WildStar’s Chad Moore: ‘There are still exciting days ahead’

Last Friday’s announcement from Carbine about its layoffs and WildStar’s cancelled China launch was doused in a double-dipping of PR-speak. For those who found that statement cold and lacking comfort, then bask in a new letter from Game Director Chad “Pappy” Moore, who delivers honesty, sympathy, and encouragement over the situation.

“There are still exciting days ahead for WildStar,” Moore promised. “It’s important for everyone to realize that the next few months will be a transitional period for Carbine. We still have a passionate group of core developers here who are focused on improving the game and creating new content, but transitions like this take time, and I’d like to thank all of you for being patient as the team gets settled and our development timelines get solidified. We’ll continue to communicate with you every step of the way.”

Moore commiserated with those who lost their jobs and stressed WildStar’s upcoming events, such as its Steam launch, Destination Arcterra patch, new systems, and additional content. He also thanked the community for its continued support.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

71 Comments on "WildStar’s Chad Moore: ‘There are still exciting days ahead’"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Radfist
Guest
Radfist

rabidwargamer Serrenity Radfist For people that enjoy what is on offer already, yes?
I’m sure many people would still be playing SWG, CoX and other sunsetted MMOs even if they didn’t get any new content updates.  I mean, I can still log onto GW1 and see players running around.

rabidwargamer
Guest
rabidwargamer

AdeptusEnginus Black Friday was bad. Make no mistakes about it. 

As a player myself, I just think a players took it to heart way too much. At the time, it was like I was sucker punched. The people that got laid off probably felt that way, multiplied by infinity.

But with a few days removed, I still think it’s not great news for Wildstar but there’s definitely a future for it. Maybe not as rosy as Pappy is trying to paint it though.

rabidwargamer
Guest
rabidwargamer

Serrenity Radfist Wildstar can surely survive. With the upcoming expansion, that’s easily 6 months that Carbine can somewhat “cruise” through till the pitchforks come out again. In that time, they’ll have reorganized and might even develop some small nuggets of content. I really don’t think Wildstar is going anywhere anytime soon; as both a negative and a positive.

I put this to you though. Is just surviving a success?

Wandris
Guest
Wandris

CastagereShaikura Wandris icheatandstillhavefun BTW I would argue that it is failing, as well as many MMO’s in general because it is too easy. IF a game does not offer challenge, does not keep people engaged then they are not going to stick with it. Had they not tried to appease two different crowds from the start the outcome of Wildstar may have been much different. They made the worst of both worlds. It was an easy ride to 50, then you got vet dungeons and it was like going from 25% to 100%. If it was difficult from the start everyone would have been pushed to fully learn there classes, learn to gear, learn to work as a team. If it had been typical WoW level difficulty all the way though it probably would had still lost a lot of people but been able to maintain a a stable core of players because of its other qualities. Although that is merely one component of what went wrong, they launched it a few years too late, with a rapidly dying business model. Add in an unwillingness to adapt, and some other bad choices you got a worst case scenario.

Wandris
Guest
Wandris

CastagereShaikura Wandris icheatandstillhavefun Its an action based combat system, horizontal aiming, which is between your typical MMO and a FPS. Most skills are AOE, or directional attacks. Since you can see offensive AOE’s you often have to chose between what to avoid and what to take. There are more of them then your typical MMO. LAS allows for on the fly customization and build diversity. Combat is more intense than tab targeting and getting healed through everything. It is more engaging and that is why it does not suck. Lots of games do “telegraphs” either though graphics or something almost exactly the same as wildstar does, its only that Wildstar has incorporated it thoughout all aspects of the game. For me the 1-50 is to easy because it doesn’t matter very much. You can take a lot of dmg, and kill a lot of mobs quite easily.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Greaterdivinity Someone feature this already. 32 likes.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

GamingAl ManastuUtakata Oyjord Please don’t pee in a arc.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Chad, my friend…
I’m all for excitement, but this one seems the wrong kind.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

TehAcidBaron How do you fire the ones who bring the money?

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

icheatandstillhavefun Take your meds already.

