NCsoft Austin sheds staff

Tabula Rasa stays, new games cut.

Rumours of the demise of NCsoft's Austin studio - home to Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners - have, it turns out, been exaggerated, as the Korean MMO giant announced 21 job cuts at the developer.

"We are announcing that 21 positions are being eliminated in the Austin office of NCsoft in the area of product development," said the company's North American management in a statement.

"Primarily this is related to products which we have not previously announced and were in prototype phases. We are also cutting some positions on the Dungeon Runners team after deciding not to port the client to other platforms at this time."

NCsoft Austin started out life as Destination Games, the creation of brothers Richard and Robert Garriott, before a deal struck to spear-head NCsoft's North American operation.

Yesterday, Massively speculated that the entire Austin office could be closed, Dungeon Runners canned, and Tabula Rasa moved to Guild Wars developer Arena.net.

Massively also reported rumours that "future collaborations between NCsoft and the Garriott brothers will be very limited in scope", and that Tabula Rasa could be shut down within the year if it didn't find more players.

NCsoft reported a fall in income in its quarterly financial results yesterday (as reported by GamesIndustry.biz). Its North American sales revenue fell, although the company continues to do well in Europe, growing its European business by 16 per cent.

Tabula Rasa was its fifth most successful game, bringing in USD 1.9 million in sales during the quarter. Guild Wars and City of Heroes earned USD 4.9 and 5.5 million respectively, while NCsoft's Korean mainstays, Lineage and Lineage II, made USD 27.2 and USD 33.6 million apiece.

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