NCsoft, the Korean publisher of online games like Guild Wars and WildStar (screenshot above), is moving its customer support operations to a third-party provider and has laid off "a small number of [internal] customer support positions" as a result, the company confirmed to Polygon today.
The layoffs, and the decision to go with an external company for customer support, are the "final phase" of a corporate restructuring that NCsoft announced in October, according to a statement from a company spokesperson. Here's the full statement:
As the final phase of a restructuring process announced last October, NCsoft West is transitioning its first level customer support services to an external provider. This change will better enable the company to provide scalable customer support across new business segments and its current portfolio of popular games.
Unfortunately, as result of this migration, a small number of customer support positions have been impacted. Today’s change should have no impact to former, current or future customers and is intended to enable NCsoft West to more easily scale its future support organization for new products on new platforms.
The decision to reduce staff is never an easy one, and NCsoft West will be working closely with those impacted and providing ongoing support. We sincerely wish everyone impacted well in their future endeavors.
NCsoft laid off 16 people at its offices in Austin, Texas, said one of the affected employees in an email to Polygon. The individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that the layoffs amounted to the office's entire customer support team. NCsoft's Austin branch primarily handles quality assurance, customer support and billing operations.
Reached for comment, the NCsoft representative told Polygon, "NCsoft West remains committed to the Austin market and will continue to maintain its Operations Support team in Austin."