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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » SOE Layoffs. This Can't Be Good

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104 posts found
  erictlewis

Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3058

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

3/31/11 3:48:47 PM#61

Either way you look at it the remaining dev staff for DCUO will be moved 3 stats away,  so there goes your monthly updates.  At least until the dust settles down.

  Inkpuppet

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/26/10
Posts: 38

"You pull your own strings."

3/31/11 3:53:26 PM#62
Originally posted by TribeofOne
Originally posted by Mardy

Smed took this gamble.  He paid a lot of upfront cost for the development of DCUO.  He thought he could bring console gamers into the mindset of paying monthly subscriptions, and unfortunately his gamble may have lost.  DCUO is considered a MMO, it charges a monthly price, so there has to be a sizable monthly subscribers.  With this layoff it seems clear they did not have enough people subscribing to DCUO.

 

It's too bad. 

i hope dcuo and ffxiv's failures end the console mmorpg fad for good. they do not work together!

Amen.

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

3/31/11 3:59:08 PM#63
Originally posted by Mardy

 Edit:  According to that link above, it doesn't affect live games including DCUO.  So I could be wrong, maybe SOE just wants to (finally) downsize and focus more on the quality of games rather than quantity.  That could be a good thing.

There is just no way to have a 3rd round of layoffs with the current one being 30% of the overall workforce not affect the current live games. 

SOE can make all the claims in the world they want, but cuts that deep will have an effect somewhere and most likely everywhere. 

 

This pretty much means that all of SOEs current games are not generating enough money to sustain the company and there isn't much to suggest that they will grow, but rather continue to decline as they have been across the board.   Given the choice to support games with little hope of boosting up the company or put all their effort into games that have not released yet and have a chance to revive the companies future, which do you think they are going to choose?

 

  Mardy

Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/06
Posts: 2222

3/31/11 4:40:26 PM#64
Originally posted by Daffid011

This pretty much means that all of SOEs current games are not generating enough money to sustain the company and there isn't much to suggest that they will grow, but rather continue to decline as they have been across the board.   Given the choice to support games with little hope of boosting up the company or put all their effort into games that have not released yet and have a chance to revive the companies future, which do you think they are going to choose?

 

This doesn't mean all of current SOE games are not generating enough money, it could very well mean that the latest large sum they spent on DCUO isn't paying off.  They paid upfront the development cost of DCUO and licensing, and they were banking on the returns.   So if the returns didn't do well, they of course would can further development of games that they aren't sure will work out, like The Agency.

 

They can't be doing too bad if they openly stated Planetside Next and Everquest Next will continue to be developed, and those re-assigned to San Diego will get put on those projects.

EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-DDO-GW-LoTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO

  Deathofsage

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/11
Posts: 1010

Honestly:
FFXI Fanboy
RIFT hater.
Stop rewarding wow-clones.

3/31/11 4:52:56 PM#65
Originally posted by Inkpuppet
Originally posted by TribeofOne
Originally posted by Mardy

Smed took this gamble.  He paid a lot of upfront cost for the development of DCUO.  He thought he could bring console gamers into the mindset of paying monthly subscriptions, and unfortunately his gamble may have lost.  DCUO is considered a MMO, it charges a monthly price, so there has to be a sizable monthly subscribers.  With this layoff it seems clear they did not have enough people subscribing to DCUO.

 

It's too bad. 

i hope dcuo and ffxiv's failures end the console mmorpg fad for good. they do not work together!

Amen.

FFXI was fantastic.

FFXIV was just a poorly designed game. It doesn't seem like platform matters in this area. They did a bad job at a thing that could have gone either way.

Keyboards have like 108 buttons and gaming mice go up to 17? (Most of these are mapped to keyboard keys). I prefer controller oriented interface, I think they have the potential to make the game matter more than the UI again.

Spec'ing properly is a gateway drug.
12 Million People have been meter spammed in heroics.
Placing bets Blizzard's "Titan" will be a wow-clone.

  monstermmo

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/10
Posts: 1074

3/31/11 4:56:12 PM#66

lol Maybe this is why we didnt see an update this month.