Dystopiq
Guest
Dystopiq

Idk Chad. Your feet look pretty wet

pepinocantador
Guest
pepinocantador

Wow

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

Tridus Alright, so a couple misconceptions here. First, Wildstar is making money its a question of how much.  Only Carbine knows that information, but we can suss out that it’s not as much as they want  to be making and can draw further conclusions that it’s either still in the red, or just into the black.  
OK great..  Next, according to LinkedIn, Carbine has between 51-200 employees.  So lets say that they have 150 for the sake of argument.  Development staff makes 100 of those 150 (approximately 2/3rd of the company).  Development was actually started in 2005, but WS development only started in 2010ish.  So we have a capacity of 100 developers, developing for 4  years to get to launch. 
Using my own development team as a starting point, I have 25 people and a monthly burn of about $250k to support the team.  So we can assume that it costs about $1m / month to run the development of Wildstar.  Which equates to roughly $12 million per year, an $48 million over the entirety of the life-cycle prior to launch in development costs.  That doesn’t include marketing, operational overhead, etc etc — so let’s add a (shot in the dark) another $25 million to account for all that.  So we have a company overhead cost of $73 million just to get us to launch.  
In the first fiscal year (2014), Wildstar’s revenue was $45 million.  In 2015, Wildstar’s revenue was $9 million, so $54 million total revenue.  During that time, the studio continued to burn an additional $1million per month for dev at minimum but you can expect more due to the operational overhead during that time.  
So we have total sales in 2014 – 2015 of $54 million, and a spend at launch probably put us at $73 million if  not more to create the game.  1Q16 results haven’t been posted yet.  So after lack luster performances, they cut staff to reduce the cost of that $1 million burn … holding on to staff to support the China release.  Sales continued to be far below projections, so we saw this week that the cut dev staff again to what will amount to a very lean crew to continue squashing bugs & developing new content.  
So, I think we can expect modest increase in QoQ sales based on the trend from last year – so maybe $3m for 1Q16.  You can expect a substantial revenue boost from a Steam launch, so if we have a 2Q16 Steam launch I”ll guess a bump to $10mil revenue (steam is a big deal).  Whether it can sustain will be the question.  
So really, what I’m getting at is they still have a lot of ground to make up, and there’s still potential to make up that short fall, or get on a path to cover that shortfall.  And it’s a good potential.  If they pull the plug, they are potenitally writing off millions and millions in losses, which is going to be hard to swallow for investors. 
What they’ve done in the meantime is cut dev & operations costs to a fraction of what it was, and continue to work to increase revenue.  Even if they end up shuttering at the end of 2016, they’ll still have closed the gap on how much they’ve recouped on their investment and be in a better place than they are now.

CastagereShaikura
Guest
CastagereShaikura

Wandris icheatandstillhavefun See this is what i don’t understand. You say the content was easy so why is it failing so badly? Could it be that the combat system failed to connect with most mmo players. The biggest selling point of any mmo is the game play which means combat. The biggest negative thing people say about this game was the combat system sucks Heck in a stream from this site i heard MJ say it sucked. yet you fans and the devs refuse to believe it. The big deal about this game from the devs was the unique combat system and all the telegraphing and most people thought it sucked and quit. I swear if this game could be bought by another company and they trash the combat system for a more traditional mmo system this game would not be failing like it is. Everything else about the game is fine. Players want to kill mobs not spending most of time dodging telegraphs.

Wandris
Guest
Wandris

icheatandstillhavefun Seems like the existence of this game disturbs you? Naw you are probably just a disturbed person with a trash mind. The game was never built around graphical eye candy, it was built with a tight and fast paced combat system. The 1-50 game is too easy, but there are ways to make it interesting.

http://tinyurl.com/j65hdls

sray155
Guest
sray155

The Chinese market was never going to “save” Wildstar in the Western market. Like pretty much all multinational corporations, NCSoft judges a product’s performance on a regional basis; thus Wildstar could have launched and been the biggest MMORPG of all time in China, and still get the ax in the Western market. Lineage II is absolutely huge in the Asian markets and yet NCSoft pulled the plug on North American servers due to lack of demand. Additionally, this is hardly the first time that an one of NC’s Western based titles has had an Asian release canceled: City of Heroes’ Korean version was shut down during the beta phase (much like Wildstar’s) and the game continued for years afterward.

