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 GameDaily.biz 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 covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.