Last week’s horrific news that NCsoft and ArenaNet would be laying off a large part of the Guild Wars 2 studio and canceling multiple secret projects had a weird sidenote: The corporate execs couldn’t actually tell anyone who was staying and leaving. That meant four days of not knowing, which as anyone who’s ever been in that situation can tell you is worse than just a quick cut.
But now apparently, ArenaNet bosses began letting people go this afternoon, as Twitter has erupted in farewell notices from multiple developers, including fairly prominent ones like Josh Foreman and Gaile Gray, as well as condolences and confirmations that some jobs are intact.
Leaving Anet: Gaile Gray, Josh Foreman, Aaron Linde, Casey Benson, Matthew Medina, Kelsey Pickinpaugh, Connie Griffith, Benjamin Arnold, Grant Gertz, Shuai Liu, Lena Raine, Lily Yu, Elan Stimmel, McKenna Berdrow, Zach Lute, Myranda Byrne, Drew Cady, Cameron Rich, Damian Kastbauer, Evan Teicheira, Paul Ella, Tyler Bearce, Scott Mayhew.
Staying at Anet: Chris Cleary, Jennifer Scheurle, Rubi Bayer, Stephane Lo Presti, Connor Fallon, Samantha Wallschlaeger, Keaven Freeman, Regina Buenaobra, Bobby Stein, Artem Sorokin, Hugh and Melina Norfolk, Eve Eschenbacher, Linsey Murdock, Maclaine Diemer, Chelsea Mills, Jason Byfield, Joseph Clark (I think).
(We’re continuing to add to these lists as people speak up publicly – obviously there are way more people than this affected. Worth noting is that some of these devs suggest they volunteered to take a buyout to leave, while still others will be merging into NCsoft’s marketing branch. Last updated our list at 10:23 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 26th.)
15+ years is a helluva run in the #videogames industry. Happy trails to those who remain. I'll be following your work and I know I'll be proud of what you accomplish. To my fellow refugees: we've always been like family at #arenanet and chances are we'll be working together again pic.twitter.com/8qBTrH5Xbm
— Josh Foreman (@JoshuaForeman) February 25, 2019
I am sad to tell you that I am no longer an employee of ArenaNet. It's been a wonderful 18+ years, and I have appreciated every one of those years and every single one of the friends I made through the game. I wish everyone at ArenaNet a fantastic future — I love you all.
— Gaile Gray (@GaileGray) February 25, 2019
They fired 2/3 of the web team, including the lead. What in the actual fuck.
My only solace is that I have contracting gigs I can get them ASAP if they're interested.
— Pat Cavit (@tivac) February 25, 2019
We don’t currently know exactly what percentage of the studio has been retained (it sounds rather significant, but Anet hasn’t given a formal headcount), nor has ArenaNet issued a follow-up statement since last week regarding the outlook for the game itself. [Update: It now appears it was 143.]
Massively saw no less than three Guild Wars 2 columnists depart our team for careers at ArenaNet, so our hearts are with the studio’s rank-and-file right now.
“Last week, we announced the upcoming release of our new WvW mount, the Warclaw. Unfortunately, this release will be delayed until Tuesday, March 5. In light of current events at the studio, we are taking this time to focus on our friends and colleagues. We hope you understand and we apologize for this delay. Thank you for your continued support of Guild Wars 2.”
I still have my job but over a hundred amazing people don't
— Samantha 🌱 Wallschlaeger (@StillNotSam) February 25, 2019
It’s been about 7 years since I left as the composer of Guild Wars 2. Though it seems like yesterday. My heartfelt condolences goes out to my friends at ArenaNet – #Love4ArenaNet
— Jeremy Soule (@mistersoule) February 26, 2019