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NCSoft layoffs claim 60 from WildStar dev - report

Is Carbine in trouble or is this MMO business as usual?

There have been layoffs across Western NCSoft studios, the company has revealed, but we don't know exactly where and exactly how many people have been let go.

We do know that Guild Wars developer ArenaNet is unaffected. WildStar developer Carbine, on the other hand, isn't. And it's there the spotlight shines.

Polygon heard from a source that as many as 60 people, from "a few hundred", had gone from Carbine. But this number remains unconfirmed.

An official post on the WildStar forum mentioned "several colleagues" being affected, and studio creative director Chad Moore mentioned "WildStar teammates who were affected today" in a tweet.

NCSoft's buttoned-up, proper response was:

That Carbine should shed staff a few months after WildStar launched isn't an unusual going-on in MMO land. Teams are bulked up like a carb-loading bodybuilder as MMOs approach launch, then are cut down into lean live-game teams thereafter.

But it's against a backdrop of some discontent in WildStar that these layoffs are announced, suggesting deeper problems are afoot. Carbine cancelled Halloween and Christmas seasonal content - a long-running trend in MMOs - so it could double-down on more important fixes and content.

There was also a server-merge of sorts, suggesting the many people who tried the game around launch, left - in turn leaving once busy servers empty.

Speculation, then, or a worrying sign of things to come? NCSoft has the answer but whether we'll hear it, we'll see.

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Robert Purchese

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Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.