Albion Online characterizes layoffs as downsizing to ‘pre-release beta testing’ levels

Earlier this week, we got a tip claiming that the Albion Online team had been severely cut back before Christmas, perhaps as much as 50%, owing to poor performance. Turns out there were some layoffs, but not quite so many, and in fact the studio says it had ramped up studio numbers ahead of launch and is now downsizing to a live team. Moreover, the studio says its playerbase has “stabilized” and is still growing.

Here’s the full statement Sandbox Interactive issued to Massively OP this afternoon:

Albion Online saw a successful release in July 2017. To get ready for release, during beta testing, our team size almost doubled to more than 50 people. Now that release is behind us, we are reducing the team size to levels similar to those at the start of pre-release beta testing. 31 people in total, supported by talented freelancers, will constantly improve and expand the game. This goes hand in hand with our strategy to fully focus on the game’s original core vision: with the release of our Kay update in December, player numbers have stabilized at a high level and continue to grow. Our next update, Lancelot, will continue on this path and is set to release in March, with further updates to come according to our road map.”

Our sympathies go out to those affected.

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8 Comments on "Albion Online characterizes layoffs as downsizing to ‘pre-release beta testing’ levels"

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Mukit
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Mukit

‘…the studio says it had ramped up studio numbers ahead of launch and is now downsizing to a live team…’

This feels like a common pattern in game launches (I’ve read/heard similar comments from other game dev teams). Perhaps someone from MOP can comment?

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Michael

High numbers in this context means people doing drugs, cause that is what you have to be doing at this point to enjoy this game.

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Fenna

This game was bound to fail with so little things to do in it.

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Dug From The Earth

Maybe the game would have more players if, you know, they let people try the game before having to spend money.

I know its this new, novel idea that no one has tried before, so it would be taking a huge risk to be so innovative, but it could actually bring in more business.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Well, you cannot blame them for not being innovative: they are the first who made their players pay to refer/advertise the game to a friend for a trial :P — http://massivelyop.com/2017/10/17/albion-onlines-new-trial-is-a-referral-system-that-costs-the-referrer-in-game-gold/

Now whether that “innovation” was a smart move, well… :)

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Armsbend

Maybe they can do a Valentine’s Day event in July.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

It is sad to hear people lose their job because of mismanagement and poor decisions.

… player numbers have stabilized at a high level and continue to grow.

This is not true, especially when the population went from 120k active characters at launch to 140k shortly after, then dropped to 22k-24k around December with a slow bleed before they started hiding the population to hide its bad state. By active I mean characters that have gained any amount of fame (the game’s XP) during the course of the week so that they are registered on the game’s leaderboard. The active players are less due to alts, the concurrent players are even less.