Report: Many Layoffs Affect Wildstar Developer Carbine Studios

Report: Many Layoffs Affect Wildstar Developer Carbine Studios

WildStar Engineer 3

Wildstar developer Carbine Studios reportedly deeply affected by 60 layoffs across all levels.

NCSoft's Carbine Studios has reportedly laid off approximately 60 employees in NCSoft's restructuring of NCWest. These layoffs arrive four months after the launch of Carbine Studios' MMO Wildstar.

NCSoft stated its staff reductions affect all of the company's western branches except for AreaNet, developer of Guild Wars. Polygon reports an anonymous source said layoffs especially affected Carbine Studios. The studio has reportedly lost 60 employees "across all levels," rather than only entry-level staff.

Community manager Tony Rey also stated on Wildstar forums that staff reductions had impacted "several colleagues." Last night, Chad Moore, creative director at Carbine Studios, also briefly spoke of the layoffs in a tweet expressing he would miss his teammates who were affected.

NCSoft's official statement is as follows:

Today we announced a restructuring of key operations within NC West. As a result of this restructuring, we are implementing staff reductions across our Western operations with the exclusion of ArenaNet. While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment.

Moving forward, we will continue to focus on our core development capabilities and the intellectual properties (WildStar, Aion, Lineage, and Guild Wars franchises) that have made NCSOFT what it is today. However, we are looking to move into new business segments like mobile and tablet games as well as explore emerging technologies.

Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors.

Gamespot reports Carbine Studios had 100 employees before the 60 who were laid off, and the company's LinkedIn page places the company's size in the 51-200 people range.

Source: Polygon

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Now is this general corporate fuckery or is Wildstar not doing so well?

Wildstar is a great game that was unfortunately released at the twilight of the mmo scene. Mmos not named wow are in steep decline across the board. I expect elder scrolls online to have similar problems, despite being the more well known franchise

I played Wildstar myself and got very bored of it quickly, even with friends.. so i just quit around 20.

Character Creation had nearly no options aside from some few outfits and hairstyles with recolors.

Healer class? Oh, you mean those +1hp heals?

Platforming in an mmo can be fun sometimes, but it just gets annoying here.

Hope you don't plan to party up with people before level 10 and keep it very long.

Quests are everywhere but spread out so much that it's confusing.

The storyline is told you to in a way that sounds like one side are full of douche-bags and the other are only trying to survive.

It's really... really...really... tacky.

>.>
Inb4 everyone goes: "The opinions, they buuuuurn! Destroy the heathen!"

It's not that World of Warcraft is taking everyone's business, people just sometimes make shit mmos. Sometimes people don't want to get to level 500 endgame content to enjoy an MMO, for many people if they don't get hooked early then they are gone for good.

Tried to get into Wildstar during the beta stage, but I never really saw anything in the game to justify a subscription to play. I saw glimmers of innovation here and there, but I didn't see enough that broke the average MMO mold to really get into it. Sadly, that's been the case with most MMOs I've looked into as of late (Guild Wars 2, Defiance, The Secret World, Destiny, TES:Online, just a whole bunch of disappointment all around).

Still waiting for the mass Zenimax media layoffs early next year when ESO reaches 1 year old.

There are too many online games that require decent user bases to play with ever more F2P MMORPG's, MOBA's and online shooters appearing that there are going to be a lot more mass layoffs and game closures in the next 2 years.

Not specifically with Carbine, although I'd bet my next paycheck it's the same ball of wax over there...

We, as MMO gamers, brought about the "twilight" Dendio mentioned. We, as gamers, decided collectively, that we didn't actually want to play with other people. We want other people to envy us our accomplishments, in the game. If you're not "ooh"-ing or "aahh"-ing over my shiny pixels, then you're an inconvenient NPC.

So, naturally, the market is stagnating. Platformers have been around for decades? Still fresh, still fun. Action adventure? Check. First Person Shooters? Right on!

Games where players demand, en masse, to be able to ignore other players at every turn? Weird. That one's dying out. Whodathunk?

mythgraven:
Not specifically with Carbine, although I'd bet my next paycheck it's the same ball of wax over there...

We, as MMO gamers, brought about the "twilight" Dendio mentioned. We, as gamers, decided collectively, that we didn't actually want to play with other people. We want other people to envy us our accomplishments, in the game. If you're not "ooh"-ing or "aahh"-ing over my shiny pixels, then you're an inconvenient NPC.

