Massive Layoffs Hit The Video Game Industry, Multiple Studios Affected
It seems that bad things come in threes, at least in the world of video games. Aside from the recent layoffs at Activision Blizzard, two more developers have been hit with massive layoffs, leaving hundreds without a job.
As reported by Yahoo! Finance, Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet is in the midst of planning a large round of layoffs. ArenaNet’s parent company, NCSoft, reached out to employees in an email penned by CEO Songyee Yoon, who explained that layoffs were coming in the midst of declining revenue.
Yoon also noted that, aside from their aging franchises, delays in development have contributed to decreased revenue. As a result, the company is choosing to cut operating costs across the board and will be merging NCSoft and ArenaNet into one unit.
“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,” Yoon explained in his email to ArenaNet’s approximately 400 workers.
As Yahoo! Finance notes, GameDaily.biz reached out to ArenaNet for comment, which responded with the following official statement.
“We can confirm that due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, ArenaNet will make staff reductions,” the company said in their official statement. “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.”
— Pad and Pixel (@PadandPixel) February 23, 2019
In Australia, Electronic Arts’ Firemonkeys studio was also hit with layoffs. Employees were informed of the change in staffing via one-on-one meetings and group meetings for those who would be staying on with the company. As noted by Game Workers Unite Australia, approximately 20 to 25 percent of the entire studio was laid off, which translates to “some 40 to 50 people” out of approximately 200. The organizations note that this equates to “almost 5 percent of the entire Australian game development industry nationwide.”
These newly-announced layoffs only add to recent staff changes at publisher Activision Blizzard. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the house that built Call of Duty announced massive layoffs across the board, which would affect a handful of the companies and business units which make up the holding company. These layoffs come after record sales results in 2018. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has also come under fire, with many pointing out that Kotick made over $28 million in 2017.
In other gaming news, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is set to retire in April. The longtime face of Nintendo’s American arm will be replaced by Doug Bowser, per reporting by The Inquisitr.