WildStar suffers major round of layoffs

Update: WildStar has allegedly suffered a massive round of layoffs as part of a "reorganization"; some sources suggest as many as 60 70 people may have been laid off from Carbine today. The update is at the bottom of the post.

WildStar's CRB Hotspur is apparently no longer working for Carbine, according to Twitter. He was WildStar's technical and systems designer.

We have not yet been able to confirm whether his departure is part of a larger wave of layoffs. Confirmed. We welcome more information from former employees. Multiplayer Systems Lead Brett Scheinert left last week.

In even more sobering WildStar news, former Carbine Product Director Mike Donatelli told twitter followers that he'd been diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer:

Donatelli seemingly ceded his role to Chad Moore in February. We wish all the best to him and his family.

Source: Twitter, twitter via Reddit. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
And now the rumors begin. Former WildStar Community Manager Rey suggested over 60 70 people might be "affected":

NCsoft's Omeed Dariani announced a "reorganization" on the official site, saying the cancellation of the Chinese launch necessitated layoffs and promising that Carbine remains "committed" to the game.

Earlier this morning, Carbine Studios completed a reorganization of its operating structure. Moving forward, the studio will focus on operating and updating WildStar as a live game in the US and Europe. As part of this change, the studio has canceled its plans to bring WildStar to China.

Unfortunately, as a result of these changes, we’ve had to reduce staff. These cuts are directly tied to WildStar’s evolution from a product in development to a live title, to the cancellation of work to bring WildStar to China, and to the overall performance of WildStar since launch in 2014.

These kinds of decisions are exceptionally difficult. The talented and passionate professionals who are impacted by these cuts have been valuable team members and respected colleagues. We wish everyone well for the future and will be providing severance and employment search assistance.

As for WildStar, we remain committed to the game. Over the next few weeks and months we will deliver a significant update to the game, kick off a variety of community events, and continue our work on new content that we will talk more about in the near future.

Update: Polygon claims unnamed sources who claim the game is due to sunset.

However, reports Polygon has received from sources close to the studio paint a grimmer picture. While NCSoft's statement didn't provide exact numbers, we were told that more than 70 people have been let go from Carbine, as much as 40 percent of the studio's total workforce. Furthermore, sources tell us it was made clear to remaining employees that they should expect additional layoffs in the coming months. "Those remaining only have a couple months left before Wildstar 'coasts into the sunset,'" one source told us. All of the sources we spoke with asked to remain anonymous.

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235 Comments on "WildStar suffers major round of layoffs"

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Narq
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Narq

Maybe another company will buy it and keep it running, like Daybreak did with Sony. Keeping games like Everquest Next.... oh wait. Nevermind. R.I.P Wildstar.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

Kevin_G boots2 A lot of people would too when you have a studio that spent 5+ years and 100 of millions of dollars on it and it's not doing that well.

dorn2
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dorn2

Zenchii Vladamyr dorn2 
Yep you can go even further and point out that LFD and good dungeon gear was the peak of the peak for WoW.  LFR was actually a horrible move for them.  Moving the focus away from dungeons and wellfare epics has killed them.

dorn2
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dorn2

Vladamyr dorn2 
What do you want me to do?  Create numbers out of my ass?  Companies don't release info.  I can't go up to Carbine and ask them "Just what percentage of players actually finished a dungeon?" 

I can only make a reasonable guess by playing with a large group of people and observing different factors.  Did they quit when they were leveling?  Did they play like mad then slowly quit after they hit the dungeons?  Etc.

My observations are that two things happened. Something like half the people quit because the start of the game had some flaws.  The people that didn't quit though were rabid.  They LOVED the game.  When people got to dungeons though it just caved in.

It was an intense and obvious sharp divide that caused players to quit.  Even in a fairly high end guild I watched 90% of the max level players quit after numerous wipes.  I was more persistent and kept trying but the situation repeated itself over and over.

I'm sorry you can say "ancedotal evidence" and blah blah but this was just TOO obvious.  The people who actually LIKED the game quit because it was too hard.

Kevin_G
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Kevin_G

boots2 Sure its a business, but NCSoft likes to flip the kill switch quicker then most if it is an outside studio.  That is history.

boots2
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boots2

It's a business. all businesses that have shareholders to report to do the exact same thing

Kevin_G
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Kevin_G

If I ran a game studio, I would never sign with NCSoft.  You are almost guaranteed to have your game shutdown by them if your game does not perform extremely well.  The only games that are truly safe are the ones that they develop in house.  So Blade and Soul for instance should have a long life.

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

Whoa, did the comments get nuked? Was at 1k last I checked and now down to 220 >.>

Zenchii
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Zenchii

BKone That gave me a chuckle which is why I'm giving you a like, but It's starting to look that way in the west, and that saddens me.
 
