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

    
137

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.

Update
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.”

Update
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.
Update
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.)

Update
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.)

137
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Aldristavan
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Aldristavan

Am I reading this correctly? Over a THIRD of their staff?

Reader
James Travis Romano

They had 400 people working at the studio with a 7 year old buy to own MMO as its main revenue source. I am surprised microtransactions supported that many staff for so long. Seems like the writing was sorta on the wall? If 400 people are making an average of $40,000 a year, that’s like 16mil a year in payroll.

Reader
aaron wilson

For them to fire Gaile Gray is absurd.

ArenaNet failed when they ruined GW2 by not keeping it like GW, which lets be honest is one of the strongest games of its kind ever to be mad. Still has following, a following that would increase by millions if they would just put focus on continuing it

ghostmourn
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
ghostmourn

Damn I have been trying to spend money in GW2 for like 2 years and they always refuse my debit card, although it works fine otherwise…

I think they use a Dutch company for payments or something. Kinda fubar.

Veldan
Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

Sad to see Gaile Gray is gone. 18 years is such a long time… she should have been allowed to continue till the end.

Because let’s be honest, the end is going to come. With canceled side projects, it seems that Arenanet only has one reason for existence, which is GW2. A 7 year old game that people are losing interest in. There’s no way things are getting better for the studio from this moment on.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Considering she was a great PR spokesperson for the company ( let me make this clear: I don’t like her ), she should really stay.

That being said, her is the only firing i don’t feel a thing.

Reader
Eamil

So much sad news. I’m at least relieved to see Rubi Bayer sticking around. I remember her from her days writing for this site and she was always pretty fantastic.

miol
Reader
miol

But seriously though, what path is left now for Anet to able to move forward?!

– All new projects canceled
– No mobile expertise was possible to establish in all those years (or too late?)
– More than a quarter of staff gone, and much precious know-how with them
– Only one franchise
– 14- & 7-year-old games
– Smaller budget to work with
– …

:/

Reader
James Travis Romano

Perfect timing for the old guard to make a GW1 unchained but try to change it too much thinking they are making it more appealing and end up calling it Crowfall with a bizarre subscription model and unappealing hardcore crafting. Oh wait…

Reader
Dankey Kang

Ah well. At least it lasted longer than WildStar

Reader
Maggie May

Given that I’m experiencing a similar thing (different business), I can say the whole thing sucks. Best wishes to everyone in finding work and getting back on their feet.
Usually its other peoples bad decisions that we end up paying for. Nowadays, one needs to be ready for anything.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Kayweg

Hoping that as many of them as possible land on their feet and find new employment asap.
I have to mention something that irks me about this article, and always does when this phrase is used.
“ArenaNet bosses began letting people go this afternoon”.
No they weren’t “let go”.
You can let someone go if you kept them somewhere they didn’t want to be, if they wanted to go.
They were fired and thrown out against their will, that’s not being “let go”.
I know it’s a commonly used phrase, i just find it extremely cynical.
Perhaps its best left to the cynics on the upper floors.