GW2 Arenanet Faces Mass Layoffs

Arenanet will be doing some layoffs of its employees as part of new merger between Arenanet and NcSoft’s publishing division.

According to Kotaku, NCSoft CEO sent this to Arenanet employees this afternoon.

“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”

NCSoft plans to cut costs across the organization and restructure across the board, merging ArenaNet and NCSoft’s publishing divisions in the process. “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”.

Here is the official statement from Arnenaet.

We know you have a lot of questions about the future of Guild Wars 2. We want to share with you what to expect moving forward for the game. First and foremost, we are still fully committed to all of our players and ongoing support of the game. We will be moving directly from Living World Season 4 into Season 5 as promised, and we plan to continue a regular cadence of updates and releases.

We know Guild Wars 2 is important to you, and as our players, you are important to us. Rest assured that we are still working to add great new content to the game. We are deeply grateful to all of you for your support during this difficult time.


  • Boomsday

    Hopefully this all works itself out cleanly

    • Deh

      Never played City of Heroes or Wildstar I take it.

      • Boomsday

        Hoping for the best doesn’t mean I’m not aware how this usually ends.

  • ShingYau Lau

    omg, please don’t ruin gw2

  • Alot

    Happy fun times. All I can say at this point is that I’ve gotten exponentially more value out of this game then I paid for. And the lack of bought expansions in a no sub mmo always confused me.

  • The amount of money I spend on gems, they better be good!

  • Lola

    Shit. Going to be hard for them to maintain the current cadence with fewer staff. Unfortunate as one of the few strong AAA titles in the West. Seems like MMOs are an unsustainable business model with how stingy players are – they complain about paying for them despite how expensive they are to make and maintain. 🙁

    On the upside, thanks for introducing me to ESO, Dulfy. Seeing it on your frontpage convinced me to try it and I’m loving it. I hated it at launch and totally wrote it off, but I’m honestly so impressed with it now (70 hours in).

    • FlatIsJustice

      dont think it has any/much impact on gw2 content whatsoever, since most, if not all ppl that got layd off where those working on differenet projects aside from gw2. so they wouldnt have contributed anything to gw2 anyways

  • Taiwan Wolf

    What terrible and disturbing news. 🙁 Don’t let NCsoft EA you to death please.

  • Shaggy

    im curious about how much of this is actually Anet’s fault
    its their parent company doing the layoffs, so its possible Anet isnt actually suffering very much financially at all

    • Asda

      Anet has got to be the worst-directed (ongoing) development team I’ve ever seen, they started business with that casual venture startup “we just let our designers work on whatever they want” attitude, somehow they managed to clumsily make it work for a few years but the only surprise here is NCSoft didn’t drop the axe sooner. Contrast to City of Heroes which knew exactly what it was doing, had ramped up the frequency and quality of its content updates, was still generating an easy profit, and still got dropped hard because NCSoft has zero qualms about “adjusting its focus”.

  • JayStars

    Do you remember all the people ArenaNet hired for mobile app development 2 years ago? The app that didn’t make it to market? They’re probably gone if they haven’t been let go already.

  • Jalen Dmello

    The Activision fever has crossed over i see

  • Karagianis

    Never a good sign. I doubt it’s the end for GW2, I mean GW1 is still running for some reason. But I’d be lying if this isn’t making me expect a quality drop off in future new content.

  • Darak

    The funny thing is that since NCSoft is a listed company you can simply go and check their operational reports. When you do you will see that while revenues for Guildwars 2 went down from 2017 they were still above revenues from 2016. This is perfectly normal if we consider that 2017 was the year path of fire was released. The problem seems to be more that most of the NCSoft games are earning less in 2018 than in 2017 whereas they usually had a 50/50 balance.

    Bottom line:

    – Guildwars 2 is still a profitable business they’re quite unlikely to kill
    – NCSoft needs the revenue sources that come from expansions and new successful franchises

  • E.T. PhoneHome
    • Squatch

      I’m waiting to play on my smartwatch.

      Mobile… lol….Get with the times!

  • Ohagimaru

    That’s weird..if Anet and NCsoft is together shouldn’t we see an improvement in gear design? I mean look at Blade and Soul and Aion? Their gears are badass. I know it’s just the publisher but maybe they can throw in some designs from those games every now and then? Would seriously be a sight for sore eyes..Gw2 have good story, decent combat…but the thing that will always get me is the shitty gear selection.