WoW came out during the MMO genre's infancy, and not only lasted long enough to see the genre grow in both western and eastern markets, but will also most likely be around long enough to see the genre collapse under it's own weight here in the west atop a comfy cushion of 5 million subs (as far as we know).
Just think about that for a sec.
Blizzard won, alright. Not sure I like that, though. And I say this even as a current WoW fan. It's just not good for one company to have a monopoly like this.

Zenchii
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Zenchii

Vladamyr dorn2 Actually, it peaked during the expansion that introduced welfare epics in the first place: Wotlk.
I remember being able to get purples by doing higher end dungeons. That was the first time purples could be commonly obtained outside of a raid. Naturally, people bitched hard.
After wrath, they heard the complaints of the easy difficulty and turned it back up a notch for Cata, the ensuing result was a loss of subs. They haven't hit 12 mil subs since.

Vladamyr
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Vladamyr

dorn2 Love the auto conclusion of wildstar was hard, so that's why it failed.  No possibility that it failed just simply because it wasn't good?  WoW (while still the biggest MMO) hit it's highest success pre-wellfare epics.  Since that point it has steadily decreased in overall subs.  People have bought back in on a few xpacs but the overall sub numbers/year have dropped an unprecedented amount.

Neo_Wolf
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Neo_Wolf

Never good when people lose their jobs, I've been made redundant twice so I know the feeling well.  That said though if it includes their CS team after the way theyt reated me and ripped me off then all I can say is Karma baby.. what goes around, comes around.

captainzor
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captainzor

The games industry is, indeed hard.  Imagine working in oil right now.  I wish 70 was a high number -_-

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

Pedge Jameson Urgh...that leveling up thing contributed majorly to turning me off Wildstar.

ElMutharino
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ElMutharino

A lot of people on the forums complained that going F2P wouldn't fix the game problems and just dry out the last incoming streams (A LOT of them said they weren't going to keep paying and buying CREDD).

Guess what? They were right apparently

dorn2
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dorn2

Herp derp.  Make your game hard and a lot of people can't play it.  People can't play and they don't pay.  Big surprise.  

Let's face it.  WoW's method of having multiple difficulty levels is the only way.  People enraged by "easy modes" need to suck it up.  There will never be a game without wellfare epics that succeeds.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

duane99 Peregrine_Falcon Yes because western games don't have large boobies and exaggerated body proportions like wildstar *rolls eyes*

Tridus
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Tridus

duane99 Peregrine_Falcon Without NCSoft paying the bills, how would that work? Passion is great and all, but data centers tend to not accept it as payment. Let alone employees who need to pay people like landlords and grocery stores.

Those things all require money.

duane99
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duane99

Peregrine_Falcon good advice.  I just hope they some how spin the game off to fans or a studio that is passionate about the game.  NCsoft is moving on to the next boobie grind fest for asia.

Pedge Jameson
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Pedge Jameson

Umm, suck it up cupcake? Sorry.

Elusian
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Elusian

DForrester ColdinT The "it a wow-killer"-hype was coming from the community not the developer/publisher itself.

ColdinT
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ColdinT

Lets be fair now. Nearly every MMO launched in the last 5 years was hyped up to be a WoW killer. This isn't a new thing, and not worth condemning Wildstar over.
And while there were bugs, the things you're referring to I've never encountered. Mobs never leash in dungeons or raids, and I've only ever come across a few completely game breaking glitches.
As for any headaches. You may want to look into reducing the brightness or upping the Field of View. It's set pretty low by default.

DForrester
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DForrester

ColdinT If the game survives it will probably end up on Steam at some point. I'm not so sure it will though. I played the game at launch when it had a subscription, and I have never cancelled a sub quicker. Visually the game physically gave me a headache, I never figured out exactly why but I could only ever play for an hour or two before my head started banging.
That's not the only thing that put me off it, the game was broken as fuck, everything was glitchy, dungeons were hilariously bad, enemies leashing if you move even a step from the position when you pulled it, trash mobs respawning instantly. Pretty sure there was one where we just had to leave the dungeon because the boss never appeared.
The main reason I was so put off the game really, was that for TWO YEARS they were hyping this game up before it's release, how it was going to be a WoW-killer and be this amazing experience, then the game comes out and I honestly felt like I was playing an Alpha or Beta, the game just did not feel finished and after two years of hype that seemed like a massive slap in the face.

