Earlier today, reports began circulating about potential layoffs taking place at ArenaNet, the studio behind the Guild Wars series. The developer has since confirmed the initial reports, announcing that they will in fact be cutting an unspecified amount of jobs as well as cancelling a host of unannounced projects. The layoffs have been confirmed to be part of larger restructuring plans within ArenaNet’s parent company, NCSOFT.
An ArenaNet spokesperson provided an official statement for the studio:
“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.”
The studio also released an official blog post on the Guild Wars 2 forum, letting fans know what they could expect moving forward.
“We know Guild Wars 2 is important to you, and as our players, you are important to us. Rest assured that we are still working to add great new content to the game. We are deeply grateful to all of you for your support during this difficult time,” wrote the ArenaNet team. They also made sure to let fans know that the transition from Living World Season 4 to 5 would be unaffected.
There haven’t been any conclusive decisions about which divisions will be cut, but CEO of NCSOFT West Songyee Yoon stated that ArenaNet’s current set up “is not sustainable, and is not going to set us up for future success,” continuing by saying that “The restructuring, cost-cutting, and strategic realignments are all being done to secure our tomorrow and to provide the foundation that will allow us to grow and acquire.”
As the news broke, ArenaNet’s head game designer Jennifer Scheurle took to Twitter to discuss the news: “ArenaNet has been very very transparent with us today in the meetings, which is something I appreciate very much,” wrote Scheurle. She continued by writing that “Whenever these things happen, we, at a company level as well as the industry as a whole are very raw, very vulnerable. We will support each other as we always do.”
She also provided a heartwarming message to her fellow colleagues and friends: “As always I will use all my resources and networks to support whoever is affected, whether that includes me or not.”
Full Tweets can be viewed below.
Earlier this week, Activision Blizzard announced a huge cut to staff, and following the news surrounding ArenaNet, EA announced that their Melbourne studio would be hit with massive layoffs as well. Last year, Telltale Games, the studio behind the critically acclaimed The Walking Dead adaptations also underwent company-wide layoffs, leading to the studio’s shutdown.