143 ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 devs have been laid off as fans express #LoveForArenaNet


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.

(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.)

Fans are using the #love4arenanet hashtag on Twitter to pass out hugs to the employees affected. They’re also posting messages of love on the official wiki.

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.

It also seems the Warclaw mount is being delayed and will not launch tomorrow as the studio’s being closed for two days while everyone processes the news.

“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.”

Former Head of Development at ArenaNet Philip Holt – now at Undead Labs – wrote a heartfelt message to ArenaNet staff today, reminding them the layoffs are not their fault and offering jobs and support.
ArenaNet’s Samantha Wallschlaeger has tweeted that over 100 developers were turned out of the 400-person studio. (We have heard higher numbers, but that’s in the right ballpark.)


Famed games composer Jeremy Soule even weighed in.


Update, afternoon 2/26
Update, afternoon 2/27
Mike Z has now addressed the layoffs, promising that ArenaNet is still hard at work on Guild Wars 2.
Update, evening 2/27
The Seattle Times has a new headcount: 143 people laid off. (Thanks, Mordy.)
Previous articleH1Z1 patches in quick fixes for its mammoth Season 3 update on PlayStation 4
Next articleThe Stream Team: Journey to the center of Astroneer

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments