NCsoft West loses CEO, lays off 20% of staff, says Throne & Liberty is not impacted


[Updated at the end of this article with confirmation of the 20% figure and news about the CEO, as well as NCsoft’s statement to us. The original article follows.]

With NCsoft’s Q4 financials looming in February, the company has apparently opted to follow Silicon Valley’s destructive lead and add to the layoff pile in tech. According to multiple reports on Twitter last night, NCsoft West has suffered a round of layoffs; reps from Intrepid, Blizzard, Sega, and Tencent’s Level Infinite tweeted about the layoffs, which are apparently “significant” and affect publishing offices in both the US and UK.

Readers will recall from our past reporting on NCsoft’s financials that it had a reasonably good 2022 overall, largely thanks to mobile and the Lineage franchise, though we also noted Guild Wars 2’s impressive End of Dragons comeback. Back in November, we further pointed out the slow but steady financial decline of Blade & Soul, which contracted financially by nearly two-thirds over the course of the last previous year and has announced two content-plan reductions in the last five months. NCsoft’s western titles brought in less than 10% of its overall revenue as of Q3, but the launch of Throne and Liberty later in 2023 was expected to shift that. This week’s downscaling of the western publishing team seems to add weight to the rumor that NCsoft could outsource the game’s release in the west after all.

We have reached out to NCsoft’s PR for comment and will update when we have it. (It’s way early out on the west coast.) Our sympathies to those affected by the layoffs.

Source: Twitter. Cheers, Leiloni.
VentureBeat is now reporting that NCsoft West laid off 20% of its workers, and CEO Jeff Anderson, who’d been there since 2021, is leaving as well. Here’s the formal statement:

“We can confirm that we laid off approximately 20% of NC West’s workforce today, primarily affecting non-game development positions, as part of a global realignment with our corporate headquarters in Korea. The affected employees have been given severance and access to resources to help with job placement.”

Addressing the departure of NCsoft West’s CEO, the company said, “Jeff decided that his time at NC had come to a conclusion, and we appreciate his efforts with us.”

We reached out to NCsoft earlier this morning to ask specifically about the MMOs affected, including the unreleased T&L, and we’ll update if we learn more.

An NCsoft spokesperson has now replied to MOP’s questions on the impact of the layoffs.

  • Regarding existing MMOs: “All our titles will continue to operate without interruption.”
  • Regarding how it’s supporting laid-off workers: “We are providing severance to affected employees based on tenure. Our recruiting team will also assist them with outreach for other job opportunities within the industry and our professional network.”
  • And regarding the launch rollout of Throne & Liberty: “Throne & Liberty continues toward its global launch and is not impacted by this event.”
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