I’m hardly some Wildstar fanatic burying their head in the sand -I’ve been mentally writing the game’s eulogy for months now, eagerly awaiting my opportunity to actually use it- but saying the game is dead for sure now is an hysterical overreaction. At 100+ people at Carbine Studio, the game is hardly staffed by a skeleton crew, in fact that’s still a much larger staff than most MMORPGs making three times what Wildstar does, so another round of layoff can still happen without spelling the end of days for the game (side note: it’s quite possible that many of the key Western game devs have been let go because they have counterparts from the Chinese conversion who can be brought in quickly, easily and for less money). And they’ve yet to release on Steam which may still have a significant effect on the game’s revenue.

icheatandstillhavefun
Guest
icheatandstillhavefun

Why do people think this game looks like WoW? This game looks like Disney Pixar made an MMO for 12 year olds who just finished watching elsa sing let it go! This game is trash, looks horrible and boring asf. pull the plug already and make a game worth playing in 2016.

TehAcidBaron
Guest
TehAcidBaron

You know what i would like to see in game development, management being fired for once over developers.

Since they are responsible for allocating resources, budget control, appointing people (HR) and deciding the course, but i have never read a single article where it states that management is being replaced. Can anyone remember such an article? 
Since they are the puppet masters behind the stage but seem to almost get free reign or are simply moved around when their job gets <insert random reason>.

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

Serrenity Saying that NCSoft has money to make back only works if the game is making money now. If it’s not, NCSoft is just losing more money keeping it running and would be better off financially by pulling the plug.

And really, if the game was making money, I doubt we’d see so many important lead developers getting laid off.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

I’m going to take an unpopular position at the moment – and say “Ok, I’ll buy that, for now.” Transitions are hard, messy and generally unhappy affairs.  I’m willing to give them a few months to get their crap in order after the loss of the China release. I don’t think the game is down and out yet, and I don’t think NCSoft is going to shutter it anytime soon — they still have a LOT Of money to make back on the game.  CoH wasn’t quite the same situation as they didn’t have years of prior development that they’d funded and need to make something back on. 
I think  that the Steam launch will do a lot for the game, and have a really positive impact.  Wildstar is a good game, and it should be able to grow its market to (hopefully) profitability on Steam.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

Vorender Also, objectively false. The game overall had many successful systems, great lore, was relatively bug free at launch — it was just generally enjoyable. Where they missed was in target (the cupcakes) and making a game that would have held up well against WoW, but doesn’t hold as well in the post-WoW world. 
You dislike Wildstar – a-OK.  But it’s far from a bad game.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Vorender Subjective.

Vorender
Guest
Vorender

Wildstar is a bad game, which is why it’s dying.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

DanielReasor Greaterdivinity thatchefdude not everyone has heard of WS.  Steam has HUGE market penetration.  More than that, Wildstar is a good game.  I think it will do well on Steam, with a larger audience overall.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

Radfist But it’s not a success if its not pulling down numbers like WoW!

hardy83
Guest
hardy83

Poorly managed while a sub, and visually living in the shadow of WoW. (though I think it looks better but it’s still very similar to WoWs art style).

This game was between a rock and a hard place it’s entire life.

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

VilleUusitalo NCSoft is doing fine for MMOs, in their home market. Wildstar is 1% of their revenue. They’ll likely just retreat back there if everything fails out west.

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

Even if the Steam launch were successful, they decapitated their own development team. Who is left to take advantage of a successful launch with new content? Carbine was *already* overly slow with content and fixes, and now they’re slowing down more? 

I can’t see this as anything other than PR. They’re going to trudge along as best they can until NCSoft drops the axe.

Xephyr
Guest
Xephyr
Tridus
Guest
Tridus

pepinocantador If the Steam launch goes well and they get an influx of new players, who will be there to take advantage of it? They decapitated the development staff by eliminating so many lead people.

Carbine has always been slow to put content out and fix things. This will not make that problem better.

VilleUusitalo
Guest
VilleUusitalo

NCsoft boat is sinking^_^ First the NcSoft artistic head Kim left in 2014; then Colin Johanson left GW2 and now this. Doesnt surprise me though. Why is this?

The thing is that NcSoft focuses almost solely on its Project S mobile branch nowadays. Lineage2 and Aion West have ridiculous cash-shops for reason; this is to fund the Project S. Rumors even sayd that Lineageg 2 and Aion west will be shut within few years after Project S is capable of funding itself with its mobile games.

Blade and Soul has so severe bot problems already even in West that I cant see future for it. in TW 80% of characters ingame are bots :/

Lineage Eternal is a project that is propably the only proper profitable “mmo” business for NC; that is, if Lineage1 players convert to Eternal players (Eternal is spiritual successor of L1). Only problem here being that at the same time Smilegate is making its Lineage Eternal competitor -> Lost Ark. Smilegate indeed has a word to say in NCsoft’s future in that Smilegate has Tencent as publisher in China. Needless to say that Tencent is by far the biggest publisher in Asia and that NC has no way to compete against Tencent.

