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.
Welllp today is my last day with NCSoft West / Iron Tiger. We made a great game but it's LAYOFF TIME!
I'm gonna have some free time do if anyone has questions about gamedev hit me up.
— midnight gutterman, cat stepdad (@odd_dimensions) January 17, 2019