Tera Publisher En Masse Announces Layoffs
In a move that is sure to attract attention throughout the Gaming Industry, En Masse Entertainment, publisher of popular MMORPG, Tera, announced layoffs on August 9, 2012. The unspecified number of layoffs came as Tera is gearing up for the release of its major free update, The Argon Queen, which is due out later this month.
The first hints of the layoffs were heard when Tera community manager, Evan “Scapes” Berman, tweeted that he had been released from employment. Berman followed up by later tweeting that he had not been let go for performance related issues.
The rumors were confirmed when En Masse Publishing Vice President Chris Lee released this statement: “Today, we had to let go of some of the great talent at En Masse Entertainment. While a tough decision, it was necessary as we prepare for the next chapter of our business. TERA has been a great launch for us, and we are committed to our loyal players. We’re taking measures to align the needs of our business to continue supporting TERA and preparing for our future.”
At this point, one can only speculate as to the reasons for the layoffs. The economy may be partly to blame and certainly the MMO market has had its ups and down this year. Star Wars: The Old Republic is leaking subscribers by the hundreds of thousands and will soon be going free to play. Tera remains a subscription based game with a monthly fee of $14.99.
Tera is also facing stiff competition from the debut of Guild Wars 2 on August 28, 2012, and the release of the World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria Expansion on September 25, 2012. While all these factors may have contributed to the layoffs, it is also not uncommon for gaming companies to layoff employees after the release of a major update, such as Tera’s Argon Queen.
Hopefully, En Masse will have more to say on the layoffs over the next few days. Tera is an enjoyable MMORPG with a dedicated player base and the Argon Queen update should bring back many former subscribers. While the economy continues to struggle, we can only hope that the En Masse layoffs are not indicative of a trend towards downsizing in the gaming industry.