BryanCo
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BryanCo

thatchefdude BryanCo "I've never heard of company who's fiscal year doesn't end Mar 31"
Seriously?
I did a quick search on the fiscal years of some semi-randomly chosen large corporations and found the following:
Companies with a fiscal year matching the calendar year: Sinopec (largest* company in China, second largest in the world), Royal Dutch Shell (largest company in Europe,) Samsung (largest company in Japan), General Motors, Berkshire Hathaway.
Sony's fiscal year ends Mar 31, the only company that does so in the group I checked.
Walmart's (largest company in the world) fiscal year begins on the first Saturday in February and ends on either the last Friday in January or first Friday in February.
Apple's fiscal year end is the last Saturday in September.
*Largest in terms of revenue.

menofhorror
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menofhorror

sray155 Ehm, I am indeed quite sure that you will never see a new operation in swtor again.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

TheJewishMerp Drinking Friday, please.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

thatchefdude BryanCo 
Different parts of the world have different laws. From the Wikipedia article on Fiscal Year:
"Nevertheless, the fiscal year is identical to the calendar year for about 65% of publicly traded companies in the United States and for a majority of large corporations in the UKand elsewhere (with notable exceptions Australia, New Zealand and Japan)."

thatchefdude
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thatchefdude

BryanCo thatchefdude Are you sure about that? I've never heard of company who's fiscal year doesn't end Mar 31

DPandaren
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DPandaren

D:!

ColdinT
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ColdinT

Yangers ColdinT That is the weirdest criticism I've ever heard about not playing a game. It reminds me of all the complaints about Diablo 3, and how it was too colorful. 

If it's too bright and colorful, just turn down your gamma and saturation settings. :P

ColdinT
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ColdinT

TtotheC Interestingly, there are instances where you can go way off the map, and people have found some interesting stuff out there. There's a hoverboard park just sitting out in the middle of an ocean. So it's not all enclosed like you think.

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

well good luck to them. The team seemed a bit large for an MMO already out, hope they are now on a profitable route and keep working on content. It's a great game, will buy some stuff from the store to show support

MariedeGournay
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MariedeGournay

TtotheC Irony being that if it was WoW, you would have gotten to the island and found a cave with a gnome sitting atop a pile of kobold skulls.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

Karl_Hungus Armsbend While Nietzsche is a bit dark for my tastes, i would agree with him. My Psychiatrist said once that the thing about suicide isn't that the person wants to die. He wants the pain that is his life to go away, to the point were death is actually a choice.
So, yeah. The suicide thoughts would cloud his judgement for many nights, until he would find his release in simply doing it, where the pain would...stop.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

Karl_Hungus BritoBruno Estranged FRIDAY IS OVER!

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

FRIDAY IS OVER, I REPEAT, FRIDAY IS OVER!

TtotheC
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TtotheC

How to sum up Wildstar?  One day whilst in game, I spotted an island way off in the distance in one of the big lakes and thought "You know what, I'm going to go and explore and see what I can find on that island.".  Firstly it took time to get near the island, and then I had to fight a series of odd water currents and invisible walls, till eventually I could land my character the spiral that seemed to lead up to the top of the island.  Except I couldn't.  It didn't go all the way up, meeting an overhanging ledge that stopped you from reaching the plateau at the top.   Try as I might, I just couldn't get around the obstacle.  I'd been unknowingly punished for stepping outside the confines of Carbine's theme park ride, and had my sense of exploration dashed by poor game design.   There was no wonder of exploring a new setting, only the same ol', same ol' with slightly different whistles and bells, which soon felt like more of a chore than a game. 

Shame of it is, I do love the universe that Wildstar created.  It's just a shame it's filled with frustration and missed opportunities to bring something new to the table.

Senshiru
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Senshiru

Peregrine_Falcon Definitely the best advice.  Play it like it won't be there tomorrow.

Malorey
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Malorey

The gaming industry is very young. Don't look back, just look forward to the exciting opportunities coming your way!!

melbrankin
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melbrankin

Good luck going forward to those impacted - hopefully jobs will be found soon.

Estranged
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Estranged

Gamers, we often come with our baggage, no doubt. My marriages last as long as a virgin in a whorehouse.

Estranged
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Estranged

There may be equal actors, but I can't think of one better.

Karl_Hungus
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Karl_Hungus

Armsbend Karl_Hungus 
When you're 71, do you really need a reason to kill yourself? As Friedrich Nietzsche said,
“The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.”

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Karl_Hungus wait what the living fuck?  why in god's name does a supremely talented 71 year old need to kill himself for?  This day absolutely sucks.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

mmonerd at some point you need to read the writing on the wall.

TheJewishMerp
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TheJewishMerp

This day shall be known as Bloody Friday, the day we lost EQ:N and the day that we truly usher in the final days of Wildstar...

Jesus God...what a day.

sray155
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sray155

ammalis Coincidental timing with the EQN announcement, but anything that involves lay offs usually happens on a Friday to minimize the chance of a violent incident.

ammalis
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ammalis

What is this day really? End of first quarter financial report time to investors? Why all those news in one day?

sray155
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sray155

Midgetsnowman Still over 100 people actually working at Carbine, so not quite yet. But barring a miracle, soon... very soon.

Midgetsnowman
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Midgetsnowman

so wilstar is effectively dead.

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