ArenaNet, the studio behind Guild Wars, has announced to staff today that it is planning significant layoffs in a widescale restructuring of the company.
No exact figures have been given, but rumors in the studio are that a significant number of people are likely to be out of work. Songyee Yoon, the CEO of NCSoft West, who own ArenaNet, was said to have emailed employees with the news.
The email states “Our live game business revenue is declining as our franchises age, delays in development on PC and mobile have created further drains against our revenue projects, while our operating costs in the west have increased. Where we are is not sustainable, and is not going to set us up for future success.”
The email goes on to discuss the cost cutting measures and restructuring needed across the organization. These include the merging of ArenaNet and NCSoft’s currently separate publishing divisions.
ArenaNet currently employs around 400 people and while it has been working on a number of unannounced projects over the last few years, its last release was the Path Of Fire expansion for Guild Wars 2, back in September 2017.
While staff have all been addressed directly in meetings, no formal figures or announcements have yet been made. However, several unannounced projects have been cancelled and staff who were involved with these are fearing the worst. ArenaNet has promised two months severance as a minimum to anyone affected with a bonus for longer serving employees.
Kotaku reached out to an NCSoft representative but they declined to comment.
ArenaNet did however release a short statement to IGN saying "We can confirm that due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, ArenaNet will make staff reductions. This is part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSOFT in the west, but the Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 game services will not be affected, nor is any upcoming game content canceled."
It’s been a rough few weeks for the gaming industry and our thoughts are with all those affected by the layoffs.