We’ve updated this post at the end with confirmation of the Mike Z departure.
We hate to rain on the “wheee Guild Wars 2 is getting a third expansion” parade because it’s a nice parade and we’re enjoying it. But we now return to reality, where yet another top ArenaNet staffer has left the building.
Eagle-eyed Redditors point to Linkedin, where it’s now clear that Mike Silbowitz, the former VP of ArenaNet’s global marketing team and VP of marketing for NCsoft, has morphed into head of marketing for… Wargaming, working on an “exciting unannounced new game.”
The Reddit thread took a bizarre turn when a pro-ArenaNet account piped up to defend Silbowitz personally, complete with insults for Redditors and oddly explicit information (in fact, the whole account is like that, with commentary specifically on marketing and insider info on staffing). Last year, Redditors suspected that someone associated with the game was using sockpuppet accounts to post pseudo-ads for its marketing on Reddit, so it’s an… interesting situation over there indeed.
MMO readers will recall that ArenaNet suffered heavy layoffs and a reorganization in 2019, and since then we’ve seen a steady stream of multiple additional devs (including studio head Mike O’Brien) moving on from the company, most recently a pair last month.
“Holy shit you’re a stupid fuck nugget!!! No delusion. Fact! When confirmed I will come back and say told you so you stupid stupid bitch.”
“Oh here we go. ‘Marketing is the worst!’ You are all such a whiny bunch of b**ches. Seriously. Don’t like it? Leave the game and make room for the new blood who is actually fun to play with.”
“And you’re nothing but a middle aged loser living in your mothers basement. I’m not proving shit. I know the truth. Deep down you know it too from seeing new players in game. You just need something to bitch about to fill the empty void in your unimpressive life.”
“You do realize the team that thought of the magazine is also the team that made the trailer and made the announcement event? It was the marketing team that everyone seems to hate.”
In response to the departure of Jason Reynolds over three months ago, the account wrote: “Wow. So many departures. Doesn’t mean the game is dying. Mike Z left and the game is still functioning. Sky isn’t falling. Calm down.” And in this week’s thread, the account wrote:
“You are all a bunch of idiots. For real. Even for reddit, the majority of comments around this dudes marketing have been positive but then all you asshats need to jump when he leaves and say he sucked. This dude has worked on some of the biggest campaigns in gaming but you losers chime in from your mother’s basements on things you know nothing about. The poncho sucked but other then that… Get a life!”
ArenaNet has yet to respond to our request for a statement as of 4 p.m. EDT on Friday.