 

That sucks man.

I didnt see a big future with DCUO myself as a player but i do play it casually and i do raid and ya know ive played the whole game already. Its fun as hell, it just needed a bit more to do other than dungeon grinding. But thats why i play it casually. Maybe more levels you know? More skills. Whatevs, great fun game tho.

 

FFXI's gameplay was cool, the graphics i thought were beautiful then, cool game but i was extatic to leave Everquests grind and FFXI was not it, WoW was tho. :p Ive thought about goin back and playin FFXI now tho.

Jeremiah 8:21 I weep for the hurt of my people; I stand amazed, silent, dumb with grief.
Join me on Raptr Steam Facebook Twitter Gameverse

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

3/31/11 5:15:01 PM#67
Originally posted by Mardy

This doesn't mean all of current SOE games are not generating enough money, it could very well mean that the latest large sum they spent on DCUO isn't paying off.  They paid upfront the development cost of DCUO and licensing, and they were banking on the returns.   So if the returns didn't do well, they of course would can further development of games that they aren't sure will work out, like The Agency.

 

They can't be doing too bad if they openly stated Planetside Next and Everquest Next will continue to be developed, and those re-assigned to San Diego will get put on those projects.

I didn't mean to imply they are not making money on some games, but at the same time the trend is that soe keeps cutting resources to games, merging servers, downsizing staff, delyaing and reducing updates, etc.  Soe just finally ran out of small corners to cut and extra cash grabs thrown at players.   They have released everything the possibly could and the revenue hole was so large this is the result.

It is a pretty bold statement to say "they can't be doing too bad" after they just had their 3rd consecutive year of layoffs.  This one being 30% of the entire staff, closing 3 studios and cancelling 1 game.  I think that is pretty much a clear case of a company that is in trouble.   

They can talk about their future plans to release games all they want, but they were doing that about The Agency just a few months ago.  The same applies to DCU and look how that turned out. 

My point was that all of their current games are not going to grow and will most likely just continue to decline more as the layoffs take effect on their ability to support them.  Given the choice to support a stable filled with declining games or trying to regain some lost ground with new releases, where do you think soe is going to put the remaining resources they have left?  What then will feel the effect of the layoffs?

  Mardy

Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/06
Posts: 2222

3/31/11 5:20:21 PM#68

I thinkt they're going to focus on the games they know work for them, the Everquest franchise.  Here's what EQ2 producer just posted: 

 

I'm only going to speak about "EverQuest II" because that's the project I'm authorized to speak about.

We were impacted also today. We lost two people from the team that we'll miss. I'm not going to mention who they are because I think privacy is important.

However, we still have a large team on this project, in fact, one of the largest in the company. SOE fully supports not only EQII and EQ2X, but also EverQuest and EQ Next as well. The "EverQuest" franchise is the backbone of this company and we'll do what it takes to ensure that the world of Norrath and the EverQuest games are as close to ForeverQuest(tm) as possible.

I'll post a Producer's Letter, probably next week, outlining where we're going and what we're doing in the coming year. I'm enthusiastic about it and I think you will be also. This year is going to be an extremely good year for EQII.

But today...well...today's just sad. If you know anyone that was affected, please extend your sympathies. Losing a loved job is like losing a friend. There's nothing good about it.

EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-DDO-GW-LoTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO

  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

3/31/11 5:25:33 PM#69

Smeldey was the one behind the CU and NGE and other huge decisions that changed SOE games that were once great.  He is the only person at SOE that I know of who deserves the boot.

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  Azmin

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/10
Posts: 23

3/31/11 5:37:51 PM#70

I was just about to share this info with some of my co-workers, when I loked down at the date.  Tomorrow is April 1st or "April Fool's Day".  I'm wondering what the odds are that this is just an April Fool's prank that SoE is playing on the public.  If it is it's not very funny, but if it's not I truly feel bad for the Dev's who lost their jobs.

