NCsoft West mobile studio Iron Tiger hit with layoffs ahead of Aion Legions of War launch

    
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Remember back at the end of 2015 when NCsoft was talking up its reinvestment in western franchises and studios? One of its plans included a new NCsoft West mobile studio in San Mateo called Iron Tiger, which at the time was actively expanding to work on mobile titles, including a Lineage game. The studio has been tight-lipped since then, but we do know it was indeed working on Aion: Legions of War, a mobile Aion title that NCsoft is due to launch later this week.

But it looks as if the studio has suffered layoffs this week, including a senior software developer who worked on one of the games (we assume Legions of War) and tweeted about the end of his tenure there. Here’s what an NCsoft rep told GIbiz: “I can confirm that NCSoft is reshaping Iron Tiger Studios and is in the process of transitioning development to a third-party for a mobile title. [… ] That game is not being canceled, but neither the project nor the external developer are being identified at this time.”

It is not currently clear how many workers were affected and to what extent the existing games themselves are impacted – for that matter, it’s not entirely clear what the rest of the games were. We do know they had at least two in production at one point with plans for three, and of course, they were focused on the mobile market. According to GIbiz, however, the studio will continue.

We reached out to NCsoft for a statement last week when we caught wind of the rumor, but the company has not responded to our specific questions for clarification.

As always, our hearts go out to the rank-and-file developers and employees affected by the layoffs.

Source: GIbizTwitter

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rafael12104

We have seen this before. The old pump and dump of game development. And it is bullshit.

And this time it seems to have occurred right before Aion: Legends of War is released? That is not the norm.

Sheez… as a Blade & Soul player, if NCsoft now announces they have inked another deal with Netease I will be anything but at ease.

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Greaterdivinity

This kinda shit right here. This kinda shit is why people should hate on NCsoft. And NCsoft deserve all of it, because hot damn does it look like they treated these developers like dirt.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

IRONIC TIGER.gif
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Armsbend

lol seriously as good as anything you did all of last year lol xx :)

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rafael12104

Heh. No words. No words for how good this one is, my friend. :)

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Armsbend

“Thanks for helping make the game. You’ll find your pink slip on top of your cubicle desk. Do you know where the cardboard boxes are? Why? For your stuff. SECURITY!”

Game Development 2019

Why bright kids would ever want to be a part of it is baffling. They can use their skills in anything else and be more respected. At least as a starving artist you aren’t shown the door as soon as you reach a point of success. What other industry or artform or you thrown out as soon accomplish a goal?

I sincerely hope these guys know that as soon as they hit a goal they are done. Start sending resumes out at crunch time seriously. At least in a field like construction those guys know that when the job is done – they have to find another one. People in gaming seem truly clueless.

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PanagiotisLial1

The rate this thing is happening will eventually backfire for mmo companies

At some point employees will start to be slower on purpose(and thus slow development of new games) just so they have a job a few months more

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Connor

“At some point employees will start to be slower on purpose(and thus slow development of new games) just so they have a job a few months more”

Maybe this is why games are constantly delayed.

But anyway, this is the gaming industry as a whole. Not sure why anyone would pick game development over software development outside of a severe passion for the work, you spend years on a game and then it’s pretty much standard to get shown the door only to start your job search all over so you can do the same at a new employer.

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Bryan Correll

Pfft. You really think NCSoft provided them with cardboard boxes?

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kvlt_vonnegut

This is also the reason game are so janky and bugridden at launch. Genuine star coders are unicorn-level rare in games anymore, because who the hell would want that kind of life? Why would anybody with high-tier technical skill hop around game studios for 60K and 70-hour weeks when they can post up at some nice enterprise vendor and at least double their money without their kids forgetting what they look like?

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Armsbend

ding ding ding we haz a winar.

I worked in Enterprise and our coding young stars were treated like rockstars – because they made the entire thing go – unlike the suits. The suits did sales, put out fires and crunched numbers so everyone got paid. No animosity betwixt the two – or very little on the surface at least.

Little indies seems to treat everyone with a medium of respect though. Working for Blizzard, EA, Activision, NC Soft or most of the known houses? Fuck that.

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Bruno Brito

Matt, the new CEO of Gamerfirst and Little Orbit seems pretty dedicated to show what the company is working on. He seems like a decent balance between a suit and a developer.

Big empires end up dehumanized. It’s historic.