MMO Business Roundup: BioWare lawsuit, Nintendo multiplayer sunset, Twitch layoffs


Welcome back to another roundup of MMO and MMO-adjacent industry news. Numbers numbers numbers.


Remember the hefty BioWare layoffs back in the summer? A group of former Dragon Age and Mass Effect developers affected by those layoffs are suing the company in the Canadian courts, alleging that BioWare’s severance offers ran afoul of provincial precedent, which usually mandates full benefits and a month of severance for every year worked. That’s going to be a big number given that some of the workers jettisoned had a decade and a half of time lodged at the company, but apparently BioWare wouldn’t even negotiate.

“There are many situations where employers include termination provisions that are not enforced by the Courts,” the group’s attorney says, “and I think we see that in this case too. BioWare attempted to reduce its obligation to these employees well below what the courts typically award, including by eliminating benefits from its termination pay – that appears to be contrary to the Employment Standards Code.”


Nintendo is taking a rather large hatchet to its older online services as this week it announced the end of multiplayer functionality for its older software.

“In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS [including ‘software exclusive to New Nintendo 3DS’] and Wii U software. This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution. […] We will announce a specific end date and time at a later date. Please note that if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned.”

The main exception seems to be Pokemon Bank, which will retain online services. It’s an unfortunate sunset for gamers who are still playing the multiple 3DS Pokemon titles that apparently maintained solid online communities to this day.


Finally, let’s swing the spotlight of shame back over to Twitch, which has reportedly gone through yet another round of layoffs – its second in eight months. That first round in March saw pink slips for over 400 workers, though this one is supposedly far smaller and focused on the customer experience end of the business – not an ideal or logical round of cuts ahead of TwitchCon.

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