WildStar Devs Reportedly Lay Off 70 People

On Friday, WildStar [official site] publisher NCSoft announced that a “reorganisation” of Carbine Studio’s “operating structure” had resulted in staff layoffs at the developer. While there’s been no official mention of exactly how many folk have been made redundant, reports suggest more than 70 employees were shown the door – as much as 40 percent of the studio’s total staff.

The official statement, which also states plans to launch the fantasy MMO in China have been scrapped, was posted on the WildStar forums:

Earlier this morning, Carbine Studios completed a reorganization of its operating structure. Moving forward, the studio will focus on operating and updating WildStar as a live game in the US and Europe. As part of this change, the studio has canceled its plans to bring WildStar to China.

Unfortunately, as a result of these changes, we’ve had to reduce staff. These cuts are directly tied to WildStar’s evolution from a product in development to a live title, to the cancellation of work to bring WildStar to China, and to the overall performance of WildStar since launch in 2014.

These kinds of decisions are exceptionally difficult. The talented and passionate professionals who are impacted by these cuts have been valuable team members and respected colleagues. We wish everyone well for the future and will be providing severance and employment search assistance.

The statement goes on to stress NCSoft’s ongoing commitment to WildStar and that a “significant update” is expected in the “next few weeks and months.” According to reports from unnamed sources obtained by Polygon though, more than 70 people have since departed Carbine, a figure which makes up as much as 40 percent of their team. Furthermore, the same sources suggest the remaining staff have been told to expect further layoffs in the months ahead.

Last September, WildStar made the jump from a subscription-based model to free-to-play – something Angus Morrison argued was a good thing at the time. It was also announced back in February that the game would be coming to Steam and would get a new area (currently available through the public test realm), which is maybe the “significant update” mentioned above. At the same time in February, the game’s PvP servers were closed for being under-populated and their users were merged with two remaining PvE servers.

We’ve reached out to NCSoft for comment and will update in the event we hear back. Good luck to those who have lost their jobs.


  1. Doganpc says:

    While part of the typical cycle (you just don’t need as many people to sustain a product as you do to develop it) having your PvP servers shutdown and merged into PvE isn’t exactly promising. Then again, it felt more like a PvE game anyhow.

  2. aircool says:

    No surprises. 3 weeks after launch you were more likely to see bots than real people.

    A chance of change when it went F2P, but again, after 3 weeks the bots had taken over.

    All those characters and interesting locations were pretty much wasted, as MMO players generally just rush to the endgame.

    The endgame is the problem… why bother building an interesting and detailed world when players will just pass by in a blur so they can get to the serious business of grinding for different coloured loot which allows them to grind for even more different coloured loot.

    • SomeDuder says:

      Ehh… Except for a few substories in the questline and locations, most of the setting was extremely fantasy-mediocre.

      While I enjoyed the storyline of Drusera’s creation in Blighthaven and the unlocking of Omnicore-1, the rest of the zones are almost carbon copies of World of Warcraft. In a setting where fleet of spaceships is hovering above the planet, why are we questing for 25 bearbutts in zones with windmills and quaint farming communities?

      I mean, I know why (it’s because players massively enjoy pretending to be sword-wielding dragonslayers), but if you make an MMO in a sci-fi setting, then you have a chance to do something different for once. But nope. Back to impossibly large swords, impractical shoulderpads and gathering cheetah-balls.

      Next article will be announcing the shutdown of Wildstar. Not sad to see it go.

  3. AlexStoic says:

    Gamers are so harsh about MMOs. Not sure why they love to sneer with such superiority all the time, but here we are. I played Wildstar for a long time (for me, anyway), and I enjoyed it. The animation and housing system was great, the combat was fun. I liked the weird races and classes. Open-world PvP was pretty level-dependent but could still be a good time with the right group. The story started off forgettable but got better along the way.

    I think the biggest problem with MMOs is the expectation that we’re supposed to rush through all the content and then scrape for +1 loot the rest of our lives. I put in maybe 3 months, barely got to the level cap, and that’s waaay longer than I would play most games.

    I have fond memories.