Sad to say – but if Wildstar goes down – then its not impossible GW2 goes down too; this because NC is not interested in keeping mmo’s in West that barely make their own money back.

I wouldnt be surprised if NCsoft backs off entirely from mmo’s and turns into mobile gaming industry within next few years.

Dreema
Guest
Dreema

“We’re well and truly screwed,” Moore
said as he filled in his application for state benefits. “It’s important for everyone to realize that the next few
months will be a transitional period for Carbine, mainly we’ll all be looking for new jobs. We don’t have anyone here who really gives a crap about the game and at this point we’re pretty much just trying to rake in a few extra pennies off people before the servers go offline. I’d like to thank all of you for giving us your hard-earned cash because it’ll really help tide us over till we manage to find further employment. We’ll continue to
communicate with you every step of the way, and some of what we tell you may even be true.”

Dope_Danny
Guest
Dope_Danny

Well technically good ‘days’ ahead could still happen :p

deekay_zero
Guest
deekay_zero
GamingAl
Guest
GamingAl

ManastuUtakata Oyjord It’s probably the arc of the water?

TehAcidBaron
Guest
TehAcidBaron

If your interest is improving the game you don’t fire lead staff that worked with the systems from the start and know where the skeletons are buried in the code.  A brain drain has happened by the look of it and this is just management talk of everything will be fine with “passionate group of core developers” translated it reads as new, younger and lesser experienced staff which we can pay less.

And transition to what exactly outsourcing of most functions and more lead roles on fewer people. Haven’t they learned their lesson yet since launch what lack of Q&A and abnormal content cycles do?

MrEllis
Guest
MrEllis

“Please clap.”

Madda
Guest
Madda

Translation: “Holy shit, we’re sinking. Better get out now while you still can.”

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

pepinocantador Lol.  THAT image is exactly what popped in my head when I read this.

pepinocantador
Guest
pepinocantador

While this has a bit of an Iraqi information minister vibe to it, this is one of the more creative and fun MMOs released in the last decade. I hope Steam brings them the success they need to keep on truckin’.

I swear, there is about 12 million total MMO players, and all everyone is doing is competing for a slice of the same pie. Lord help us all when the Koreans stop making them, and a decade from now we’re looking back at the genre like we were space / flight sims (at least for a long while there).

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

Galactic_Kark Yep, just up the road :)

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

No matter who says these kind of things, they don’t fill me with confidence.  Only results do.

plynky12
Guest
plynky12

He has to say this. They’re still trying to squeeze money out of the game. He wouldn’t say “We’re buggered” even if it were true. This is just PR, and doesn’t tell us anything.

Valkyriez
Guest
Valkyriez

It would be good if dungeons, guilds, raids and pvp could be cross faction or something like Rift. Still keeps the story lines but creates options.

xania
Guest
xania

My time in Wildstar sadly ended when the OCE raiding scene on the Dominion side died. We couldn’t get enough people to raid, and most of us didn’t want to relevel/regear whole new characters on the Exile side, so we had to shutdown. This is why I hate factions in MMOs, as much as I love lore and story, when it starts to negatively impact your game…

Anyway, that’s just my story. I hope no one else has to deal with something like this and the game turns around, because it was truly fun. Fingers crossed for the Steam release.

Veldan
Guest
Veldan

Galactic_Kark Here’s a few more jobs

http://citystateentertainment.com/jobs/

Galactic_Kark
Guest
Galactic_Kark

Well to those without work and those who might get laid off in the future CIG is hiring https://www.cloudimperiumgames.com/jobs

BigDRC
Guest
BigDRC

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

I played it tonight for a few hours. It really is a shameful waste. I just hope the server (*sigh*) is ready for a rush of Steam players checking it out. They can’t afford a repeat of the F2P launch server issues. I’m hoping for the best.

DanielReasor
Guest
DanielReasor

Greaterdivinity thatchefdude 
Steam offers new exposure to tiny Korean MMOs that nobody would have run across otherwise.  There are uncontacted tribes in the Amazon Rainforest who got tired of hearing hype about Wildstar six months before it launched. Everybody has heard of this game already.  I can’t see Steam making a difference.

wpDiscuz