So, naturally, the market is stagnating. Platformers have been around for decades? Still fresh, still fun. Action adventure? Check. First Person Shooters? Right on!

Games where players demand, en masse, to be able to ignore other players at every turn? Weird. That one's dying out. Whodathunk?

I don't agree, I think the issue with the MMO market is that companies were refusing to provide what people wanted. I'm not saying MMO players are some homogenous hivemind who all want the same thing, quite the opposite, the problem was that everyone was only really being offered one thing; variations on the themepark formula that WoW pretty much nailed down a decade ago.

MMO devs fell victim to the same kind of groupthink that's afflicted triple-A publishers for the last few years - if it's not the biggest thing ever to be a thing, then literally nobody must want it, so logically there's no money to be made and they should just try and ape the biggest thing and hope to pinch enough customers away from it that they turn a profit. The problem with that is if your own version of the biggest thing isn't totally flawless, it's not going to take long before people begin getting bored by what is essentially a reskinned version of what they were already playing only without all the social ties, and go back to WoW. Contrast with EvE Online, which has consistently grown its playerbase over time(excepting those periods when the developers decided to go spelunking up their own backsides and there was a backlash), because they found a niche and focused on it in a sustainable way; or with Star Citizen, a game that's both a sandbox MMO(which are dead according to industry groupthink) and a space sim(same) yet is the most crowdfunded project in history; or with Planetside 2 which seems to be doing reasonably well for itself.

It's not that people don't want to play games with other people in an MMO context, it's that they have no reason to play new MMO games that don't offer them anything fundamentally different from what they already have.

Really sad about this, I really like Wildstar but their ridiculous focus on catering to the top 1% and only them is ultimately where their downfall lies.

If they removed the godawful medal system in dungeons and stuck to 10 & 25-man raid content (as opposed to 40-man which is a logistical nightmare and frequently causes guilds to collapse) ala WoW the game would probably see a resurgence.

I just hope they can pull through this, some of those axed were pretty important members of the team.

Surprised its already been that long since Wildstar came out. I was waiting until it became f2p, but I've heard nothing positive about it from the few people I've come across that have played it so I've stopped caring. Its practically verbatim for ESO.

unfortunately, seems most MMO's these days have decided that those top 1% or so are their bread and butter.
probably because they are the most visably vocal when it comes to games.

the problem is see, is not that 'we' as users of MMO's want to play alone. we dont all want to play alone, among many other users. we also dont want to play with others. what we realy want are OPTIONS.

the OPTION to continue the games lveling process alone if we want to, because we cant party up (for whatever reason) or because we arent feeling socia tonight. or because our leveling partner has gone out tonight.

the OPTION to party up with another player..our partner, our children or our whole family if we all play the same game / server/ faction. and continue the games quests and leveling system with that party (and not have to constantly check we are all in the same stage, im looking at you ESO for that one)

now for me, i tried to like wildstar. the info was good, even tho im not much of a sci-fi mmo kinda player. i was looking forward to using the home system so that i could decor my partners house for him. plant his garden, renovate his house, while he went off and did pvp or raid or ect.
we had planned to buy the game and give it a go. thankfully for us, a friend gave us a trial code and we gave it a free trial.

for me, personaly. it was the control system that killed it. i just couldnt adapt to the *A* and *D* setup there.
i admit it. i am a keyboard turner.
allways have been....it cant be helped because the mouse turning makes me motion sick. even watching someone whip about via the mouse makes me queasy. i tried the sugestions of setting the turn keys to straif, but then i couldnt turn properly. yes, i know, i should just 'suck it up and play properly' but i dont particularly fancy cleaning sick off my keyboard every couple of hours t play a game.
since i dont raid except for fun, and i dont pvp or compete in arenas ect in games, i felt i could enjoy my games without having to take seasickness pills.

see, me and my partner have been looking for a game we can play *together*
we have tried many MMO's and looked at still more but sometimes our differing likes and disslikes hamper us.
i dont realy like sci-fi so ToR and trek were out. he isnt into cute so many other free games were out because they had too anime / cute a style.

we tried final fantasy reborn, but the problem was we couldnt play *together*
we could play on the same server, at the same time. and still talk using linkshell...but we could not stay in party together and help oneanother. every 5 levels we would be kicking eachother from party because all the class quests were solo only. all the crafting quests were solo only. infat all the damn quests are solo only, so you only party up when you are messing about in dungeons.

i think we are a good example of what basic players want. the ability to go it alone when you feel like it, but also to party up for quests and so on together if you want to.

