ArenaNet lays off 'a number' of employees ahead of NCSoft West merger

Guild Wars developer ArenaNet has laid off "a number" of employees as part of a process that will see the company merge with NCSoft West. A company rep confirmed with that the cuts too place "as part of NCSoft’s ongoing restructuring of its development and publishing business in the west," although specific numbers were not revealed. 

The layoffs were reported, and then confirmed, late last week, when ArenaNet said that "staff reductions" would occur as a result of the cancellation of unannounced projects. A company rep said at the time that the layoffs are "part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSoft in the west," but added that there would be no impact on the Guild Wars games, or any upcoming content. 

Lead game designer Jennifer Scheurle, who remains with ArenaNet, said on Twitter that the company handled the cuts well. 

"Many of the most talented, driven and skilled people, friends and colleagues, didn’t get to keep their job. It’s been one of the most agonizing things I’ve ever experienced," she wrote. 

"This is true despite feeling that ArenaNet handled the awful situation as well as you can handle a situation where everybody loses. It’s credit to a compassionate and skilled HR department that we are given as much information and time as we were." 

Slightly contradicting its announcement last week, ArenaNet also said today that the release of the Warclaw, a new Guild Wars 2 world vs world mount, has been delayed until March 5. "In light of current events at the studio, we are taking this time to focus on our friends and colleagues," the studio wrote. "We hope you understand and we apologize for this delay."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.