NCSoft announced today that it has reduced staff at Carbine Studios, the developer behind sci-fi massively multiplayer role-playing game Wildstar. This comes just six months after Wildstar switched from a subscription-based MMO to a free-to-play game, a change that Carbine hoped would "drive millions of players into the game."
The official word comes via a post on the Wildstar forums, where NCsoft said the cuts "are directly tied to Wildstar's evolution from a product in development to a live title, to the cancellation of work to bring Wildstar to China, and to the overall performance of Wildstar since launch in 2014."
The post goes on to say that NCSoft "remain[s] committed to the game" and will be delivering major updates and more community events in coming weeks.
However, reports Polygon has received from sources close to the studio paint a grimmer picture. While NCSoft's statement didn't provide exact numbers, we were told that more than 70 people have been let go from Carbine, as much as 40 percent of the studio's total workforce. Furthermore, sources tell us it was made clear to remaining employees that they should expect additional layoffs in the coming months.
"Those remaining only have a couple months left before Wildstar 'coasts into the sunset,'" one source told us. All of the sources we spoke with asked to remain anonymous.
We have reached out NCSoft for confirmation on the number of layoffs as well as future plans for Wildstar, but so far we have yet to hear back. We will update this post if we get a response.
The full statement from NCSoft regarding the layoffs is included below:
Earlier this morning, Carbine Studios completed a reorganization of its operating structure. Moving forward, the studio will focus on operating and updating WildStar as a live game in the US and Europe. As part of this change, the studio has canceled its plans to bring WildStar to China.
Unfortunately, as a result of these changes, we've had to reduce staff. These cuts are directly tied to WildStar's evolution from a product in development to a live title, to the cancelation of work to bring WildStar to China, and to the overall performance of WildStar since launch in 2014.
These kinds of decisions are exceptionally difficult. The talented and passionate professionals who are impacted by these cuts have been valuable team members and respected colleagues. We wish everyone well for the future and will be providing severance and employment search assistance.
As for WildStar, we remain committed to the game. Over the next few weeks and months we will deliver a significant update to the game, kick off a variety of community events, and continue our work on new content that we will talk more about in the near future.