Guild Wars studio ArenaNet confirms layoffs

Update: In response to our inquiry, ArenaNet issued the following statement:

"We can confirm that due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, ArenaNet will make staff reductions. This is part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSOFT in the west, but the Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 game services will not be affected, nor is any upcoming game content canceled."

The studio declined to comment on the number of employees affected by the cuts.

Original story:

A report out of Kotaku indicates that ArenaNet, the developer of the Guild Wars MMOs, will undergo layoffs that will see a "significant" number of employees let go. An internal email reportedly sent by the CEO of ArenaNet parent NCSoft said that the company aims to "cut costs across the organization," a process that will include a merger of ArenaNet and NCSoft's publishing divisions. 

"Our live game business revenue is declining as our franchises age, delays in development on PC and mobile have created further drains against our revenue projects, while our operating costs in the west have increased," the email said. "Where we are is not sustainable, and is not going to set us up for future success." 

Guild Wars 2 was released in 2012 and while there have been content updates and four "Living World" seasons since then, only two full expansion have been released, Heart of Thorns in 2015 and Path of Fire in 2017. ArenaNet hasn't developed any new games since Guild Wars 2 either. 

The report is unconfirmed for now, but comes just a few months after NCSoft pulled the plug on the Wildstar MMO and shuttered its developer, Carbine.   

It's not known how many people will be impacted by the cuts, but a 2018 "ArenaNet Culture" video said the company employed almost 400 people. I've reached out to ArenaNet for more information and will update if I receive a reply. 

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.