Daybreak layoffs totaled 140 in San Diego

    
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It’s been almost a month since Daybreak (formerly SOE) laid off several of its employees following its acquisition by Columbus Nova, but we’re only now starting to see the full scope of the event.

U-T San Diego reports that 140 employees were let go from Daybreak’s San Diego office, although the studio is not talking about how many were affected from the Austin location. Those laid off had an “effective termination date” of April 13th.

To recap the Daybreak saga so far: Investment firm Columbus Nova purchased SOE from Sony on February 2nd and renamed it Daybreak Game Company. On February 11th, the studio laid off a portion of its staff from several teams. Since then, PlanetSide 2’s Matt Higby resigned, EverQuest Next dropped Storybricks (which then closed), and GM support in Daybreak’s games was pared down.

[Source: U-T San Diego]
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pynin
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pynin

really now, if there comes a time when the ship actually sinks, i do have a lifeboat.  however, i see no need to jump ship prematurely.  sometimes things seem to get worse before they get better.  how did that old saying go?  the darkest hour is just before the dawn?  i will stay until they sunset and i hope that will be a long way off.

KristoferNathan
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KristoferNathan

I uninstalled EQ2 and Landmark after this.  Not a form of protest really but these guys are going to have to start showing some actual progress before they can have their content parked on my hard drive.  Condolences to those who were laid off.  It’s a tough deal.  Keep your head up.  I’ve been there.

Saerain
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Saerain

Syntho  Saerain ManastuUtakata PaganRites Maybe letting the company bleed out instead is the “honorable” thing. Hell if I know. One step at a time.

Syntho
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Syntho

Saerain ManastuUtakata PaganRites laying off someone is a crime now?

syberghost
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syberghost

Covenant_U deganderson syberghost Dnote don’t mistake failure to blanket condemn this move on DGC’s part as derision for the game. EQ2 is my primary MMO, and is likely to remain so until EQN comes out. If WoW went F2P tomorrow, EQ2 would still be my primary game. I’m lifetime All Access, and my current SC balance is over 20,000. I am heavily committed to DGC games as a player, and among them EQ2 is my primary.

I simply don’t think hoping they’ll return to the previous number of people on this project is likely to bear fruit, and I am quite certain that if enough people stop playing in protest to make these cutbacks the wrong decision, the result will be shutdown, not increased staffing.

SOE was losing Sony too much money. The cutbacks were part of the deal to sell to Columbus Nova, which is likely giving them more money than Sony would have been willing to part with. If these cuts were coming under Sony, they’d have been worse.

Cutbacks and “right-sizing” are not the end of the world. The company I currently work for (not a game developer, but our IT division is larger than any of them) has undergone three large waves of this during my tenure, as part of a plan to meet the future needs of the company, and we’re a much stronger company as a result. If done properly, they can mean the difference between a long future making great games, or a slow and ugly decline with a painful end. Mistakes are always made in these things, but that’s how we learn.

If I could wave my magic wand and make EQ2 profitable at its previous staffing level, I would, but I can’t; so I’m glad they kept enough people on the project to continue active development, instead of just to keep the lights on and manage its sunset. At the end of the day, we still have a game to log into, and can still look forward to expansion. That is good news. Doesn’t make any of the rest of this less painful, but it does mean doom and gloom and boycotts aren’t called for.

Covenant_U
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Covenant_U

deganderson syberghost Dnote Then again WoW copied (by many people’s standards improved on) EQ. I for one still play a fair amount of EQ2.  It has a ton of content and I’m quite invested in it.  I enjoy the tradeskilling, decorating and doing soloable content.  Sure, I’m behind the curve in terms of min-max as I come from a very small guild and cannot raid but I enjoy doing older “high end” content on my casual maxed toon. I bet many like me form a stable core of the game’s player base (hence valuable and dependable cash flow).  EQ2 makes money. Heck, I don’t even need the next expansion to bump up needless additional levels so I can grind more.  In that sense I’m a pretty “low cost” customer/player at that.    

I think those for whom a mature game like this is “boring” and “repetitive” aren’t really looking for an MMO in the first place.   I’m trying not to be judgmental but I suspect people in this group have (generally) shorter attention spans and require more excitement and newness to be generated by the game they are playing (i.e., they are far less likely to be content to fill in an experience from their own imaginations).   You might be better off with consols and splashy single player stuff anyway.  They are fun on the first play through and when you’ve “beaten” the game you move on. 

But many don’t want to beat the game, and be careful consigning that which does not simply appeal to you the garbage bin.  It’s human nature to deride what you yourself have no interest in, but the facts may yield a different conclusion.

morganfeldon
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morganfeldon

And yet most of the 140 were designers, programmers, artists, and team leads, NOT execs. The ignorance. It burns.

morganfeldon
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morganfeldon

There are 5 shared art & animation between eq and eq2. That leaves 10. As part of content updates and an expansion, we got 16 new dungeons, 6 new raid zones, and 2 overland zones last year. The revenues from monthly subs (most eq2 plates are not f2p) and expansion sales were more than enough to support that degree of development. And this has all been while having most of the teams funds siphoned off by EQN and h1z1. But please tell me more how to squeeze blood from a stone.

morganfeldon
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morganfeldon

And what is that promise based on? I’ve seen the numbers. Have you?

Saerain
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Saerain

ManastuUtakata Saerain PaganRites Don’t thank me yet. Maybe I’ve missed something. Is it just the layoffs?