Cho Jin-seo of the Korean Times has started internet grumblings with his latest piece where he reports that Tabula Rasa, "has proven to be a financial disaster". With information taken from an investor conference call, he claims that it's only seen 5 million in revenue when TR was believed to cost 100 billion. It also claims that Garriott started the project more than twice, the studio is now to be downsized, while the project leaders, "will keep their position". However Robert Garriott has been replaced by Chris Chung from his position as head of the organisation and the-not-ex-Lord-British Garriott is, "free from day-to-day operations''. More here.
The article's already been strongly argued as misleading from NCsoft Sources, noting the reporter in question had previously written reports from conferences he never even attended.
Speaking to Massively, they've pointed out various elements which perhaps take some of the sting from the Korean Times' blows.
"NCsoft CFO Lee Jae-ho did state that some downsizing in Austin is inevitable. But he also indicated in the conference call that he has hope that TR will improve its revenue stream over time.
NCsoft has committed to putting several million dollars more into further developing TR.
TR is launching in Japan later this year. Considering that Richard Garriott's games have done well in Japan, this will only help to bolster the game's population.
There will be some reduction at the Austin Studio, but only on the TR team. This isn't shocking by the way. MMOs normally ramp up their staff during development and leading up to launch, then reduce it after. Fact is, some of the TR team has already transitioned over to other internal dev teams."
More over at Massively. So there appears to be an element of business as usual - that said, there are elements which they didn't argue against, including many of the direct quotes from NCsoft's Chief Financial Officer. Misrepresentive it may have been, but that Tabula Rasa response has proved disappointing for NCsoft remains. Which, admittedly, we probably already knew.
Shame, really. It's pretty neat.