    • Suan

      “shitty gear selection” as in.. what? The skins? Or stats? In both options GW2 has a ton of it. It’s called Fashion Wars for a reason and there’s plenty of stats to choose from. I’m confused.

      • Ohagimaru

        this is selective perception.

      • Ares Zax

        There is an argument to be made that probably a good 85% of stats are completely useless when it comes to end-game content. There’s a reason why you never see stuff like Soldier’s used in, say, raids or T4 fractals, which I do think is a failing of the game design. There shouldn’t be stats that are just completely useless or unwanted by the player base; why even HAVE them if nobody uses them?

        • Alot

          Disagree on the topic of useless stats. I’m for as many stat combinations in wvw and pve as can be eaked out of the stat pool. While they tend to be useless most of the time, they a fun source of theory crafting and occasionally open up new niche ways to play. They also a way to make different zones give slightly more unique rewards. There is no harm to having them and fun to be had with playing around with them.In pvp though, you need to be more careful with the things.

          • Ares Zax

            Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing for the removal of the unused stats. I’m arguing that they should be buffed or the game design changed so that they’re NOT useless in most situations. For instance, Soldier/Dire should be the set that’s a balanced mixture of damage and toughness that should see you through just about any encounter in the game, provided you don’t mess up on “instakill” attacks from bosses or fail at encounter mechanics. Sure, it’ll take you much longer to complete the encounter than someone who goes full offense, but that’s the price you pay for safety. it should in theory be possible to complete a raid with a squad full of Soldier/Dire characters who, thanks to their stat choice, are juuuust tanky enough to get by on their heal skill alone and still win the encounter (again, probably taking a lot longer than a fully optimized group.)

            • Alot

              The raids intentionally have time limits before the bosses go beserk to prevent people from tanking through them with non-dps centric stats. So not the best example as the developers decided against this explicitly.

              If you play your class to their highest potential however, it is possible to beat a raid with most builds. I recall some raid guild killed gors with nothing higher then green gear.

              There is no way to make all stats viable in every situation and i dont see what that would add to the game if they managed it. Soldiers in specific however is usable for max level fractals, dungeons and soloing any open world content. My main till the end of HoT was a reaper with soldier stats and runes of exuberance and there was no pve content outside of raids I couldn’t solo.

              • Kira Sternenfeuer

                And because of this raid mechanics it is a broken game! The problem is not that people could use tanky builds to make it through but that all stats should be offensive to get through the raid as easy as possible. Damagetype stats are unfortunately the mainstats to choose because of this lazy gamedesign. Healing stats are completely useless as the main healing is way to high. Toughness is even unwanted most of the time for mechanics against it and there is just a small percentage of builds using toughness instead of vitality when choosing for a more defensive style for different reasons. If you look for all stats in the game right now vitality vs toughness is the only balanced stat difference. The game could be much more divers by limiting skills in theire usefulness without the right stats. Healing skills for example should be much less effective than they are right now an be pushed with healing power in a better way than they are in order to ensure that all stats have theire use and specialisation comes at the cost of cons that came with them. Instead of balancing the game arround damage type stats the game needs to be balanced arround balanced stats like celestial and the enemys have to make sure to challenge every type of statcombination.

                PVP shows what the game is capable of when the damage meta is not fitting every aspect anymore and tanky builds have theire use here as pvp is not about kills but game mechanics. Celestial stats which should be the actual meta were even removed from the pvp because they were much more disireable than most specialisation for theire overall usefulness. While I play a celestial engineerbuild that was allready nerfed many times during bad balancing of the specialisations that could get advantages of traitcombinations with theire new skills in pvp it is really a shame to see more and more diversity being limited by bad game design at stats. My strongest pve overal lcharacter right now is a minionmaster reaper with Knight stats with the disadvantage of having overall low damage but the advantage of beeing able to fullfill a real tank role while playing with others and beeing capable of fighting most enemys even some raidbossparts solo (you really do not want to as it takes forever XD) On the other hand I also play some condition based classes like a viperstats renegade and having an engineer with condistats too however I do not prefer this method of playing as it is simply not as much fun as my celestial stat engineer.

                Overall Guild Wars 2 is a mess when it comes to stats because they are so badly balanced in total as for having most of the time just minor influence at skills while they should have a major part here.