  Deathofsage

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/11
Posts: 1010

Honestly:
FFXI Fanboy
RIFT hater.
Stop rewarding wow-clones.

3/31/11 5:40:43 PM#71
Originally posted by Azmin

I was just about to share this info with some of my co-workers, when I loked down at the date.  Tomorrow is April 1st or "April Fool's Day".  I'm wondering what the odds are that this is just an April Fool's prank that SoE is playing on the public.  If it is it's not very funny, but if it's not I truly feel bad for the Dev's who lost their jobs.

Way too damaging. They have too many games in a precocious position and though I'm subscribed to no SOE games, I'd imagine the billing cycle probably fires soon.

WoW could pull off a PR like this and laugh it off, RIFT could (but wouldn't because some subs would be lost), but other games, while not on life support, couldn't take the bullet for the sake of a joke.

Maybe you're right though and this infamous Smedley is behind it, it might be the kick that gets him fired =).

Spec'ing properly is a gateway drug.
12 Million People have been meter spammed in heroics.
Placing bets Blizzard's "Titan" will be a wow-clone.

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

3/31/11 5:46:06 PM#72
Originally posted by Mardy

I thinkt they're going to focus on the games they know work for them, the Everquest franchise.  Here's what EQ2 producer just posted: 

 

I agree.  The everquest IP is about the only thing of real value that SOE has left to build from.   Where else can they go at this point?

Cutting staff from EQ3 or Planetside to keep support levels on their stable of dying games doesn't make good business sense.  Obviously the developers of each game are going to make posts pointing to rainbows and unicorns coming to their games and that there is nothing to worry about.  They can't exactly talk about how bad things are going, but there is no hiding that anymore.

 

The real question now is soe going to change as a result of this and will they be able to deliver?  They have not exactly been producing hits since... well EQ.  DCU was made by their alpha team, with a massive budget and huge marketing on 2 platforms (bigger playerbase to draw from) and it is already dying. 

 

 

  smut

Novice Member

Joined: 10/28/06
Posts: 253

3/31/11 5:54:56 PM#73

Another link.

 

Sony Online Entertainment has confirmed that it is closing three offices, laying off 205 employees and cancelling production of its spy-based MMO The Agency. The studio intends to focus on developing MMOs based on its EverQuest and PlanetSide brands. "

 

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108895-UPDATE-SOE-Closing-Studios-Cutting-205-Staff

  ste2000

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4735

3/31/11 6:00:41 PM#74

I ve been saying that Smedley should have been replaced since the NGE debacle, not for revenge but for the lack of vision.

Suddely he put his WoW googles on and ruined one of the best PvE sandbox game (SWG), he then released games that got more shallow EQ2 > Free Realm > DCU > The Agency (probably axed by someone at Sony that has more sense than Mr Smedley)

In the end SoE was overlapping the other branch of  Sony Games hence making it difficult for Sony to justify a separate brand for the MMORPG genre.

DCU could have been done easily by any of the other branches of Sony Games division, there were no need for SoE to make such game (or Free Realms or The Agency for the matter)

 

SoE needs to make real MMORPGs or it is better be absorbed by the Sony Games division.

The only way SoE can survive is if they can make Everquest Next a success, and it will be a success only if Smedley takes his WoW google off

  monstermmo

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/10
Posts: 1074

3/31/11 6:00:44 PM#75

I thought it could be an april fools joke too but i mean i dunno, personally i think a real good aprils fools joke is wasted when its not done on the actual day.

I suppose its april 1st in some part of the world already tho so ok.

Jeremiah 8:21 I weep for the hurt of my people; I stand amazed, silent, dumb with grief.
Join me on Raptr Steam Facebook Twitter Gameverse

  Turdinator

Novice Member

Joined: 1/10/11
Posts: 224

3/31/11 6:04:28 PM#76
Originally posted by DeathWolf2u

YES!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!

I only waited for this day for many years...........

Now my biggest wish is that SWG is shut down for good

They brought this on themselves and I don't have to tell anyone here of all the evil they have done to gamers.

