[UPDATE 10:28am PT/1:28 pm ET] NCSoft Has responded to our inquiry about how the layoffs affect upcoming titles, as well as the scope of the layoffs. We've added their comments to the story below.
NCSoft West has been hit with a round of layoffs according to a report by VentureBeat. The report states that at least 20% of its staff has been affected, and has seen its CEO depart the company as well.
The report by Dean Takahashi confirms via a statement from NCSoft that 20% of the workforce was laid off, with NCSoft stating that it was "primarily affecting non-game development positions." Exactly which positions were affected, as well as the exact number of people laid off is unclear.
"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.”
NCSoft publishes Guild Wars 2, which has had a stellar year since launching its widely lauded End of Dragons expansion. Additionally, anticipation for Throne and Liberty has been ramping up, with many fans of the company excited about what it could bring to the industry, which is slated to launch sometime this year.
In addition to the layoffs, VentureBeat is also reporting that CEO Jeff Anderson has stepped away from the company, with the company stating that Anderson "decided that his time at NC had come to a conclusion."
Anderson has worked in the games industry for some time, having worked at Electronic Arts, Turbine, and Hasbro, working on titles like Dungeons and Dragons Online and Ultima Online.
Members of the games industry have been offering condolences, as well as promises of support, such as Ashes of Creation's Director of Communications Margaret Krohn. Others have pointed to openings at their companies as a way to get the ball rolling on helping to find the next place.
So many layoffs lately. ??I'm sorry to hear about the @NCSOFT_West layoffs today. Some wonderful industry folks I've had the pleasure of working with over there. If anyone needs support, please reach out. ??— ???????????????? ?????????? ???? (@MargaretKrohn) February 1, 2023
To all my former @NCSOFT_West colleagues and friends who got caught in the layoff, @Blizzard_Ent is hiring. If I can help you in any way with a referral, please don’t hesitate to reach out: https://t.co/ypNqanFeLR— Deirdre Hollis (@dat_Sunshine) February 2, 2023
So I heard late yesterday that there’s significant lay offs across the NCsoft West publishing team - some really good people across US and UK offices losing their jobs. If anyone has games or tech roles in Orange County, Seattle or London, let’s connect them— Simon Cowley (@smcowley) February 2, 2023
We've reached out to NCSoft to clarify the scope of the layoffs, as well as how it will impact its games moving forward. We'll update this story once we've heard back.
[UPDATE]: NCSoft has responded to our inquiry about the impact these layoffs will have on both current titles, the cause and scope of the layoffs.
Regarding how many exact employees were affected: "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."
Regarding how this impacts future and current development on titles: "Our games will continue to operate as they have been." and "Throne & Liberty continues toward its global launch and is not impacted by the event."
Regarding the cause of the layoffs: "The goal was to streamline operations between the various wings of the company to be better equipped to work as one global unit."
Regarding whether these layoffs are just confined to NSoft West, or was NCSoft's Korea team impacted as well: "This event was specific to NC West operations."