                Compare this to the original Guiild Wars where the skills are all balanced arround the stats you choose improving theire duration, strength and build compatibility with other skills. Guild Wars 2 could easely get a similar system just by balancing the skills, damage from and against enemys and overall experience in the game.

              • minion_condi_necro

                On the topic of raid stats, it’s expected that the average dps per player is roughly 15000 (I don’t know the exact numbers, just judging from parses) which is relatively low so you theoretically can have some non-berserker, non-viper stats, and be fine. You can even run all power reapers and beat all of the encounters without issue.

                The issue comes with having pure healers and pure tanks, the ‘safety comp’ so to speak, which barely do 2k DPS each, so you’ll need the full DPS stats on everyone else to make up for it. Ironically, comps with pure tanks and pure healers rely more on everyone else pulling higher numbers to beat the DPS checks, so it’s a bit of a bait. There’s a reason power chrono tank is more favored than Minstrel since it’s more likely that someone will mess up a rotation resulting in a failed DPS check than someone dying to regular mechanics outright.

    • Jalen Dmello

      Lets face it blade and soul is called boob and soul for a reason especially with emm physics and cut scenes 🙂

      • Ohagimaru

        this is a strawman.

    • Sty

      This is an opinion 😉

      • minion_condi_necro

        Unfortunately the opinion is rather widespread. Almost every gemstore and BL weapon release is met with distaste, a few good items occasionally but most just look the other way so they aren’t making good items while charging 10$ a pop, no profit coming out of that.

        • Sty

          So you are saying that they are ensuring regular gemstore updates, but they actually do not gain money from it. That sounds really weird, knowing that most of GW2’s business model is based on micro-transactions, right? Is it a wild guess or do you have actual data on that?

          I would happily change my mind, but I rather think the gemstore items are quite profitable, which would explain why they invest a lot into it.

          And about general distaste, based on this very site, I think the usual comments on gemstore updates are quite mixed, but not that bad. Knowing how easy it is to voice dissatisfaction on the Internet, it could actually even be a good sign.

          • minion_condi_necro

            I don’t have any data on it, and you’re right it’s more common for people to comment when dissatisfied. But as far as my own experience goes with myself and among guildmates in various guilds, the opinion has been trending towards “it doesn’t look good enough to buy” or “I already have xyz which looks better”. Perhaps I should have worded it better, but my point is the store is becoming saturated week by week with mediocre/otherwise uninspiring designs that don’t generate excitement, so they’re not pulling in as many buyers. But again, no numbers so it’s anecdotal.

            • Ohagimaru

              Yes this.

      • Squatch

        I think the designs on new armors / outfits are pretty interesting for the most part, maybe just a bit too shiny, but that’s high fantasy I guess!

    • Yeah, the bad early designs always got me. There’s some nice stuff now though. It’s quite unlikely that a character artist from an affiliate studio would guest at ArenaNet to make some gear designs, but it’s a good idea. I saw a collab in Tera with Attack on Titan so it could happen. The in-studio character artist would likely do it though.

      • Ohagimaru

        Right? It doesn’t hurt to try it. My 3 favorites are ancestral, ice encasement, and elonian ele outfit. I tend to switch between these 3 only because I don’t really see other outfits and non-cash shop skins soothing to my eyes.

    • Stefan Nicic

      Lol, “gear design” is among the last and the least thing that is killing GW2 slowly.

      • Ohagimaru

        you and the other moron–seriously, read. when did i ever bring up the topic about gw2 being killed? stop talking about shit that i never brought up. i can care less if gw2 dies. id cry a river though if it happened to ffxiv lol

    • FlatIsJustice

      u dont seem to understand the difference between a developer and a publisher, ncsoft is just a publisher, nothing more. they are responsible for localisation, pr, servermanagement, cash-shop etc, but have no influence (or very little at least) on gamedesign, gamemechanics and content. armor-design clearly falls in the later category and is entirely anets responsibility, no matter who the publisher might be. so yeah, theres no relation between ncsoft and the quality of any designs.

      • Ohagimaru

        I literally said “I know it’s just the publisher “. Once against, just like that other idiot you only choose what you want to see and respond to.

  • I heard they canned an unannounced project and have some staff to shed from that, with one further unannounced project still on the go—maybe they had a dead mobile project, are continuing with a Guild Wars 3 prototype, who knows.

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