FFR felt like forced soloing. and ESO is as bad because being a *megaserver* you are phased to all hell and its nearly impossable to party for quests because of that. you can even get phased while in group and standing right next to the person, but you cant SEE them or help them as you might have been a quest part befor them or after them. then you have the forced grouping part of ESO at the end. where everyone has to solo grind some other part to get to a certain level and then can party up in random groups because those at that level can find groups.

MMOs need to stop focusing on the wow killer type idea.
wow wont die untill acti-blizz kill it.
Eve online and so on are the way to go.
niche it up, guys!

stop trying to make a big, bland mess of homogeonised crap and make something that appeals to a small but above all, LOYAL fanbase.

make a no holds barred, free-for-all PvP centric game. make it with karma or honour system where by those who PK their own are outlaws and make the killing have meaning. and you will get a dedicated loyal fanbase. it might not have the numbers wow does. but if you do it right, and dont squeeze em too hard for cash, they will stick to you.

make a carebear game (no, i dont mean a literal Carebears with all those fluffy bears with logo's on their chests..unless you want to make a carebear game for kids) with no PvP at all, and fill it full of crafting and gathering and only the NPC bad guys. not even duels. and again, you will get a following (because i can tell you now, that there are a fair few players who hate PvP completely)

they need to stop
stop being greedy, looking for wow style sub levels.
stop forced grouping and forced solo play.
stop focusing on only the 1% (unless they are going for that specific niche)
stop trying to be all to everyone.

after all, a smaller slice of pie is better than a whole lot of no pie right?

Wildstar was a interesting game but it had the same problems that have been plaguing MMOs since forever. Dungeons were neat because they were essentially mini-raids, and it was nice to play an MMO that wasn't into hand-holding and expected people to actually be good at the game, but the grind-to-fun ratio was just too much.

Level grinding (especially on healers), dailies, and the attunement process (which didn't prove jack in terms of player skill and served only as another post-50 content gate) just killed it for me.

Ickorus:
Really sad about this, I really like Wildstar but their ridiculous focus on catering to the top 1% and only them is ultimately where their downfall lies.

If they removed the godawful medal system in dungeons and stuck to 10 & 25-man raid content (as opposed to 40-man which is a logistical nightmare and frequently causes guilds to collapse) ala WoW the game would probably see a resurgence.

I just hope they can pull through this, some of those axed were pretty important members of the team.

This is exactly what I was thinkin while playin it. I loved Wildstar. I loved the combat, I loved the dungeons, I loved adventures, I adored the hell out of housing, I even dug questing because of the challenge system. However everythin about it once you hit end game was just a giant fuckin chore because they wanted it to be hard for the ultra hardcore players, except their definition of hard was basically to make it damn near impossible to play solo,

I guess I can't get mad at them for that because I knew goin into the game it'd be that way, but come on. I wanted to raid, but I needed to go through a kind of attunement quest that made old WoW's stuff look tame in comparison (which isn't surprisin cause it's made by old WoW devs, why do people want these people back again?). Even if I did do the attunements the gear requirement was a god awful nightmare grind. You need to get gold in order to get gear worth equippin, but its a random piece of gear from the loot table at gold. If you don't get gold you might as well quit the dungeon and restart because you'll be spendin 30-50 minutes for zero gain.

You want to relax and just do some dailies at max level? Lolnope, that shit will wreck you if you go in with your crappy greens and assorted blues you picked up on the way unless you go in with a party of people.

Want to do a random dungeon with people that aren't close friends? Prepare for a 1-2 hour slog where you are guaranteed not to get any gear. Even if you get decent players its still a minimum of a 50 minute slog, dependin on the dungeon.

Want to do craftin? Sorry, power cores are disturbingly rare so prepare to do even more grindin, except even worse grindin because there's no way to increase the amount of greens/blues that drop and even if you do get a bunch there is a possibility that you wont get a single power core out of them.

There were so many good things in Wildstar, but they're were far too many extraordinarily terrible things to keep my interest.

 

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