by Peer_Gynt
    Originally posted by icanread88
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Every major MMO company will hire a bunch of temp CS staff to handle the launch and then let them go post launch.

    Standard practice.

    Scaling Dev staff down post launch is also very common - so that will happen too at some point.

    All game companies do it - hire pre-launch, fire post launch.

    Welcome to online gaming industry.

    The issue is that a good deal of these people were hired for 6 month contracts, and cut off 4 months earlier than they were supposed to. It's a big red flag that the game is not making the kind of money Zenimax anticipated. Not saying the game is doomed, and that this is a sure sign that it has failed, but it does mean they greatly overestimated how many CS staff they'd need. It also means they blew about 250k on training a bunch of people just to fire them a week later. It's not a good sign when a company is hemorrhaging money like that.

    I'm sorry but I feel your assumption that the early termination of some temporary phone monkeys is a glaring sign that the game is any kind of trouble is patently ridiculous. If these were long term development or management staff at the company core then I would be inclined to agree with you. However as it stands, this is akin to saying a company is in serious trouble due to the fact they have just cut back on nonessential staff in the office snack bar. Let's not go making mountains out of mole hills.

    Customer Support is not a core job position with a (Subscription based) Online MMO game?

    These positions are no less important as any other staff position within the studio! Be it an artist, designer, Developer, IT systems guy, whatever.

    Just because studios and other major Companies outsource Customer Support to external Companies these days, doesn't make these job positions any less important!

    For example, SOE still has their own inhouse Customer Support staff.

    So yes it is a tell tale sign in how well the game is doing!

    If it were just the temporary 6 week contracts that were terminated (which were obviously and initially hired for the launch period), then it wouldn't immediately be such a big deal.

    But when both 6 months contracts are cut 4 months early and 50 of the 180 permanent staff are cut as well.

    Then that is a clear sign that the game isn't doing as well as was expected.

     

    Again! Take it for what you will. I could care less.

    No, customer support in any industry these days is not a core position. It has become the unwanted appendix of the business world. That's why these jobs have become almost exclusively minimum wage or worse, jobs that have been outsourced to third party companies or to tax havens such as Ireland, or near slave labor countries such as India.

    So again sorry. Some temporary contract workers finding themselves to be a bit more temporary than expected is not evidence of financial failure. Again, mountains out of mole hills.

    image

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by icanread88

    You may be right, but I certainly hope not. We already had too many theme park MMO's before ESO came along. I just wish it'd die so that these big companies will motivated to try something different. Long as people keep paying for generic theme park MMO's, we're going to keep getting generic theme park MMO's. People are getting hyped up about games like EQ: Next, Archeage, etc. because of supposed sandbox features, but I hear they're already ripping a lot of those sandbox features out of Archeage for the Western release. If ESO continues to do well, I foresee the devs of these upcoming games just maintaining the status quo, and not trying anything different. It's not just about ESO, but the whole MMO market. ESO for me was a missed opportunity by Zenimax to do something fresh and revolutionary, to redefine the whole genre.

    If you do not make a game I want, none shell have any, right...?

    Probably that is a part of the reason why there are no games made for people like you....

  • laokokolaokoko TaipeiPosts: 2,003Member
    Originally posted by gervaise1
    Originally posted by laokoko

    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.

    Worldwide support if they were operating as intended. 

    A broad brush assessment (see above) suggested that the total staffing was in the right order if Zenimax expected high sales. (A few million type number).

    If reports are accurate then 250 staff added to the 180 staff pre-launch; 300 staff let go post launch - some earlier than expected. Note: 300 is more than 250.

    Why? Either a) console delay b) customers needed less support than expected c) did not sell as well. Could be all three but given the bot issue; account security; bank problem; duplicate item issue ... it probably wasn't b).

    Most mmorpg don't even have 300 staff for their whole studio.  That is including game designer, artist.  I even saw games bragging they have 300 staff.

    and ESO have 300 staff just working for EU customer service?  I don't even know why the need so many.

  • EhllfhireEhllfhire Sacramento, CAPosts: 597Member
    Originally posted by laokoko
    Originally posted by gervaise1
    Originally posted by laokoko

    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.

    Worldwide support if they were operating as intended. 

    A broad brush assessment (see above) suggested that the total staffing was in the right order if Zenimax expected high sales. (A few million type number).

    If reports are accurate then 250 staff added to the 180 staff pre-launch; 300 staff let go post launch - some earlier than expected. Note: 300 is more than 250.

    Why? Either a) console delay b) customers needed less support than expected c) did not sell as well. Could be all three but given the bot issue; account security; bank problem; duplicate item issue ... it probably wasn't b).

    Most mmorpg don't even have 300 staff for their whole studio.  That is including game designer, artist.  I even saw games bragging they have 300 staff.

    and ESO have 300 staff just working for EU customer service?  I don't even know why the need so many.

    Because they thought theyd have a million sales

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

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

    I mean BioWare thought they'd have 10million players with SWTOR launch so they spend millions on servers to handle 10million players which never happened - talk about a HUGE overestimation that cost them a ton. 

    Actually, they did need all those servers in the beginning, at least with the scalability of their systems back then. It was very, very difficult to login during the individual server region's prime time without getting placed in a queue, sometimes with a wait time of 30 min or more. They were opening those servers to accommodate the initial surge of 2+ million box sales within the first 2 weeks of launch. They've since gone to a more "mega-server-like" system, which I think is a very good idea in general.

    And BTW, a 3rd party report on microtransaction revenue placed SWTOR's 2013 revenue at $139 mil, which if you convert to "sub equivalent $" is probably around 1 mil subs. From the article, it seems to say this is cash shop-only revenue, so you could probably add another 300-600K in real subs, or another $50-60 mil. However, there's not a precise enough definition of the figures to really confirm that. So from those numbers, perhaps contrary to popular belief, SWTOR seems to be quite stable financially. I'm sure they'd rather be doing $2 bil/yr rather than $200mil, but I'd have to guess it's not in danger of being shut down.

    BTW, a month ago, TESO was beating SWTOR in weekly playtime on Raptr by about 15% (120k hrs vs. 140k). Now SWTOR is beating TESO by 50% (120k hrs vs. 80k, and it's still trending downwards by about 2-3% per day). The usual caveats apply: playtime cannot be correlated with subscriptions, though it might be considered a "leading indicator".

This discussion has been closed.