Most of us perceive gaming world as something totally idyllic – an ideal career for creative types and gamers at heart, consisting exclusively of glamour, pizzazz and pure fun. However, the gaming industry has its share troubles just like any other profession of and it certainly isn’t immune to things such as strenuous working hours, stress, subpar wages and, of course, the most dreaded thing of all – layoffs. Unfortunately, the reality is much harsher than most of us can even imagine, and the gaming industry is actually full of real, blood-curdling horror stories, just as it’s shown by the recent epidemics of layoffs.
This February will already be remembered for one of the biggest and most draconian mass layoffs in recent history when Activision Blizzard had laid off about 800 of its employees without doing them courtesy of the previous notice. ArenaNet, the world-renowned developer who bestowed us Guild Wars franchise, was unfortunately forced to do the very same thing. As it seems, the rationale behind this desperate and unpopular move is an apparent attempt to consolidate the company by cutting all excess costs and merging NCSoft (the parent company of ArenaNet) and ArenaNet.
“We can confirm that due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, ArenaNet will make staff reductions,” it was declared in the official statement by ArenaNet. “This is part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSoft in the west, but the Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 game services will not be affected, nor is any upcoming game content canceled.”
Thankfully, it appears that the employees of ArenaNet have been treated a bit more humanely than their colleagues from Activision Blizzard. All employees have received an email from the NCSoft West CEO Songyee Yoon, which sheds at least some additional light on their decision: “Our live game business revenue is declining as our franchises age, delays in development on PC and mobile have created further drains against our revenue projects, while our operating costs in the west have increased. Where we are is not sustainable, and is not going to set us up for future success.“ Songyee Yoon also added that “the restructuring, cost-cutting, and strategic realignments are all being done to secure our tomorrow and to provide the foundation that will allow us to grow and acquire.”
Currently, we still don’t have an exact number of employees that will be laid off, but, by all assessments, that number will definitely be considerable. In the meantime, ArenaNet had confirmed that all employees affected by this mass layoff will be compensated by severance pays worth two monthly salaries, and also bonuses depending on the individual time they spend at ArenaNet.