UPDATE 21ST DECEMBER: Bethesda PR has refuted the report by local news source Connacht Tribune. Bethesda said only approximately 50 jobs had been cut at the customer service centre as part of routine manoeuvring mid-August after the console Elder Scrolls Online launch.
"Following the successful console launch of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited in June, we have a thriving console and PC online community. We adjusted customer support levels in mid-August by reducing staffing by approximately 50 people to reflect the game's stability and the needs of our players," Bethesda PR said in a statement sent to Eurogamer. "This is a normal practice. We have been diligently working with the IDA, and the employees affected by this decision since the summer. We are disappointed by the inaccuracies in the report of the Connacht Tribune."
ORIGINAL STORY 18TH DECEMBER: Elder Scrolls Online developer Zenimax Online Studios has reportedly closed its Irish customer service office in Galway, axing 300 jobs in the process.
The Connacht Tribune has the story (via VG247) and said only a handful of staff remain at the office. Bethesda/Zenimax PR did not respond the site's request for comment. I've requested comment separately.
The Elder Scrolls Online is developed in Hunt Valley, Maryland by Zenimax Online Studios, relatively close to Bethesda Game Studios, creator of The Elder Scrolls games and Fallout 3 and 4. There's an additional Zenimax Online Media office in Austin, Texas. Both companies belong to Zenimax Media.
News of the Galway office closure comes hot on the tails of a major offensive by Zenimax/Bethesda to enlist new players for The Elder Scrolls Online. This involves a $1m prize draw people are entered into for registering and playing the game - a campaign that coincided with a free-play weekend on PC and Xbox One, which also entered people into the prize draw. Discounts were offered to people who played during the free weekend, too.
The Elder Scrolls Online dropped its mandatory subscription business model earlier in the year, maintaining only an upfront fee for the game. This was done ahead of the game's summer console launch.
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