NCSoft Lays Off Staff on Unannounced Project

2019 isn’t off to a great start for Iron Tiger Studios as NCSoft lays off staff just a few days into the year. The staff were working on an unannounced project that was started a few years ago. The studio was opened in 2015 with the intention of adapting already existing NCSoft IPs to mobile while also developing new games.

At the time the studio was announced the plan was to have 3 development teams as well as a publishing group. They also intended to have more than 100 employees. How many of those employees were let go during the layoff weren’t announced, but a spokesperson for NCSoft told VentureBeat that the studio would remain open and continue to publish games like Aion: Legions of War. They also said, “I can confirm that NCSoft is reshaping Iron Tiger Studios and is in the process of transitioning development to a third-party for a mobile title.” So, from the sounds of it, they won’t be developing that new unannounced game anymore, but it isn’t dead either. It will be developed by someone else, though who that will be isn’t said.

There isn’t a whole lot of information to go on for this story as you can see. An unannounced game isn’t going to be developed by this California studio that is a branch of NCSoft, but it is still getting developed and an undisclosed number of people were laid off because of this. There will obviously be more to this story in the future when the game gets announced. However, it might get announced without us outside the studio knowing that it is this mysterious, unannounced game. We will, of course, continue to follow this story, just in case something more comes of it.

For now, we hope that those impacted by the layoffs land on their feet quickly.


Source: VentureBeat, GamesIndustry

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Trion Worlds Layoffs Include ArcheAge Associate Producer (UPDATED)

A round of Trion Worlds layoffs have hit the MMO dev and publisher, taking among others some members of the ArcheAge staff including an environment artist and the MMO’s associate producer.

trion worlds layoffs

At the time of this writing, the number of jobs lost is unclear. Early reports do count customer support and environment artist Jessica Pate and associate producer Seraphina Brennan.

Trion’s community relations director Linda “Brasse” Carlson expressed her dismay at the news of Brennan’s job termination and her ardent support of her work. “Seraphina is one of the best colleagues I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and there is NOTHING she cannot do,” wrote Carlson in a Facebook post. “Hire this woman, she is a worthy investment in skill, dedication, grace and personality.”

Meanwhile, ArcheAge has also lost community manager Joe Brogno, though this is of his own volition than part of any layoff wave. “I’m off to pursue one of my other passions,” wrote Brogno in his outgoing forum post. “If I am successful, it’s largely because of all that I have learned from being your CM on ArcheAge.”

UPDATE – July 20th 11:41am EDT: We’ve gotten word back from Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman about the layoffs and have included his full statement about the matter below:

“We’ve had to make the difficult decision to eliminate 15 positions throughout the company. We are extremely grateful for those who have been impacted for their hard work and contributions to Trion Worlds, and will be offering each of them severance benefits and job placement assistance. This is not related to the performance of the individuals affected nor of Trion Worlds as a whole, but was necessary to enable us to develop the upcoming projects that we have planned in the best ways possible.”

Our Thoughts

We want to wish any of those affected by the layoffs the very best and hope that they land on their feet soon. As for ArcheAge itself, while these layoffs do seem pretty imposing, all that can be done is to wait and see what impact, if any, they’ll have on the game’s operations in the future.

Source: Massively Overpowered

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Chronicles of Elyria Lays Off Staff

The so-far fruitless hunt for a publisher has now had an effect on several members of the Soulbound Studios staff. A community letter has confirmed that Chronicles of Elyria layoffs have occurred as the developer turns its focus away from courting investors back to crowdfunding.

chronicles of elyria layoffs

According to the letter, the size of the team at Soulbound Studios doubled in size from 2016 through 2017, but was done so unsustainably unless the studio was able to secure long-term investors. Since that hasn’t been achieved, the team will now shrink downwards to be funded through the existing store, which means some jobs had to be cut.

“This was painful for all of us as we had developed a close bond with everyone in the studio, but it was a necessary action to move forward at the velocity and cost we need to succeed,” reads the letter.

The letter states that publishers that the company approached were not a fit for the game, primarily because they wanted to include microtransactions like loot boxes in the game – a feature that Chronicles of Elyria flatly refuses to add.

According to the statement, the current size of the team is now at a sustainable size that it can develop the game without any publishing or investment deals. “We plan on continuing crowdfunding for the foreseeable future so that we can maintain creative control of the game, and ultimately deliver the promise of Chronicles of Elyria,” closes the letter.

Our Thoughts

Our thoughts and well-wishes go to those who were affected by the layoffs at Soulbound Studios and we hope that they are able to get new positions within the industry soon. It’s a shame that Chronicles of Elyria wasn’t able to get any major investors, but considering the reasons why we pretty much understand. Here’s hoping that development won’t be affected too deeply.

Source: official site

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Perfect World Lays Off Gigantic’s Developer Motiga

It’s been a rough and bumpy road for Motiga, the developers of the MOBA Gigantic, and unfortunately it appears to have ended on a sad note. CEO Chris Chung has officially confirmed that a Motiga layoff has occurred, confirming earlier assumptions as friends have said their goodbyes on Twitter.

motiga layoff

According to the statement from Chung, Gigantic will be left to a bare few employees. For all intents and purposes, Motiga is no more as the game simply was not profitable according to the statement.

“It was a budgetary decision at the highest level. Perfect World as a public company has a profitability goal and they decided to cut parts of the company that were not profitable. In short, Gigantic was not making enough revenue.

Gigantic will be left at the hands of a maintenance team composed of few dedicated folks at Motiga. They are [an] awesome group of people that will be working on the game until some time in the future when it doesn’t make sense anymore.”

Chung later amended the statement, noting that it was made “at a vulnerable moment” and that he may not have all of the facts regarding the decision.

There’s currently no additional information about the future of Gigantic, but it would appear that the MOBA will be in maintenance mode for an indeterminate length of time to ultimately be sunsetted later. As of this writing, there are no new developments on the game’s Twitter page, forums, or website.

Our Thoughts

Speaking personally, Gigantic was literally the only MOBA game that I ever found enjoyable; it’s graphic style was great, its character designs were imaginative, its gameplay was fun and fast-paced, and its free-to-play implementation was exceptionally well done. Though, perhaps, it was also too generous. Or maybe the MOBA bubble finally burst when Gigantic arrived.

In any case, it’s all supposition. We wish the very best to those affected by the layoffs and hope that they can bring their imagination to a variety of other games.

Source: Destructoid

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