 

I've watched other game companies shut down promising games but yet somehow SOE always kept crap titles alive by mysterious reasons a.k.a Star Wars Galaxies with a player base of like 5 people.

 

People losing their jobs makes me this happy too.  

 

No wait..... it doesn't.

  TheCrow2k

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 956

3/31/11 6:05:27 PM#77
Originally posted by Rifle123

http://ca.kotaku.com/5787461/sonys-mmo-makers-close-three-studios-lay-off-one+third-of-workforce

 

"Word began spreading when George Broussard, best known as the co-creator of Duke Nukem Forever, tweeted earlier this evening that SOE was seeing layoffs and "studio closure is possible." Kotaku has confirmed through a source familiar with the matter that the closures affect SOE's studios in Seattle, Tucson, Ariz. and Denver. Half of the workforce at SOE offices in Austin, Texas were pink slipped along with a sizeable portion of San Diego. In sum, it accounts for nearly one-third of SOE's manpower before today."

 

The only response I can see on DCUO's board is a 'We can't comment' from RadarX.

 

33% layoff?  Didn't think they were in THAT bad of shape.

Some of that is bound to be because DCUO is basically finished with the post release crunch mainly sorted out and now its just maintenance & maybe new content if the game makes money. Granted 33% layoff is a lot however we dont know how many people were brought on in the last few years specifically for DCUO.

Interesting that its across multiple studios but not entirely uncommon for multiple studios to be working on the same game, however its rarely efficient.

  Wraithone

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 3581

If you can't kill it, don't make it mad.

3/31/11 6:17:44 PM#78
Originally posted by wormywyrm

Smeldey was the one behind the CU and NGE and other huge decisions that changed SOE games that were once great.  He is the only person at SOE that I know of who deserves the boot.

 

Dear old Smed is in fact the main source of Evil at SOE. ^^  The NGE is only one of the various crimes that could be laid at his doorstep. In any sane world, he would have been fired and heard the immortal phrase "You will never work in this industry again!"... Instead he was promoted.   Closing three studios and firing that many talented people is not a good sign.

Anyone happen to remember Babylon 5? Remember the conversation between Vir and Mr Mordan? How about Smed in the role of Mordan?...(Wraith waves at Smed...) ^^

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0n2vurSBIQ

  SBE1

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/05/06
Posts: 340

3/31/11 9:01:20 PM#79

Either create high quality games that people will pay for, or go out of business and/or reduce your staff.  I neither feel good nor bad for anyone, as this is simple economics.  Blizzard isn't announcing major layoffs for a reason.....

Anyway, there are too many SOE games lately that have bombed.  What do you expect?  Make games that people want and buy, and you wouldn't have layoffs.  Pretty simple.  Keeping people employed for just the sake of keeping them employed is silly.  I hope these people can go and find jobs making games that people (including me) enjoy playing in the future rather than wasting time working on games that suck.

  fodell54

Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/08
Posts: 321

Swift as the windQuiet as the forestConquer like the fireSteady as the mountain-Sun Tzu

4/01/11 12:30:20 AM#80

 

Fellow Adventurers,

 We wanted to share this information with you here, rather than having you read about it on another site. The EQII community is a large part of the ongoing success of SOE, and the game is in a strong position to succeed. Development continues unabated on EverQuest II, and you can look forward to a Producer’s Letter next week with more information about what lies ahead for the game’s development in 2011.

 For those who wish to comment, please use THIS thread. It will remain unlocked as long as conversation remains constructive and polite. Our CMs and Mods have been asked to redirect all other related posts to this one as well.

 ~Linda “Brasse” Carlson

Director, Global Community Relations

 

Following is the official notice that you may see on other sites:

As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios.  As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games.  All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern. 

This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE’s current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios’ suite of products to its San Diego headquarters.  This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year.

 
 

 

 

Linda "Brasse" Carlson 
Director of Global Community Relations, SOE 
---------~~========~~--------- 
I have a Qlu'Stiq and I'm not afraid to use it.

 

 

Taken from the EQ2 forums. I have highlighted the important part

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